A computer is a machine that can be programmed to manipulate symbols. Its principal characteristics are:
It responds to a specific set of instructions in a well-defined manner.
It can execute a prerecorded list of instructions (a program).
It can quickly store and retrieve large amounts of data.
Therefore computers can perform complex and repetitive procedures quickly, precisely and reliably. Modern computers are electronic and digital. The actual machinery (wires, transistors, and circuits) is called hardware; the instructions and data are called software COMPUTER HISTORY
The word "computer" was first recorded as being used in 1613 and was originally was used to describe a person who performed calculations or computations. The definition of a computer remained the same until the end of the 19th century when it began referring to a machine that performed calculations. In 1822, Charles Babbage purposed and began developing the Difference Engine, considered to be the first automatic computing engine that was capable of computing several sets of numbers and making hard copies of the results. Unfortunately, because of funding he was never able to complete a full-scale functional version of this machine. In June of 1991, the London Science Museum completed the Difference Engine No 2 for the bicentennial year of Babbage's birth and later completed the printing mechanism in 2000. Later, in 1837 Charles Babbage proposed the first general mechanical computer, the Analytical Engine. The Analytical Engine contained an Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU), basic flow control, and integrated memory and is the first general-purpose computer concept. Unfortunately, because of funding issues this computer was also never built while Charles Babbage's was alive. In 1910, Henry Babbage, Charles Babbage's youngest son was able to complete a portion of this machine and was able to perform basic calculations. The first computer company
The first computer company was the Electronic Controls Company and was founded in 1949 by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, the same individuals who helped create the ENIAC computer. The company was later renamed to EMCC or Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation and released a series of mainframe computers under the UNIVAC name. First stored program computer
First delivered to the United States Government in 1950, the UNIVAC 1101 or ERA 1101 is considered to be the first computer that was capable of storing and running a program from memory. First commercial computer
In 1942, Konrad Zuse begin working on the Z4, which later became the first commercial computer after being sold to Eduard Stiefel a mathematician of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich on July 12, 1950. The first PC (IBM compatible) computer
On April 7, 1953 IBM publicly introduced the 701, its first electric computer and first mass produced computer. Later IBM introduced its first personal computer called the IBM PC in 1981. The computer was code named and still sometimes referred to as the Acorn and had a 8088 processor, 16 KB of memory, which was expandable to 256 and utilizing MS-DOS. The first computer with RAM
MIT introduces the Whirlwind machine on March 8, 1955, a revolutionary computer that was the first digital computer with magnetic core RAM and real-time graphics. The first transistor computer
The TX-O (Transistorized Experimental computer) is the first transistorized computer to be demonstrated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1956. The first minicomputer
In 1960, Digital Equipment Corporation released its first of many PDP computers the PDP-1. The first mass-market PC
In 1968, Hewlett Packard began marketing the first mass-marketed PC, the HP 9100A. The first workstation
Although it was never sold, the first workstation is considered to be the Xerox Alto, introduced in 1974. The computer was revolutionary for its time and included a fully functional computer, display, and mouse. The...