Back in ancient times people used to use there fingers to count. Ten
became the basis of number systems for everybody because of 10
fingers and 10 toes. When they ran out of fingers and toes to count on
they used stones and scratches in trees to store and record information.
Later somebody invented the abacus. The abacus is still in use today in
many Asian countries. Some people that use the abacus are as fast as a
human now using a calculator. They used the abacus to keep track of
totals and as a way to store numbers and not have to remember them.
In the 1600’s John Napier who was a great mathematician invented a
new way to count. Away that was a bit better then the abacus. The
thing that he invented was called Napier’s Bones. He also invented
calculator rods. His machine that he invented could multiply. When
you move rods a person could multiply two large numbers in a way. It
really only helped assist the people that use it.
Also in the 1600’s Blaise Pascal was a mathematician. He invented
a shoe box size machine. His shoe box size machine could add quickly
and replaced Napier’s Bones. His device was mechanically geared. It
was the first computer of modern times.
Libenz the mathematician invented the Stepped Reconer. The
Stepped Reconer was a very clever machine at the time because it could
multiply and divide as well as it could add and subtract large numbers.
This device was great at it’s time.
In the 1800’s Joseph Jacquard invented a loom type of machine that
used punch cards to store information. A punch card was kind of like a
modern day disk. His loom could repeat patterns with different cloths.
It was like a computer run Loom.
The first calculating machine was invented by Charles Babbage. His
machine was the very first modern computer. His computer used the
binary number system to calculate. The binary number system is made
up of one’s and zero’s. There are eight one’s and zero’s for every byte
one thousand bytes for a kilobyte and one thousand kilobits for a
megabyte and so on. His computer that he invented was called the
Analytical Engine. He didn’t have enough money to complete his
computer when he started building it so Ada Augusta Lovelace helped
fund Charles Babbage.
In the 1800’s the United States of America was looking for a new
way to do a census. As soon as they were done with one it was time for
the next census. The machine they needed was a Tabulating Machine
invented by Herman Hollerith. Herman Hollerith used his punch card
machine and worked for the United States army.
In the 1900’s Howard Aiken built the first electromagnetic computer.
He called this computer the Mark One. The Mark One used punch
cards that stored and relayed information. He built his computer for
IBM in 1944.
In 1946 an all digital computer was built by J. Presper Eckert. His
computer that he built called the Eniac weighted over 30 tons and took
up a whole gymnasium. The Eniac used vacuum tubes that got hot and
burn’t out and had to be replaced. In 1951 the Univac was made. The
Univac was even bigger and larger than the Eniac. The Univac was
built and sold. IBM became the first commercial company to build and
In the 1950’s and better way for making computers was invented.
They used transistors that replaced vacuum tubes that got hot,
transistors didn’t get hot. The transistors were more reliable than
vacuum tubes and didn’t bun out like tubes. Because of transistors
computes became smaller.
In the 1960’s integrated circuits soon replaced transistors like
transistors replaced vacuum tubes. The integrated circuits were faster
and more reliable. The integrated circuits were so small that computers
could now fit on a desktop size area. Mass production of the chip
started to lower size and cost.
In the 1970’s integrated chips became outdated and a new faster chip
that was much smaller and much smaller was invented. The new chips
are like modern day chips but not as fast. The new chip was less
expensive than older models and performed ten million calculations per
Over the years computers have progressed very slow at first and now
computer technology is going to fast to keep up with.