Brief History of Computer - Essay Example

The first use of the word “computer” was recorded in 1613, referring to a person who carried out ululations, or computations, and the word continued with the same meaning until the middle of the 20th century. From the end of the 19th century the word began to take on its more familiar meaning, a machine that carries out computations. Mid-sass-sass: Early Mechanical Computers The first computers were designed by Charles Babbage In the mid-sass, and are sometimes collectively known as the Babbage Engines. These include the Difference Engine No. 1, the Analytical Engine, and the Difference Engine No. 2. The Difference Engine was constructed from designs by Charles Babbage. ) 1 sass: Electro- Mechanical Computers Electro-mechanical computers generally worked with relays and/or vacuum tubes, which could be used as switches. Some electro-mechanical computers-?such as the Differential Analyzer built in 1930-?used purely mechanical internals but employed electric motors to power them. Sass: Electronic Computers Colossus-?whose name was fitting for its size-?was developed during World War II. The first electronic computers were developed during the World War II, with the earliest of those being the Colossus.

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The Colossus was developed to decrypt secret German codes during the war. It used vacuum tubes and paper tape and could perform a number of Boolean (e. G. True/false, yes/no) logical operations. Regarded as the first general purpose electronic computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (MANIAC) was initially commissioned for the use in World War II, but not completed until one year after the war had ended . Installed at the University of Pennsylvania, its 40 separate eight-foot-high racks and 18,000 tubes were intended to help calculate ballistic trajectories.

SAGE, 1954 A gigantic computerized air defense system, SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) was designed to help the Air Force track radar data in real time. Equipped with technical advances such as modems and graphical displays, the machine weighed 300 tons and occupied one floor of a concrete blockhouse. NCAA 2203, 1960 Manufactured by the Nippon Electric Company (NECK), the drum-based machine was one of the earliest transistorized Japanese computers. It was used for business, scientific and engineering applications.

IBM system,’360, 1964 Part of a family of interchangeable computers, the IBM System/360 mainframe was the first to cover a complete range of applications, from small to large, from immemorial to scientific. Users were able to enlarge or shrink their setup without having to make headache-inducing software upgrades as well. Higher-end System/ 360 models had roles in Anna’s Apollo missions as well as air traffic control systems. CDC 6600, 1964 For a time the fastest machine in the world, Control Data Corporation’s 6600 machine was designed by noted computer architect Seymour Cray.

It retained its speed crown until 1969, when Cray designed his next supercomputer. DECK PDP-8, 1965 The first successful commercial minicomputer, the PDP-8, made by the Digital Equipment Corporation, sold more than 50,000 units upon its release, the most of any computer up to that time. Years before Apple and Gnu/Linux offered alternatives to the dominant IBM/Microsoft paradigms, DECK proposed its own vision, by encouraging users to educate themselves and take part in the evolution of the line. Interface Message Processor, 1969 Conceived at the height of the Cold War, when the U. S. Overspent sought a way to keep its network of computers alive in case certain nodes were destroyed in a nuclear attack or other hostile act, the IMP featured the first generation of gateways, which are today known as routers. As such, IMP performed a critical task in the development of the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), the world’s first operational packet switching network, and the predecessor of the sass: Personal Computers The first personal computers were built in the early sass. Most of these were limited-production runs, and worked based on small-scale integrated circuits and multi-chip JPL’s.

The Commodore PET was a personal computer in the ass. The Altair 8800 was the first popular computer using a single-chip microprocessor. Keenan-l, 1971 Often considered the world’s first “personal computer” the Keenan was touted as an easy-to-use educational tool, but it failed to sell more than several dozen units. Lacking a microprocessor, it had only 256 bytes of computing power and its only output was a series of blinking lights. Cray-l, 1976 At the time of its release, the Cray-I , above, was the fastest computing machine at the world. Despite its price tag -? between $5 and $10 million -? it sold well.

It is one of the many machines designed by Seymour Cray, a computer architect who devoted his fife to the creation of so-called supercomputers, machines which prioritize processing capacity and speed of calculation. Apple l, 1976 Initially conceived by Steve Waking (a. K. A. “Wok”) as a build-it-yourself kit computer, Apple I was initially rejected by his bosses at Hewlett-Packard. Undeterred, he offered it to Silicon Valley’s Homebred Computer Club and, together with his friend Steve Jobs, managed to sell 50 pre-built models to The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California. The suggested retail price: $666.

Though sales were low, the machine paved the way for the smash success of the Apple II. IBM Personal Computer, 1981 Featuring an independent keyboard, printer and monitor, the slick, complete-looking package that was the IBM PC helped push personal computing out of the hobbyist’s garage and into the corporate and consumer mainstream. Its immense commercial success made it the hallmark of personal computing for many years and led other manufacturers to produce similar desktop models. Osborne 1 Portable Computer, 1981 The first commercial portable computer, the Osborne weighed 24 lbs. ND cost less than $2,000. It gained popularity because of its low price and the extensive software Barry that came with it. The first laptop with a flip form factor, was produced in 1982, but the first portable computer that was actually marketed as a “laptop” was the Gavin SC in 1983. Hewlett-Packard 150, 1983 Representing the first step in a technology widely available today, the HP 1 50 was the computer screen was surrounded by infrared transmitters and receivers that detected the position of the user’s finger. Laptops grew in popularity as they became smaller and lighter.

By 1988, displays had reached VGA resolution, and by 1993 they had 256-color screens. From there, solutions and colors progressed quickly. Other hardware features added during the sass and early sass included high-capacity hard drives and optical drives. sass: The Rise of Mobile Computing Mobile computing is one of the most recent major milestones in the history of computers. Many Semaphore’s today have higher processor speeds and more memory than desktop PC’s had even ten years ago. Late sass: Notebook Another recent progression in computing history is the development of notebook computers.