Computers have evolved from the fundamental principles of mathematical calculation and language processing. The computing systems of today are an outcome of the efforts and intellect of mathematicians, logicians, linguists and technologists from all over the world. Computer history comprises the evolutionary journey of computing systems, the timeline of operating systems as well as the history behind the development of a wide variety of computer software and hardware. Bellow is the computer history in brief and the evolution of computers.
How did the different types of computers evolve? Here is a brief overview of the progress of computing technology from calculators of the 18th century right up to the modern-day digital portable computers. Year| Technology Used|
Before 1801| Calculators were the earliest computing devices. They were the only computation tools for long years before the creation of computers.| 1801| The years that followed were dominated by the use of punched cards for computing. The users used to submit programming assignments to a computer centre using stacks of cards. The programs used to be queued for processing and execution.| 1930 - 1960| Desktop mechanical calculators were built during the 1930s. During the 1950s and the '60s, electronic desktop calculators came up. Analog computational technologies predominated this period.| 1940 - 1960| This span of time witnessed the emergence of the digital computing technology. Zuse Z3, ENIAC and EDSAC were some of the early digital computers. * First-generation computers were based on the von Neumann architecture. * The second generation computers were characterized by the replacement of vacuum tube by bipolar transistors. They were composed of printed circuit boards.| After 1960| These years witnessed the development of the third generation computers. They were based on integrated circuits. Computer systems of this period had large storage capacities and high processing powers. Multi-core CPUs became available in the 21st century. Laptops, palmtops, handheld PCs, notebook computers and tablet PCs are popular today. Computer development still continues.|
Let us now look at the history and timeline of computing systems. Before moving ahead, it will be interesting to know when was the first computer made! Year| Event|
2400 BC| Abacus, the first known calculator was invented in Babylonia. It was a major step towards the era of computing that was to follow.| 500 BC| Panini, an ancient Indian Sanskrit grammarian came up with the predecessor of the modern formal language theory.| 300 BC| Pingala invented the binary number system that serves as the foundation of computing systems the world over.| 1614| John Napier designed the system of movable rods, which used algorithms to perform the basic mathematical operations.| 1622| William Oughtred invented slide rules.|
1822| Charles Babbage devised the first mechanical computer.| 1937| John V. Atanasoff devised the first digital electronic computer| 1939| Atanasoff and Clifford Berry came up with the ABC prototype.| 1941| The electromechanical Z machines by Konrad Zuse proved being an important step in the evolution of computers.| 1943| Colossus, which was able to decode German messages, was designed at Bletchley Park in Britain.| 1944| Harvard Mark I, a computer with lesser programmability was designed.| 1945| John von Neumann described a stored program architecture, for the first time ever. This architecture was the heart of the computer systems developed thereafter. This architecture, which came to be known as the von Neumann architecture is a part of every computer till today.| 1946| The Ballistics Research Laboratory of the United States came up with the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC). It was the first general purpose electronic computer; but had an inflexible architecture.| 1950| The...