Historical background of computers, Basic Computer Science

Historical Background

The brief history of the growth of computers is given below:

  1. Abacus:  It was the first mechanical device developed approximately 3,000 years ago, it consists of beads that can slide on wires. Wires represent columns. Right most column is for units, the next is for tens and so on. Various numbers can be represented by pushing appropriate beads. This device could perform simple additions and subtractions.
  2. Pascal Calculating Machine:  In 1642, Pascal devised a calculating machine for calculations. This consisted of a series of wheels having digits of zero to nine around the circumference.
  3. Jacquard Card: This utilized the concept of cards with punched holes. This was used for weaving patterns into fabric using cards with punched holes to guide the warp threads on a loom. This was invented in 1801 by Joseph Marie Jacquard.
  4. Analytical Engine:  In 1833, Charles Babbage developed the concepts for an analytical engine which could perform arithmetic functions on data, reading in from punched cards.
  5. Punched Card: In 1890, Herman Hollerith successfully devised electrical tabulating equipment. A coding scheme which would be punched into cards to represent data was devised by him. Hollerith coding system is used widely even today in the punched card equipment.
  6. Mark-1: Mark-1 was the first general purpose computer developed by Prof. Howard Aiken. It consisted of telephone relays and rotating mechanical wheels. Sequence of instructions were given using a paper tape.
  7. ENIAC: In 1946, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Calculator) was developed. It was a large machine containing 18,000 vacuum tubes, weighed 30 tons, occupied 1,500 sq. ft. space and a small memory of 20 accumulators each capable of storing 10 digits. It did in 1 day what once took 300 days to perform.
  8. UNIVAC: The World’s first commercial data processing machine UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer) of 1951, made by Remington Rand Corporation was installed for and used by the US Bureau of Census. It was used 24 hours a day for 12 years, and also is well known for having predicted the victory of President Dwight Eisenhower in the 1952 elections of the US, thus exposing to the general public the uses and capabilities of electronic computer.


Over the last years, the computer technology has been significantly developing. There has been tremendous reduction in size while storage capacity, speed and reliability have been increasing. 

Posted Date: 9/14/2012 5:02:44 AM | Location : United States

Related Discussions:- Historical background of computers, Assignment Help, Ask Question on Historical background of computers, Get Answer, Expert's Help, Historical background of computers Discussions

Write discussion on Historical background of computers
Your posts are moderated
Related Questions
write a program to solve a 10x10 maze. prompt the user for an input text file containing ten rows(ten characters on each row). Use following characters in the input file: * startin

Question 1: (a) Initially, human information processing was believed to occur in 4 distinct stages. State and describe each of those stages. (b) What are the 3 types of

OSI Layers: Open Systems Interconnection model is a reference model developed by International Organization for Standardization in 1984, as a conceptual structure of principles fo

Problem 1. Briefly explain on the characteristics of computers Explanation of characteristics of computers 2. Write a note on Cache Memory Note on Cache Memor

Packet Switching: This is one of recent techniques of switching. Packet switching was originally developed for use by ARPA network by the Defence Department of US. According t

Application-Specific Multiprocessors Although this book details a variety of similar architectures, it specializes in the design of such architectures in the perspective of par

The Widening Web The idea, the whole world is agog now had accidental origins. Here is how it all began. In early 1969, the U.S. Defence department financed a network fo

Message Quality and Quantity: Quality of transmission is a very important .consideration in telecommunication. Voice communication can use a narrow bandwidth, which means the

#after writing the script of rebuilting indexed on db server it gave output command executed succesfully does this mean i m done

why do computer have internal memory as a part of cpu and the internal bulk memory seprately?