Many people do not know how, or even when computers were first made. Even before the first electronic computers were made, many people believe that computers started with the abacus, a simple counting device. The abacus is believed to have been built in Babylon in the fourth century B.C. The "First Generation" of computers started in the very late 1930's. These computers were grotesquely slow, colossal in size, created much heat, used hundreds of kilowatts of power, and were about as reliable as a used up match (www.pbs.org). As time went on, these computers evolved from using vacuum tubes to transistors. Transistors mark the beginning of the "Second Generation" of computers in 1947. Unfortunately, the 2nd Generation did not advance as much as most people hoped, but eventually, the "Third Generation" was brought about by the invention of integrated circuits in 1958. Integrated circuits replaced transistors, and many computer languages came out in this time. Many more computer companies were born during this time, and eventually this led to personal computers for everyday use. Microprocessors introduced the beginning of the "Fourth Generation" and a time where computers were in almost every house. (Wiley, 1985) The history of gadgets spans as far back as humanity itself - since hominids began creating tools to make their lives easier. Humans have always created devices and appliances with specific practical purposes that were initially thought of as novelties, due to unfamiliarity with and initial unwillingness to accept the technology. Today, industry has augmented the creation of new gadgets, while certain retailers, including Brookstone and Richard Thalheimer's RichardSolo.com, specialize in popularizing them. What famous inventors Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Leonardo da Vinci, among others, had in common was foresight. They understood that a lifetime spent playing with what others viewed as...
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