History of Computers

Learn more about The Antikythera Mechanism, the worlds oldest analog computer.

Charles Babbage is often referred to as the Father of Computing. He began working on the first computing device known as the Difference Engine in 1824 and the Analytical Engine in 1842. Herman Hollerith developed the system of automated computing where a device could automatically read information punched into a card. This device was limited only to tabulations and could not read complex engineering equations. In 1941 Konrad Zuse developed the first programmable computer called the Z3 which could read complex equations based on the binary system.

The ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was developed by J. Presper Eckert and John V. Mauchly at the University of Pennsylvania which was the first programmable electronic computer based on the decimal system. The development of computers further progressed with the use of Large Scale integration and very large scale integration where entire processors could fit onto one single chip. At this time the C programming language and the UNIX operating system were also developed in 1972.

By 1984 computer technology saw the introduction of parallel processing and machines where multitude of processors could be working on different parts of a single program. IBM and Apple realized the growth potential ahead and tapped into the Personal computers market to design computers which could be used at home. This saw the introduction of the IBM PC which had Microsoft word, spreadsheets and Lotus 1-2-3 and the Macintosh by Apple which had a Graphical user interface and a mouse.

Computers have transformed from the huge machines they used to be to desktops and portable laptops where you can pretty much carry your office with you. The personal computers today are much faster and come with applications we could have never imagined; applications which create text, drawing, animations, and presentation slides. The computer is certainly a modern marvel of our times.

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