The History of Computer Technology

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The History of Computer Technology
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A brief history of Human Computer Interaction Technology|

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Abstract
This report briefly explains the history of modern computers, starting from the year 1936 to present day time. There are many models of computers documented throughout the years, but they only computer models mentioned are ones that I deemed too have had the greatest effect on computer technology back then and now. This report will show how in just forty years, computers have transformed from slow, room-sized machines, to the small and fast computers of today. Computers are a part of important everyday life, but there was a time when computers did not exist. Computers are one of the few inventions that do not have one specific inventor. Many inventors have contributed to the production and technology of computers. Some of the inventions have been different types of computers, while the others were parts needed for the computer to function effectively. Many people have added their creations to the list required to make computers work, adding to the overall technology of computers today.

The term “computer” originally referred to people. It was a job title for those who did repetitive work with math problems. A computer is define as a programmable machine that receives input, stores and automatically manipulates data, and provides output in a useful format. The most significant date in the history of computers is in the year of 1936. This is the year the first “computer” was developed by a German engineer named Konrad Zuse. He called it the Z1 Computer and it was the first system to be fully programmable. The Z1 Computer had computing power, setting it apart from other electronic devices. Programming early computers became somewhat of a hassle for inventors and in 1953 Grace Hooper invented the first high level computer language. Her invention helped simplify the binary code used by the computer so that its users could dictate the computer’s actions. Hooper’s invention was called Flowmatic and has evolved into modern day technology. In the same year, the International Business Machines (IBM) was introduced into the computing industry, forever altering the age of computers. Throughout computer history, this company has played a major role in the development of new systems and servers for public and private use. Inventors saw IBM as competition within the computing history, which helped to spur faster and better development of computers. Their first computer technology contribution was the IBM 701 EDPM Computer. During the three years of production, IBM sold 19 machines to research laboratories, aircraft companies, and the federal government. The first computer physically built in America was the IAS computer. It was developed for Advanced Study at Princeton under the direction of John Von Neumann between1946-1950. (History of Computer Technology, 2011). John von Neumann wrote “First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC; in which he outlined the architecture of a stored-program computer (Computer History Museum - Timeline of Computer History, 2006). Electronic storage of programming information and data eliminated the need for the more clumsy methods of programming. An example of stored-program data computer is the IAS computer. Many modern computers trace their ancestry to the IAS machine and they are referred to as von Neumann (or Princeton) architecture machines. The IAS computer embodied the concept of a stored-program computer. The main memory contained two main categories of information, instructions and data. The computer had an ability to place different sequences of instructions in the memory which made the computer very useful. This allowed inventions to build computers to complete different tasks at different times. Such a computer can be reconfigured (reprogrammed) at any time to perform a new or different task. The Hungarian-born von Neumann demonstrated prodigious...
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