THE HISTORY OF COMPUTERS
GROUP: I.T 1D
The History of Computers
In 1613, the word computer was first recorded being used to refer to a person who could carry out calculations, around the end of the 19th century did the word computer begin to take a more familiar meaning of describing a machine that could carry out calculations & computations.
The history of the modern computer begins with two separate technologies, automated calculation and programmability but no single device can be identified as the earliest computer, partly because of the inconsistent application of that term. Examples of early mechanical calculating devices include the abacus, the slide rule and arguably the astrolabe and the Antikythera mechanism (which dates from about 150–100 BC). Hero of Alexandria (c. 10–70 AD) built a mechanical theater which performed a play lasting 10 minutes and was operated by a complex system of ropes and drums that might be considered to be a means of deciding which parts of the mechanism performed which actions and when.
The idea of a machine that would make man’s calculations easier, faster, and more accurate is no new notion. The Abacus, “Napier’s rods”, the “Calculating Clock”, and the “Stepped Reckoner” are a few examples of early computer ideas In the more recent history of the computer, we can see how computers have morphed (or dwarfed) from clunky, million-dollar machines into the compact and convenient parts of our everyday lives .
The Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology informs us that John von Neumann’s name is most well-known among the potential “founders” of the first computer, but to whom the credit belongs can be debated…von Neumann wrote a memorandum explaining the ENIAC, and thus his name is recorded (Academic Press, 2002, Section 2, “Historical Perspective”). The ENIAC (the Electronic Numerical Integrator and... [continues]
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