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What is the History of Computers: Evolution of Computers

Nuelson Penuel Monday, June 20, 2022 Technology

 
The history of computer is dated back to the first set of civilized people that were able to introduce the first counting device. They used stones, bones and sticks as their counting instruments when dealing with either simple or complex calculations. However, with time humans begun to think of more advanced ways to carry out calculations easily without the use of these bones, stones and sticks otherwise known as conventional method. And as their mindset towards technology began to improved, more advanced counting and computing devices were invented and put into used. Thus, the purpose of this article is to discuss with you the history of computers, name of founders and the years of invention.

The Abacus Computer

The first computer in history is the abacus computer that was invented in China about 4000 years back. The abacus computer was made of a wooden rack and metal rods alongside beads affixed to the metal rods. When using abacus for calculations (arithmetic), there is an operator who moved the beads mounted on the metal rods but following some set of designated rules. Though Abacus was the first computer, it is still commonly used in some civilized countries such as Russia, China and Japan. Below is abacus image
history of abacus computer

The Napier's Bones Device

This was the second recognized computer device invented in the year 1617 by a Scottish Mathematician named John Napier. This device was strictly made for subtraction, addition, multiplication and division of numbers and it's operation was a manual process and it was the first recorded device to introduce the use of decimal point. Napier John used different bones or 9 ivory strips marked with numbers to carryout division and multiplication operations. A typical diagram of this device is depicted as follows:
history of Napier Bones Computer

The Pascaline Machine

This machine was invented by a French Mathematician named Biaise Pascal between the year 1642 and 1644. The Pascaline machine was the first mechanical and automatic machine or calculator that was recorded in history as at that time. This machine was produced by Pascal to help his father who was a tax accountant carry out the operation of addition and subtraction. And it was believed that it could only perform addition and subtraction. It was made of a wooden box couple with some series of gears, wheels and series of windows at the top used for displaying results. When any of the wheels is rotated, it rotates the next wheel. A typical diagram of this machine is given below
History of Pascaline Computer

The Leibnitz Wheel or Stepped Reckoner Machine

This machine was an improved version of the Pascaline machine. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz who was a German mathematician studied Pascal's invention in detail and therefore invented the digital version in the year 1673. It was made of fluted drums and also known as digital mechanical calculator device. A typical image is;
history of Stepped Reckoner Machine

The Difference Engine Computer

This was a mechanical machine designed in the 1820s by Charles Babbage who is referred to as the Father of Computers. It was a steam driven device used for processing simple calculations. It also has the ability to solve logarithm tables e.t.c. Diagram of this computer is below
history of the Difference Engine Computer

The Analytical Engine Machine

The analytical engine machine was a calculating device invented by Charles Babbage in the year 1830. It was a mechanical device that uses punch cards as input, capable of solving mathematical problem as well as store information for future purpose in permanent memory. Below is a diagram of this machine
History of The Analytical Engine Machin

The Tabulating Machine

This machine was a punch card based developed in the year 1890 by American Statistician known as Herman Hollerith. It was used to tabulate statistics and record, or sort information. During the 1890 U.S. census, the machine was used to carry out the census operation. Looking to the progress of this machine, the founder established a company that he named the Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company which name was later changed to International Business Machine (IBM) in the year 1924. Below Is the picture of this machine
History of The Tabulating Machine

The Differential Analyzer Computer

This was an analog device invented by Vannevar Bush in the 1930 in the United States and also the first electronic computer in the United States. It has vacuum tubes used to switch electrical signals in order to perform calculations. It has the ability to perform 25 calculations in just few minutes. Below is a typical image of this machine
History of The Differential Analyzer Computer

The Mark I Computers

With time, as different computers emerge, changes began to take place in their mode of operations. A significant changes occurred in the computer's history in the year 1937 when Howard Aiken came up with the thought of producing a machine that can solve complex calculations that involves large numbers. His mission was accomplished in the year 1944 in partnership with IBM and was named Mark I computer. The Mark I computer was recorded as the first programmable computer (digital). A typical image is below:
history of mark I computer
Generations of Computers The generations of computer points to the over time improvements that has occurred in the computer's technology. To know more about this generations of computers, check this all you need to know about the 5 generations of computer

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