Forerunners of the Modern Computer

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The Good news is that most of the things you expect from a computer are achievable.

Forerunners of the computer in one form or another have been with us for a long time.

The Abacus,a hand-held counting device that is still use throughout the Orient,dates back to about 500 BC.The French scientist, Blaise Pascal Developed a mechanical Calculator in the middle of the 17th century that formed the basis for Calculators Manufactured well into the 20th Century.

Credit for the concept of the modern computer goes to the British mathematician Charles Babbage who in the 1830's designed a steam-powered 'analytical engine' that worked with punch cards.Although Babbage worked for decades at perfecting his design ,he never built the machine.

In the 1880's American inventor Herman Hollerith Developed a 'Tabulator' to manipulate data on punch cards.The device was used compile data from the 1890 census is less than two months compared to the more than seven years in took to compile data from the previous census by hand!

In1848 George Bole,another British Mathematician developed a system of binary logic in which all questions could be answered as "true" or false". It was almost a hundered years,however,before a computer was developed based on binary numbers using Boolean logic or Boolean algebra.

Until the late 1930's,calculators or computers were based on the decimal system,mechanical devices that required hundered of moving parts.The transition to binary logic allowed the use of electric circuitry,that is,switches that were turned on or off,to perfrom complex calculation.
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