The History And Development Of Computers



For better or worse, computers have filtered every aspect of our society. Today computers do much more than simply compute. has come a long way. To fully understand and appreciate the impact computers have on our lives and promises they hold for the future, it is important to understand their evolution.
The abacus, which emerged about 5,000 years ago in Asia Minor, may be considered the first computer. This device lets users to make computations using a system of sliding beads arranged on a rack. But as the use of paper and pencil spread, the abacus lost its importance. It took nearly 12 centuries, however, for the next significant advance in computing devices to emerge. In 1642, an 18 ...

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the Pascaline by creating a machine that could also multiply. Leibniz's mechanical multiplier worked by a system of gears and dials. By studying Pascal's original notes and drawings, Leibniz was able to refine his machine. It wasn't until 1820 that mechanical calculators gained widespread use. Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar, a Frenchman, invented a machine that could perform the four basic arithmetic functions. Colmar's mechanical calculator, the arithometer, presented a more practical approach to computing because it could add, subtract, multiply and divide. Although later inventors refined Colmar's calculator, he helped define the age of mechanical computation.
The real beginnings of computers as we know them today, lay with an English mathematics professor, Charles Babbage. By 1812, Babbage noticed a natural compatibility between machines and mathematics: machines were best at performing tasks repeatedly without mistake; while mathematics, often required the simple ...

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U.S. census. Unlike Babbage's idea of using perforated cards to instruct the machine, Hollerith's method used cards to store data information which he fed into a machine that compiled the results mechanically. Instead of ten years, census takers compiled their results in just six weeks with Hollerith's machine. In addition to their speed, the punch cards served as a storage method for data and they helped reduce errors. Hollerith brought his punch card reader into the business world, founding Tabulating Machine Company in 1896, later to become International Business Machines (IBM) in 1924. Both business and government used punch cards for data processing until the 1960's.
In the ...

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Added: 4/13/2004 01:14:54 PM
Category: Computers
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1942
Pages: 8

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