History of Computer

Topics: Computer, ENIAC, Harvard Mark I Pages: 7 (1341 words) Published: July 26, 2011

3000 B.C. – 1450 A.D.

1. Writing and Alphabets – Communication

First development of signs corresponding to spoken sounds, instead of pictures, to express words.

Around 2000 B.C., Phoenicians created symbols that expressed single syllables and consonants (the first true alphabet)

The Greeks later adopted the Phoenician alphabet and added vowels; the Romans gave the letters Latin names to create the alphabet we use today.

2. Paper and Pens – input technologies.

Sumerians’ input technology was a stylus that could scratch marks in wet clay.

About 2600 B.C., the Egyptians wrote on the papyrus plant.

Around 100 A.D., the Chinese made paper from rags, on which modern-day paper-making is based.

3. Books and Libraries – output technologies (permanent storage devices)

Religious leaders in Mesopotamia kept the earliest “books”

The Egyptians kept scrolls.

Around 600 B.C., the Greeks began to fold sheet of papyrus vertically into leaves and bind them together.

4. The First Numbering System

Egyptian system:
The numbers 1-9 as vertical lines, the number 10 as a U or circle, the number 100 as a coiled rope, and the number 1,000 as a lotus blossom.

The first numbering system similar to those in use today were invented between 100 and 200 A.D. by Hindus in India who created a nine-digit numbering system.

Around 875 A.D., the concept of zero was developed.

5. The First Calculator: The Abacus.
One of the very first information processor.

The Abacus was man’s first recorded adding machine. It was in 500 B.C. when the Abacus was invented in Babylonia, then popularized in China, the Abacus is an ancient computing device constructed of sliding beads on small wooden rods, strung on a wooden frame. You could call the Abacus as the first Calculator.


1. The first Information Explosion.

Johann Gutenberg ( Mainz, Germany; c. 1387-1468)
Invented the movable metal-type printing process in 1450.

2. The first general purpose “computers”

People are the one who held the job title “computer”:
One who works with numbers.

John Napier introduces logarithms, he invents logs. Logs allow multiplication and division to be reduced to addition and subtraction. 1617 John Napier employing an ancient numerical scheme known as the Arabian lattice, lays out special version of the multiplication tables on a set of four-sided wooden rods, allowing users to multiply and divide large numbers and find square and cube roots.

Wilhelm Shickard, a professor at the University of Tubingen, Germany who invented the first mechanical calculator that can work with six digits and carries digits across columns.

William Oughtred (1575-1660) invented the slide rule.

Blaise Pascal invented a mechanical calculation machine and he called it as Pascaline. The Pascaline can solve mathematical problems like addition and subtraction.

Gottfried Leibniz, a German mathematician who invented a machine called Stepped Reckoner that could multiply 5 digit and 12 digit number yielding up to 16 digit number.

Joseph-Marie Jacquard developed an automatic loom that was controlled by punched cards.

Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar a French who developed the Arithmometer, This device performed the same type of computations as Leibniz’s Stepped Reckoner, but was more reliable.

Charles Babbage invented the first, modern Computer Design: a steam powered adding machine called the “Difference engine.” Babbage understood that long math problems were just repetitive operations. Therefore, Babbage made a machine to automatically solve math problems.

Babbage also invented the “Analytical Engine.” A mechanical adding machine that took information from punch cards to solve and print complex mathematical operations.

The first program was written by Ada...
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