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history of the computer

By katiecox3 Apr 28, 2015 730 Words

Kristen Picciano9/13/14

History of the Computer

Could you imagine life without computers? Not just computers but any smart device like your IPhone, IPad, Xbox etc. All of these devices are derived from the first unit known as the computer. Today’s society relies heavily on the computer and all of its functions. We essentially have the world at our fingertips whether it’s Googling anything you could possibly think of or plugging in an address and relying on a computer to get you there. If it wasn’t for the computer I would not be writing this paper right now. If there were no computers many businesses would never have existed such as Microsoft, apple many more. The computer has improved our economy and has helped us function in the world. Our modern world it transitioning into a society based on electronics and technological advances. The development of the computer has come a very long way since it was first developed, and will continue to develop for years to come. A computer can be defined as a general purpose device that can be programmed to carry out arithmetic or logical functions and operations automatically.

The use of the word “computer” was first recorded in the 19th century and emerged in the modern from in the 1940’s. Charles Babbage is considered “the father of the computer” because he was the first to develop the concept of a programmable computer. He was a very intelligent man who was an English engineer as well as a polymath. He is credited with conceptualizing and inventing the first mechanical computer in the 19th century. His first design was a computer to aid in navigation calculations. In 1833 he decided a more general design would be beneficial so he began to develop that. He came up with an analytical engine which functioned through input programs and data. These inputs would be made through punch cards. For the output of information the machine had a printer, curve plotter and a bell that informed when the output information was ready. This was a huge advancement for this time period and all of components were made by hand. From the time the first computer was established the technological improvements have not stopped.

The computer is often broken up into three different generations. These generations were all in different time periods and each generations brought a different designed and improved computer. The first generation was from 1937 to 1946. 1937 brought us the first electronic digital computer. This was built and designed by John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry. This was called the ABC computer, short for Atanasoff, Clifford Berry. In 1943 another type of electronic computer was built for the military. The last computer type of this generation was the Electronic Numerical Integrator Computer and this was built in 1946. It was a huge computer that weighed nearly 30 tons and had 18,000 vacuum tubes for processing information. Computers of this generation did not have an operating system and could only handle simple tasks. The second generation was from 1947 to 1962. This generation of computers started to use transistors instead of Vacuums. In 1951 the first computer for commercials was introduced to the public and this was known as the Universal Automatic Computer. Soon after in 1953 the International Business Machine1 was developed. This generation brought about operating systems and many different program languages. The third generation of computers began in 1963 and continue to the present. These computers are smaller, faster more reliable machines. They work on an integrated circuit and are very powerful. In 1981 the first personal computer was developed for the home and office. Three years later Apple introduced the first Macintosh and finally in the 90’s came Windows operating system. Since the computer was developed it has helped humans with every day activities, math, organization and anything else you could possibly think of. It is an amazing machine that better the world we live in. Almost every house hold in America owns a computer or device related to one such as an IPad, calculator and many other things. The design and function of the computer has changed drastically since it was fist invented and is expected to keep changing and improving for years to come. 1st Generation

1937 – 1946
Electronic digital computer
2nd Generation
1947 – 1962
3rd Generation
1963 – 1962

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