History Of The Computer Industry In America



Only once in a lifetime will a new invention come about to touch
every aspect of our lives. Such a device that changes the way we work,
live, and play is a special one, indeed. A machine that has done all this
and more now exists in nearly every business in the U.S. and one out of
every two households (Hall, 156). This incredible invention is the
computer. The electronic computer has been around for over a half-century,
but its ancestors have been around for 2000 years. However, only in the
last 40 years has it changed the American society. From the first wooden
abacus to the latest high-speed microprocessor, the computer has changed
nearly every aspect of people's lives for the ...

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add numbers and they
had to be entered by turning dials. It was designed to help Pascal's
father who was a tax collector (Soma, 32).

In the early 1800Os, a mathematics professor named Charles Babbage
designed an automatic calculation machine. It was steam powered and could
store up to 1000 50-digit numbers. Built in to his machine were operations
that included everything a modern general-purpose computer would need. It
was programmed by--and stored data on--cards with holes punched in them,
appropriately called "punch cards". His inventions were failures for the
most part because of the lack of precision machining techniques used at
the time and the lack of demand for such a device (Soma, 46).After
Babbage, people began to lose interest in computers. However, between 1850
and 1900 there were great advances! in mathematics and physics that began
to rekindle the interest (Osborne, 45).

Many of these new advances involved complex calculations and
formulas that were very time ...

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digital
computer based on standard IBM electromechanical parts. Aiken's machine,
called the Harvard Mark I, handled 23-digit numbers and could perform all
four arithmetic operations. Also, it had special built-in programs to
handled logarithms and trigonometric functions. The Mark I was controlled
from prepunched paper tape. Output was by card punch and electric
typewriter. It was slow, requiring 3 to 5 seconds for a multiplication,
but it was fully automatic and could complete long computations without
human intervention (Chposky, 103).

The outbreak of World War II produced a desperate need for
computing capability, especially for the military. New weapons systems
were produced ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/19/2005 02:03:16 PM
Category: Computers
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2446
Pages: 9

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