HISTORY OF COMPUTER This chapter is a brief summary of the history of Computers.

It is supplemented by the two PBS documentaries video tapes "Inventing the Future" And "The Paperback Computer". The chapter highlights some of the advances to look for in the documentaries. In particular, when viewing the movies you should look for two things:

The progression in hardware representation of a bit of data: 1. Vacuum Tubes (1950s) - one bit on the size of a thumb; 2. Transistors (1950s and 1960s) - one bit on the size of a fingernail; 3. Integrated Circuits (1960s and 70s) - thousands of bits on the size of a hand 4. Silicon computer chips (1970s and on) - millions of bits on the size of a finger nail.

The progression of the ease of use of computers: 1. Almost impossible to use except by very patient geniuses (1950s); 2. Programmable by highly trained people only (1960s and 1970s); 3. Useable by just about anyone (1980s and on).

To see how computers got smaller, cheaper, and easier to use.

First Computers The first substantial computer was the giant ENIAC machine by John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert at the University of Pennsylvania. ENIAC (Electrical Numerical Integrator and Calculator) used a word of 10 decimal digits instead of binary ones like previous automated calculators/computers. ENIAC was also the first machine to use more than 2,000 vacuum tubes, using nearly 18,000 vacuum tubes. Storage of all those vacuum tubes and the machinery required to keep the cool took up over 167 square meters (1800 square feet) of floor space. Nonetheless, it had punched-card input and output and arithmetically had 1 multiplier, 1 divider-square rooter, and 20 adders employing decimal "ring counters," which served as adders and also as quick-access (0.0002 seconds) read-write register storage. The executable instructions composing a program were embodied in the separate units of ENIAC, which were plugged together to form a route through the machine for the flow of computations. These connections had to be redone for each different problem, together with presetting function tables and switches. This "wire-your-own" instruction technique was inconvenient, and only with some license could ENIAC be considered programmable; it was, however, efficient in handling the particular programs for which it had been designed. ENIAC is generally acknowledged to be the first successful high-

speed electronic digital computer (EDC) and was productively used from 1946 to 1955. A controversy developed in 1971, however, over the patentability of ENIAC's basic digital concepts, the claim being made that another U.S. physicist, John V. Atanasoff, had already used the same ideas in a simpler vacuum-tube device he built in the 1930s while at Iowa State College. In 1973, the court found in favor of the company using Atanasoff claim and Atanasoff received the acclaim he rightly deserved. Progression of Hardware In the 1950's two devices would be invented that would improve the computer field and set in motion the beginning of the computer revolution. The first of these two devices was the transistor. Invented in 1947 by William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain of Bell Labs, the transistor was fated to oust the days of vacuum tubes in computers, radios, and other electronics. The vacuum tube, used up to this time in almost all the computers and calculating machines, had been invented by American physicist Lee De Forest in 1906. The vacuum tube, which is about the size of a human thumb, worked by using large amounts of electricity to heat a filament inside the tube until it was cherry red. One result of heating this filament up was the release of electrons into the tube, which could be controlled by other elements within the tube. De Forest's original device was a triode, which could control the flow of electrons to a positively charged plate inside the tube. A zero could then be represented by the absence of an electron current to the plate; the presence of a small but detectable current to the plate represented a one. Vacuum tubes were highly inefficient, required a great deal of space, and needed to be replaced often. Computers of the 1940s and 50s had 18,000 tubes in them and housing all these tubes and cooling the rooms from the heat produced by 18,000 tubes was not cheap. The transistor promised to solve all of these problems and it did so. Transistors, however, had their problems too. The main problem was that transistors, like other electronic components, needed to be soldered together. As a result, the more complex the circuits became, the more complicated and numerous the connections between the individual transistors and the likelihood of faulty wiring increased. In 1958, this problem too was solved by Jack St. Clair Kilby of Texas Instruments. He manufactured the first integrated circuit or chip. A chip is really a collection of tiny transistors which are connected together when the transistor is manufactured. Thus, the need for soldering together large numbers of transistors was practically nullified; now only connections were needed to other electronic components. In addition to saving space, the speed of the machine was now increased since there was a diminished distance that the electrons had to follow. Mainframes to PCs The 1960s saw large mainframe computers become much more common in large industries and with the US military and space program. IBM became the unquestioned market leader in selling these large, expensive, error-prone, and very hard to use machines.

A veritable explosion of personal computers occurred in the early 1970s, starting with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak exhibiting the first Apple II at the First West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco. The Apple II boasted built-in BASIC programming language, color graphics, and a 4100 character memory for only $1298. Programs and data could be stored on an everyday audio-cassette recorder. Before the end of the fair, Wozniak and Jobs had secured 300 orders for the Apple II and from there Apple just took off. Also introduced in 1977 was the TRS-80. This was a home computer manufactured by Tandy Radio Shack. In its second incarnation, the TRS-80 Model II, came complete with a 64,000 character memory and a disk drive to store programs and data on. At this time, only Apple and TRS had machines with disk drives. With the introduction of the disk drive, personal computer applications took off as a floppy disk was a most convenient publishing medium for distribution of software. IBM, which up to this time had been producing mainframes and minicomputers for medium to large-sized businesses, decided that it had to get into the act and started working on the Acorn, which would later be called the IBM PC. The PC was the first computer designed for the home market which would feature modular design so that pieces could easily be added to the architecture. Most of the components, surprisingly, came from outside of IBM, since building it with IBM parts would have cost too much for the home computer market. When it was introduced, the PC came with a 16,000 character memory, keyboard from an IBM electric typewriter, and a connection for tape cassette player for $1265. By 1984, Apple and IBM had come out with new models. Apple released the first generation Macintosh, which was the first computer to come with a graphical user interface(GUI) and a mouse. The GUI made the machine much more attractive to home computer users because it was easy to use. Sales of the Macintosh soared like nothing ever seen before. IBM was hot on Apple's tail and released the 286-AT, which with applications like Lotus 1-2-3, a spreadsheet, and Microsoft Word, quickly became the favourite of business concerns. That brings us up to about ten years ago. Now people have their own personal graphics workstations and powerful home computers. The average computer a person might have in their home is more powerful by several orders of magnitude than a machine like ENIAC. The computer revolution has been the fastest growing technology in man's history.


First Generation - 1940-1956: Vacuum Tubes The first computers used vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory, and were often enormous, taking up entire rooms. A magnetic drum, also referred to as drum, is a metal cylinder coated with magnetic iron-oxide material on which data and programs can be stored. Magnetic drums were once use das a primary storage device but have since been implemented as auxiliary storage devices. The tracks on a magnetic drum are assigned to channels located around the circumference of the drum, forming adjacent circular bands that wind around the drum. A single drum can have up to 200 tracks. As the drum rotates at a speed of up to 3,000 rpm, the device's read/write heads deposit magnetized spots on the drum during the write operation and sense these spots during a read operation. This action is similar to that of a magnetic tape or disk drive. They were very expensive to operate and in addition to using a great deal of electricity, generated a lot of heat, which was often the cause of malfunctions. First generation computers relied on machine language to perform operations, and they could only solve one problem at a time. Machine languages are the only languages understood by computers. While easily understood by computers, machine languages are almost impossible for humans to use because they consist entirely of numbers. Computer Programmers, therefore, use either high level programming languages or an assembly language programming. An assembly language contains the same instructions as a machine language, but the instructions and variables have names instead of being just numbers. Programs written in high level programming languages retranslated into assembly language or machine language by a compiler. Assembly language program retranslated into machine language by a program called an assembler (assembly language compiler).Every CPU has its own unique machine language. Programs must be rewritten or recompiled, therefore, to run on different types of computers. Input was based on punch card and paper tapes, and output was displayed on printouts. The UNIVAC and ENIAC computers are examples of firstgeneration computing devices. The UNIVAC was the first commercial computer delivered to a business client, the U.S. Census Bureau in 1951.

Acronym for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer, the world's first operational electronic digital computer, developed by Army Ordnance to compute World War II ballistic firing tables. The ENIAC, weighing 30 tons, using 200 kilowatts of electric power and consisting of 18,000 vacuum tubes,1,500 relays, and hundreds of thousands of resistors, capacitors, and inductors, was completed in 1945. In addition to ballistics, the ENIAC's field of application included weather prediction, atomic-energy calculations, cosmic-ray studies, thermal ignition, random-number studies, wind-tunnel design, and other scientific uses. The ENIAC soon became obsolete as the need arose for faster computing speeds.

Second Generation - 1956-1963: Transistors Transistors replaced vacuum tubes and ushered in the second generation computer. Transistor is a device composed of semiconductor material that amplifies a signal or opens or closes a circuit. Invented in 1947 at Bell Labs, transistors have become the key ingredient of all digital circuits, including computers. Today's latest microprocessor contains tens of millions of microscopic transistors. Prior to the invention of transistors, digital circuits were composed of vacuum tubes, which had many disadvantages. They were much larger, required more energy, dissipated more heat, and were more prone to failures. It's safe to say that without the invention of transistors, computing as we know it today would not be possible. The transistor was invented in 1947 but did not see widespread use in computers until the late 50s. The transistor was far superior to the vacuum tube, allowing computers to become smaller, faster, cheaper, more energy-efficient and more reliable than their first-generation predecessors. Though the transistor still generated a great deal of heat that subjected the computer to damage, it was a vast improvement over the vacuum tube. Second-generation computers still relied on punched cards for input and printouts for output. Second-generation computers moved from cryptic binary machine language to symbolic, or assembly, languages, which allowed programmers to specify instructions in words. High-level programming languages were also being developed at this time, such as early versions of COBOL and FORTRAN. These were also the first computers that stored their instructions in their memory, which moved from a magnetic drum to magnetic core technology. The first computers of this generation were developed for the atomic energy industry.

Third Generation - 1964-1971: Integrated Circuits The development of the integrated circuit was the hallmark of the third generation of computers. Transistors were miniaturized and placed on silicon chips, called semiconductors, which drastically increased the speed and efficiency of computers. A nonmetallic chemical element in the carbon family of elements. Silicon - atomic symbol "Si" - is the second most abundant element in the earth's crust, surpassed only by oxygen. Silicon does not occur uncombined in nature. Sand and almost all rocks contain silicon combined with oxygen, forming silica. When silicon combines with other elements, such as iron, aluminum or potassium, a silicate is formed. Compounds of silicon also occur in the atmosphere, natural waters, and many plants and in the bodies of some animals. Silicon is the basic material used to make computer chips, transistors, silicon diodes and other electronic circuits and switching devices because its atomic structure makes the element an ideal semiconductor. Silicon is commonly doped, or mixed, with other elements, such as boron, phosphorous and arsenic, to alter its conductive properties. A chip is a small piece of semi conducting material(usually silicon) on which an integrated circuit is embedded. A typical chip is less than ¼-square inches and can contain millions of electronic components (transistors). Computers consist of many chips placed on electronic boards called printed circuit boards. There are different types of chips. For example, CPU chips (also called microprocessors) contain an entire processing unit, whereas memory chips contain blank memory. Semiconductor is a material that is neither a good conductor of electricity (like copper) nor a good insulator (like rubber). The most common semiconductor materials are silicon and germanium. These materials are then doped to create an excess or lack of electrons. Computer chips, both for CPU and memory, are composed of semiconductor materials. Semiconductors make it possible to miniaturize electronic components, such as transistors. Not only does miniaturization mean that the components take up less space, it also means that they are faster and require less energy. Instead of punched cards and printouts, users interacted with third generation computers through keyboards and monitors and interfaced with an operating system, which allowed the device to run many different applications at one time with a central program that

monitored the memory. Computers for the first time became accessible to a mass audience because they were smaller and cheaper than their predecessors.

Fourth Generation - 1971-Present: Microprocessors The microprocessor brought the fourth generation of computers, as thousands of integrated circuits we rebuilt onto a single silicon chip. A silicon chip that contains a CPU. In the world of personal computers, the terms microprocessor and CPU are used interchangeably. At the heart of all personal computers and most workstations sits a microprocessor. Microprocessors also control the logic of almost all digital devices, from clock radios to fuel-injection systems for automobiles. Three basic characteristics differentiate microprocessors:
• • •

Instruction Set: The set of instructions that the microprocessor can execute. Bandwidth: The number of bits processed in a single instruction. Clock Speed: Given in megahertz (MHz), the clock speed determines how many instructions per second the processor can execute.

In both cases, the higher the value, the more powerful the CPU. For example, a 32-bit microprocessor that runs at 50MHz are more powerful than a 16-bitmicroprocessor that runs at 25MHz.What in the first generation filled an entire room could now fit in the palm of the hand. The Intel 4004chip, developed in 1971, located all the components of the computer - from the central processing unit and memory to input/output controls - on a single chip. Abbreviation of central processing unit, and pronounced as separate letters. The CPU is the brains of the computer. Sometimes referred to simply as the processor or central processor, the CPU is where most calculations take place. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system. On large machines, CPUs require one or more printed circuit boards. On personal computers and small workstations, the CPU is housed in a single chip called a microprocessor. Two typical components of a CPU are:

• •

The arithmetic logic unit (ALU), which performs arithmetic and logical operations. The control unit, which extracts instructions from memory and decodes and executes them, calling on the ALU when necessary.

In 1981 IBM introduced its first computer for the home user, and in 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh. Microprocessors also moved out of the realm of desktop computers and into many areas of life as more and more everyday products began to use microprocessors. As these small computers became more powerful, they could be linked together to form networks, which eventually led to the development of the Internet. Fourth generation computers also saw the development of GUI's, the mouse and handheld devices

Fifth Generation - Present and Beyond: Artificial Intelligence Fifth generation computing devices, based on artificial intelligence, are still in development, though there are some applications, such as voice recognition, that are being used today. Artificial Intelligence is the branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans. The term was coined in 1956 by John McCarthy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Artificial intelligence includes:

Games Playing: programming computers to play games such as chess and checkers Expert Systems: programming computers to make decisions in real-life situations (for example, some expert systems help doctors diagnose diseases based on symptoms)

Natural Language: programming computers to understand natural human languages Neural Networks: Systems that simulate intelligence by attempting to reproduce the types of physical connections that occur in animal brains Robotics: programming computers to see and hear and react to other sensory stimuli

Currently, no computers exhibit full artificial intelligence (that is, are able to simulate human behavior). The greatest advances have occurred in the field of games playing. The best computer chess programs are now capable of beating humans. In May,1997, an IBM super-computer called Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Gary Kasparov in a chess match. In the area of robotics, computers are now widely used in assembly plants, but they are capable only of very limited tasks. Robots have great difficulty identifying objects based on appearance or feel, and they still move and handle objects clumsily. Natural-language processing offers the greatest potential rewards because it would allow people to interact with computers without needing any specialized knowledge. You could simply walk up to a computer and talk to it. Unfortunately, programming computers to understand natural languages has proved to be more difficult than originally thought. Some rudimentary translation systems that translate from one human language to another are in existence, but they are not nearly as good as human translators. There are also voice recognition systems that can convert spoken sounds into written words, but they do not understand what they are writing; they simply take dictation. Even these systems are quite limited -- you must speak slowly and distinctly. In the early 1980s, expert systems were believed to represent the future of artificial intelligence and of computers in general. To date, however, they have not lived up to expectations. Many expert systems help human experts in such fields as medicine and engineering, but they are very expensive to produce and are helpful only in special situations. Today, the hottest area of artificial intelligence is neural networks, which are proving successful in an umber of disciplines such as voice recognition and natural-language processing. There are several programming languages that are known as AI languages because they are used almost exclusively for AI applications. The two most common are LISP and Prolog.

USES OF COMPUTER A computer - is an electronic device, which executes software programs. It is made up of two parts - hardware and software. The computer processes input through input devices like mouse and keyboard. The computer displays output through output devices like a monitor and printer. The size of a computer varies considerably from small personal computers to gigantic supercomputers which require an entire building to host them. The

speed also has a very large range. Computers have become indispensable in today's world. Let us take a look at some of their uses.

• •

• • • • • • • • •

Word Processing - Word Processing software automatically corrects spelling and grammar mistakes. If the content of a document repeats, you don't have to type it each time. You can use the copy and paste features. You can print documents and make several copies. It is easier to read a word-processed document than a handwritten one. You can add images to your document. Internet - It is a network of almost all the computers in the world. You can browse through much more information than you could do in a library. That is because computers can store enormous amounts of information. You also have very fast and convenient access to information. Through E-Mail, you can communicate with a person sitting thousands of miles away in a few seconds. Chat software enables one to chat with another on a real-time basis. Video conferencing tools are becoming readily available to the common man. Digital video or audio composition - Audio or video composition and editing have been made much easier by computers. It no longer costs thousands of dollars of equipment to compose music or make a film. Graphics engineers can use computers to generate short or full-length films or even to create 3D models. Anybody owning a computer can now enter the field of media production. Special effects in science-fiction and action movies are created using computers. Desktop publishing - With desktop publishing, you can create page layouts for entire books on your personal computer. Medicine - You can diagnose diseases. You can learn the cures. Software is used in magnetic resonance imaging to examine the internal organs of the human body. Software is used for performing surgery. Computers are used to store patient data. Mathematical Calculations - Thanks to computers, which have computing speeds of over a million calculations per second we can perform the biggest of mathematical calculations. Banks - All financial transactions are done by computer software. They provide security, speed and convenience. Travel - One can book air tickets or railway tickets and make hotel reservations online. Telecommunications - Software is widely used here. Also all mobile phones have software embedded in them. Defense - There is software embedded in almost every weapon. Software is used for controlling the flight and targeting in ballistic missiles. Software is used to control access to atomic bombs. E-Learning - Instead of a book it is easier to learn from E-learning software. Gambling - You can gamble online instead of going to a casino. Examinations - You can give online exams and get instant results. You can check your examination results online. Business - Shops and supermarkets use software, which calculate the bills. Taxes can be calculated and paid online. Accounting is done using computers. One can predict future trends of business using artificial intelligence software. Software is used in major stock markets. One can do trading online. There are fully automated factories running on software. Certificates - Different types of certificates can be generated. It is very easy to create and change layouts.

• • • • • • • • • • • •

ATM machines - The computer software authenticate the user and dispense cash. Marriage - There are matrimonial sites through which one can search for a suitable groom or bride. News - There are many websites through which you can read the latest or old news. Classmates - There are many alumni websites through which you can regain contact with your classmates. Robotics - Robots are controlled by software. Electronic gadgets run with the help of computers. There are various software which are used to increase the efficiency of these devices. Timers, self-controlled switches - these ensure that the machines ask for minimum human effort. Planning and Scheduling - Software can be used to store contact information, generating plans, scheduling appointments and deadlines. Plagiarism - Software can examine content for plagiarism. Greeting Cards - You can send and receive greetings pertaining to different occasions. Sports - Software is used for making umpiring decisions. There is simulation software using which a sportsperson can practice his skills. Computers are also to identify flaws in technique. Airplanes - Pilots train on software, which simulates flying. Weather analysis - Supercomputers are used to analyze and predict weather. PARTS OF COMPUTER

Computers are made up of many parts. These different parts perform one or more functions including input, output, processing, or storage. OUTPUT DEVICES Output devices send information from your computer to you. This information is usually in the form of sound and sight, but some devices can send information as touch and even as smell. Some common output devices are monitors, printers, and speakers. A monitor – is an electronic for computers. The monitor comprises the display device, circuitry, and an enclosure. The display device in modern monitors is typically a thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) thin panel, while older monitors use a cathode ray tube about as deep as the screen size. Printer is a peripheral which produces a text or graphics of documents stored in electronic form, usually on physical print media such as paper or transparencies. Many printers are primarily used as local peripherals, and are attached by a printer cable or, in most new printers, a USB cable to a computer which serves as a document source. Speakers are one of the most common devices used with computer systems. Some speakers are designed to work specifically with computers, while others can be hooked up to any type of sound system. Regardless of their design, the purpose of speakers is to produce audio output that can be heard by the listener.

INPUT DEVICES Input devices are the parts that let you enter and manipulate information on a computer. These devices range from the standard keyboard and mouse, to scanners, microphones, joysticks, and light pens. Microphone It is quite easy to convert the spoken word to a digital signal for computer input. The microphone converts audio signals to electrical waves and these can be converted by electronic circuitry in the computer to digital from. What is difficult is the recognition by the computer, of the signal, so that it can be handle it in the same way as if it had been typed. Highly sophisticated speech-recognition software is required to be able to match the sound uttered by the user with a vocabulary of sound signals stored in the computer and to display the words on the screen as though they had been entered at the keyboard. A joystick is an input device commonly used to control video games. Joysticks consist of a base and a stick that can be moved in any direction. The stick can be moved slowly or quickly and in different amounts. Some joysticks have sticks that can also be rotated to the left or right. Because of the flexible movements a joystick allows, it can provide much greater control than the keys on a keyboard. Light pens - provide a very precise pointing capability directly on the screen. There are some devices that can input and output. Some examples would touch screen monitors (input by touch, output by sight) and force feedback joysticks. ON THE INSIDE The inside of your computer has many parts that all work together. These parts are generally found within your computer case - this is usually the big "box" that probably sits under your desk or below your monitor. If you're using an iMac, many of the computer parts are built into the monitor case. The motherboard [shown at right], or main board, is the backbone of the computer. All the individual pieces connect to the motherboard in some way. The motherboard is home the processor chip, pci slots, and memory. Processor - This is the chip that does the "thinking" of the computer. These are the "Pentium" and "AMD" chips you hear about. Processor speed is measured in Megahertz (MHz) and Gigahertz (GHz). 1 GHz = 1000 MHz Memory - This is where information is temporarily stored for the processor to use and manipulate before storing on the HARD DRIVE. Also known as RAM (Random access memory). Information is stored in memory only when the computer is turned on. Ram is measured in Megabytes (Mb), which is storage capacity, not to be confused with Megahertz, which is speed.

PCI Slot - These are outlets in the motherboard that allow you to install extra components like sound cards, modems, video cards, and other devices. The images below show different PCI card components. Hard Drive - This is the part of your computer where information is stored for later retrieval. All the information you access on your computer, all your documents, pictures, email messages, and programs are here. Unlike memory, the hard drive stores information even after the power is turned off. The image to the right shows the inside of a hard drive. Floppy Drive - This is the slot in the front of your computer where you insert a disk to store data and move it to another computer. If your computer is an iMac, you will not have a Floppy Drive. Floppy disks are 3¼ inches in size, and hold 1.44Mb of data. The images below show a floppy drive, and some floppy disks. CD ROM or DVD ROM Drives - This plays your music and data cd's, or if you have a DVD drive, it will also play DVD movies. Data CD's hold up to 700Mb of information. If you have a CD-R or CD-RW drive, you can store your own information on CDs.

Republic of the Philippines Eulogio”Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology Nagtahan, Sampaloc, Manila

College of Industrial Technology


Glenn I. Estipular BSIT-1G

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful