Brief History of Computers

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Name: Jerome Inniss
Date: 9/2/10

BRIEF HISTORY OF COMPUTERS

In 1623 German scientist Wilhelm Schikard invented an analog machine that used 11 complete and 6 incomplete sprocketed wheels that could add, multiply and divide.

In 1642 French Philosopher, mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal invented a machine that added and subtracted automatically carrying and borrowing digits from column to column.

In the early 19th century French inventor Joseph Marie Jacquard devised a special type of computer called the silk loom. It used punched cards to program patterns that helped the loom create woven fabrics.

In the early 1820’s mathematician and scientist Charles Babbage designed a mechanical computer called the Difference Engine. Although it wasn’t completed by Babbage, the Difference Engine was intended to be a machine with a 20-decimal capacity that could solve mathematical problems. He also made plans for another machine called the Analytical Engine. It was designed to perform all arithmetic operations efficiently; however Babbage’s lack of political skills kept him from obtaining the approval and limits to build it.

In 1890 American inventor Herman Hollerith created a tabulator which combined the use of punched cards with devices that created and electronically read the cards. It was used for the 1890 U.S census and it reduced the time four times shorter than the time previously needed for hand counts. Hollerith’s company eventually changed its name to IBM.

In 1936 British mathematician Alan Turing proposed the idea of a machine that could process equations without human direction. The Turing machine resembles an automatic typewriter that used symbols for math and logic instead of letters. It’s still used by modern computational theorists

Also in the 1930’s American Mathematician Howard Aiken developed the Mark I calculating machine which was built by IBM. This machine used relays of electromagnetic components to replace...
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