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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only 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 1800's, 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 ...

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of a large automatic 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 ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 12/29/2007 09:43:50 AM
Category: Computers
Type: Free Paper
Words: 2612
Pages: 10

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