The Invention Of The Computer


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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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 punchcards. 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 consuming for human ...

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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 handle logarithms and trigonometric functions. The Mark I was controlled from prepunched paper tape. Output was by cardpunch 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 which needed ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 7/16/2008 07:07:40 PM
Category: Computers
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2440
Pages: 9

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