The inventions and ideas of many mathematicians and scientist led to the development of the computer. Today, computers can handle vast amounts of facts and figures and solve complicated problems at incredibly high speeds. Computers are used in many walks of life; business and industry; government and law enforcement; the military; engineering; the sciences; the fine arts; manufacturing sales and service repairs, they are also used in schools.
In the 1960s, mathematician Patrick Suppes began work to adapt the computer to a new task. He believed that computers could be programmed to teach children skills in such schools subjects as English and Mathematics.
By the mid – 1970s, it was the beginning to look as if the computer had been just another educational fad. Around that time, however, a little-noticed revolution was beginning. Chips, similar to the ones control handheld calculators had become quite cheap and readily available.
Digital computers solve problems and do other tasks by counting, comparing and rearranging digits in arithmetic/logic unit. Digital computers vary widely in size. Microcomputers is a small computer system that can arrange from desk-top size to pocket size, they are also called as personal computers. Although digital computers differ greatly in size they all have five basic parts: input equipment, main memory, the control unit, arithmetic/logic unit, output equipment.
All data handled by digital computers, including words, are in form of digits. But the computers use only the two digits of binary number system – that is, 0 and 1. Different combinations of 0’s and 1’s represent letters and the various decimal numerals.