History Of Computer

The 'Computer' as we know it today had its beginning in19th century. British mathematician professor Charles Babbage is called the Father of Computer because he originated the concept of a programmable computer, he conceptualized and invented the first mechanical computer in the early 19th century. He invented an engine called difference engine in 1822. He designed the Analytical Engine and it was this design that the basic framework of the computers. All Computers in this century are based on that technology. Generally speaking, computers can be classified into five generations. Each generation has witnessed several technological advances which change the functionality of the computers. This results in more compact, powerful, robust systems which are less expensive. The brief history of computers is discussed below −

There are more technological tools invented by people's in early Centuries.

The first counting device was invented and used by the primitive people. They used sticks, stones and bones as counting tools. As human mind and technology improved with time more computing devices were developed. Some of the popular computing devices are described below.

1. Abacus - 

The history of computer begins with the birth of abacus which is believed to be the first computer. It is said that Chinese invented Abacus around 3300 years ago, in 1300 B.C. Abacus was a wooden frame which has metallic rods with beads mounted on them. The beads were moved by the abacus operator according to some rules to perform arithmetic (counting) calculations. Abacus is still used in some countries like China, Russia and Japan.

2. Napier's bones -

it was a manually-operated calculating device which was invented by John Napier. In this calculating tool, he used 9 different ivory strips or bones marked with numbers to multiply and divide. So, the tool became known as "Napier's Bones. It was also the first machine to use the decimal point.

3. Pascaline - 

Pascaline is also known as Arithmetic Machine or Adding Machine. It was invented between 1642 and 1645 by a French mathematician & philosopher 'Blaise Pascal'. It is believed that it was the first mechanical and automatic calculator. It was a wooden box with a series of gears and wheels. When a wheel is rotated one revolution, it rotates the neighboring wheel. A series of windows is given on the top of the wheels to read the totals.

4. Difference Engine - 

In the early 1822s, it was designed by Charles Babbage who is known as "Father of Modern Computer". It was a mechanical computer which could perform simple calculations. It was a steam driven calculating machine designed to solve tables of numbers like logarithm tables. Most mathematical functions commonly used by engineers, scientists and navigators, including logarithmic and trigonometric functions, can be approximated by polynomials, so a difference engine can compute many useful tables of numbers.

5. Analytical engine - 

This calculating machine was also developed by Charles Babbage in 1837. It was a mechanical computer that used punch-cards as input. It was capable of solving any mathematical problem and storing information as a permanent memory. This is first engine which can take input from user and give the output automatically. The Analytical Engine incorporated an arithmetic logic unit, control flow in the form of conditional branching and loops, and integrated memory, making it the first design for a general-purpose computer. Analytical engine is the most successful achievement of Charles Babbage.

6. Tabulating machine - 

It was invented by Herman Hollerith in 1890. It was a mechanical tabulator based on punch cards. It could tabulate statistics and record or sort data or information. This machine was used to help process data for 1890 U.S. Census. Hollerith also started the Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company which later became International Business Machine (IBM) in 1924.

7. Differential analyzer - 

It was the first electronic analog computer introduced in the United States in 1930. It was an analog device invented by Vannevar Bush. This machine is designed to solve differential equations by integration, using wheel-and-disc mechanisms to perform the integration. It was one of the first advanced computing devices to be used operationally. It could do 25 calculation in few minutes.

8. Mark 1 - 

The next major changes in the history of computer began in 1937. In 1944, Mark I computer was built as a partnership between IBM and Harvard. 

9. ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) - 

it was the first programmable, electronic, general-purpose digital Computer. ENIAC was completed in 1945 and first put to work for practical purposes on December 10, 1945. ENIAC was designed by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert of the University of Pennsylvania, U.S.

There are five Generations in Computer from 1940 to Till Now:

1. First Generation (1940-1956)

2. Second generation (1956-1963)

3. Third generation(1963-1973)

4. Fourth generation(1973- 1986)

5. Fifth generation(1986 - Till Now)

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