A Brief History of the Computer

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A Brief History of the Computer. With apologies to Steven Hawking. Counting. Primative Calculators. The Abbacus. Al’Khowarizmi and the algorithm. 12th Century Tashkent Cleric Developed the concept of a written process for doing something Published a book on the process of algorithms

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A Brief History of the Computer

With apologies to

Steven Hawking

Al’Khowarizmi and the algorithm
• 12th Century Tashkent Cleric
• Developed the concept of a written process for doing something
• Published a book on the process of algorithms
• The basis of software
Philosopher Forefathers of Modern Computing 1600-1700
• Von Leibniz developed binary arithmetic and a hand cranked calculator.
• Calculator was able to add, subtract, multiply and divide.
• Blaise Pascal –developed the Pascaline.
• Desk top calculator worked lik an odometer.
• Countess of Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron.
• One of the first women mathematicians in England
• Documented Babbage’s work.
• Wrote am account of the difference engine.
The Process of MechanizationJacquards Loom
• Started the age of automation
• Used punch cards to direct the rods on the loom to create patterns.
• Revolt against the introduction of looms – Ned Ludd - 1816
George Boole
• Boolean Algebra
• Used to establish inequalities:
• symoblic use of <, or >, or <>
• Used in computer switching
• Modern use in library searches
Hollerith Tables and the Census

Improved the speed of the census

Reduced cost by \$5 million

Greater accuracy of data collected

Hollerith – unemployed after the census

The Mechanical Office1928
• Development of:
• Small calculating-oriented machines desk calculators, cash registers
• Business machine industry- supported by the government – punch card machines
• Top four companies in 1928:
• Remington Rand NCR (National Cash Register)
• Burroughs IBM
The War Years 1939-1945Two Primary Uses
• Artillery Tables
• Hand calculation replaced by machine calculation
• Department of the Navy
• Cryptologist :
• Cryptography

The art or process of writing in or deciphering secret writing

Bletchley House

The Enigma Codes – U23

Alan Turing misunderstood genius 1936
• Published a paper “On Computable Numbers”
• Turings machine - hypothetical computer that could perform any computation or logical operation a human could devise.
Turings Heritage
• Code breaking was Touring’s strength.
• Colossus a computer to break the German enigma code - 100 Billion alternatives.
• Ran at rate of 25,000 characters per second
The II World War Years 1939 - 1945
• Calculate artillery tables.
• Used to break codes like the Colossus.
• Used to model future events - Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs.
• Cmdr. Grace Hooper
The Mark I - a dinosaur
• 51 feet long
• 3,304 electro mechanical switches
• Add or subtract 23 digit numbers in 3/10 of a second.
• Instructions (software) loaded by paper tape.
• The infamous “Bug”
ENIAC - The Next Jump Forward - 1946
• 1st electronic digital computer
• Operated with vacuum tubes rather electro-mechanical switches
• 1000 times faster than Mark I
• No program storage - wired into circuitry.
The Advent of the Semiconductor - 1947
• Developed at Bell Labs by Shockley & Bardeen – Nobel Prize
• Point Contact Transistor replaced power hungry, hot and short lived vacuum tubes
EDVAC - Electronic Discreet Variable Automatic Computer 1951
• Data stored internally on a magnetic drum
• Random access magnetic storage device
• First stored program computer
• John Mccarthy coins the term “Artificial Intelligence”
• 1960 - Removable Disks appear
• 1964 - BASIC - Beginners-all purpose Symbolic Instruction Language
• Texas Instruments offers the first solid- state hand-held calculator
• 1967 - 1st issue of Computerworld published
The 1970’s - The Microprocessor Revolution
• A single chip containing all the elements of a computer’s central processing unit.
• Small, integrated, relatively cheap to manufacture.
The Super Computers - 1972
• The Cray
• Parallel processing power
• Speed 100 million arithmetical functions per second
• Sensitive to heat - cooled with liquid nitrogen
• Very expensive
The Birth of the Micro Computer 1975
• Jobs and Wozniac develop the Apple II
• Commodore PET, programs stored on a cassette