computer history

Topics: Computer, Charles Babbage, Konrad Zuse Pages: 11 (1079 words) Published: February 8, 2014
History of Computers
Glenn G. Fabia
Department of Computer Science
Ateneo de Naga University

A typical computer operation back when
computers were people.

Counting Tables
History of Computers


A Modern Day Abacus
(Oldest surviving, 300 B.C)

Note how the abacus is really just a representation of the human fingers: the 5 lower rings on each rod represent the 5 fingers and the 2 upper rings represent the 2 hands.
History of Computers


Napier's Bones
In 1617 John Napier
invented logarithms,
technology that allows
multiplication to be

History of Computers


Slide Rule

Napier's invention led directly to the slide rule, first built in England in 1632 and still in use in the 1960's by the NASA engineers of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs which landed men on the moon.

History of Computers


Schickard's Calculating Clock
The first gear-driven
calculating machine
to actually be built in
1623 by the
German professor
Wilhelm Schickard

History of Computers


A Pascaline
In 1642 Blaise
Pascal, at age
19, invented the
Pascaline a
calculator (it
could only add).

History of Computers


Power Loom
In 1801, Joseph
Marie Jacquard
invented a power
loom that could base
its weave upon a
pattern automatically
read from punched
wooden cards.
Descendents of
these punched
cards have been in
use ever since.

History of Computers


Babbage's Difference Engine
In1822, the English
mathematician Charles Babbage
was proposing a steam driven
calculating machine the size of a
room, which he called the
Difference Engine.

History of Computers


Analytic Engine
Charles Babbage created plans to build the Analytic Engine when he realized that punched paper could be employed as a storage mechanism. Because of the connection to the Jacquard loom, the two main parts of his Analytic Engine were called the "Store" and the "Mill." The Store was where numbers were held and the Mill was where they were "woven" into new results. In a modern computer these same parts are called the memory unit (store) and the central processing unit (mill). The Analytic Engine also had a key function that distinguishes computers from calculators: the conditional statement. A conditional statement allows a program to achieve different results each time it is run. Unfortunately, funding was not available and the Analytic Engine was never built.

Babbage befriended Ada Byron, the Countess Lady Lovelace, While Babbage refused to publish his knowledge for another 30 years, Ada wrote a series of "Notes" wherein she detailed sequences of instructions she had prepared for the Analytic Engine. Ada invented the subroutine and was the first to recognize the importance of looping. Thus, she earned her spot in history as the first computer programmer.

History of Computers


Hollerith Desk
In the late 1880’s Herman
Hollerith, proposed
Jacquard's punched card
design for the purpose of
computation for the US
Census and it was accepted.
Hollerith's invention, known as
the Hollerith desk, consisted
of a card reader which sensed
the holes in the cards, a gear
driven mechanism which
could count (using Pascal's
mechanism which we still see
in car odometers), and a large
wall of dial indicators (a car
speedometer is a dial
indicator) to display the results
of the count.
History of Computers


Hollerith Desk (cont.)
The patterns on Jacquard's cards were determined when a tapestry was designed and then were not changed. Today, we would call this a read-only form of information storage.
Hollerith had the insight to convert punched cards to what is today called a read/write technology. Hollerith's technique was successful and the 1890 census was completed in only 3 years at a savings of 5 million dollars.

Hollerith built a company, the Tabulating Machine Company which,...
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