The need for a device to do calculations along with growth in commerce and other human activities explain the evolution of computers. Having the right tool to perform right has always been important for human beings. In this post, I have mentioned some important history in the evolution of computers.
In the beginning, when the task was simply counting or adding, people used either their fingers or pebbles along lines in the sand in order to simply the process of counting, people in Asia minor built a counting device called ABACUS, the device allowed users to do calculations using a system of sliding beads arranged on a rack.
With the passage of time, many computing devices such as Napier bones and slide rule were invented. It took many centuries for the advancement in computing devices. In 1642, a French mathematician, Blaise Pascal invented the first functional automatic calculator. The brass rectangular box also called Pascaline, used eight movable dials to add sums and eight figures only.
In 1694, german mathematician Gotfried Wilhemvoz Leibniz, extended Pascal’s design to perform multiplication, division and to find square root. This machine is known as stepped reckoner. The only problem with this device that it lacked mechanical precision in its construction and was not reliable.
The real beginning computer was made by an English mathematician Charles Babbage in 1822. He proposed a engine to perform difference equations, called a difference engine. It would print results automatically. However, Babbage never quite made a fully functional difference engine, and in 1833, he quit working on it to concentrate on analytical engine. The basic design of the engine included input devices in the form of perforated cards containing operating system as a store for memory of 1,000 numbers up to 50 decimal digits long. It also contained a controlled unit that allowed processing instructions at any sequence, output device to produce printed results. Babbage borrowed the idea of punch cards to encode the instructions in the machine from the Joseph Marie jacquard’s loom.
In 1889, Herman Hollerith, worked for us. Census Bureau, also applied the Jacquard’s Loom concept to computing. The start of world war-2 substantial need for computers capacity, especially for military purposes. One early success was mark-1, which was by IBM Andhardvard Huiken in 1944. In 1946, John Eckert and johny Mauchly of Moore school of engineering, developed the ENIAC (Electronic Numeric Integrator And Calculator). Later, EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer). It was first electronic computer developed by John Von Neumann. In 1949, Maurice developed EDSAC(Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator). Eckert-Mauchly corporation manufactured UNIVAC (Universal Automatic computer) in 1951. In 1960, fastest computer to access the time of 1 micro second and a total capacity of 100,000,000 words was developed. During 1970s, the trend for cheaper computers made possible by integrated chips (IC) and Microprocessors. Today using VLSI (Very Large Scale Integrated Circuits), which are programmed using ROM is made. It could handle 32 bits at a time, and can process 4,000,000 instructions at a time.