Computer Fundamentals for Technology
February 23, 2014
The History of Personal Computers (Zimmermann)
The personal computer in the beginning was not intended to be used for personal entertainment or for email, but was intended to be used for solving a number-crunching crisis. By 1880, the United States had grown so much that it took several years to calculate the United States census results. They were looking for a faster and more efficient way to get the results. The first computers were punch card based computers that took up entire rooms. The first was a calculating machine funded by the English government. In 1822, English mathematician Charles Babbage had an idea of a steam driven calculating system that could compute tables of numbers. In 1890, Herman Hollerith designed a punch card system to calculate the 1880 census. He established a company that would soon become IBM1. It wasn’t until 1941 when J.V. Atanasoff, a professor of physics and mathematics, and his graduate student, Clifford Berry, designed a computer that was the first to be able to store information on its main memory. What characterized these earliest machines is that the switching and control functions were handled by vacuum tubes. In the late 1950's the bulky and hot vacuum tubes were replaced in computer designs by smaller, more reliable solid state transistors. The use of transistors as the basic component of computer design characterizes what is known as the second generation of computers. From here, the computer will go through a variety of changes and modifications that will take us to where we are today.
Current Uses of Personal Computers (Personal Computer(PC))
Today, computers are used for a very wide variety of things. We have personal computers that are either an IBM compatible personal computer or an apple Macintosh computer. The IBM personal computer has an Intel microprocessor architecture and an operating system such as DOS or Windows...
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