History of Computers

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Computer Science

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History of Computers


The computer was born not for entertainment or email but out of a need to solve a serious number-crunching crisis.

Computing is intimately tied to the representation of numbers. But long before abstractions like the number arose, there were mathematical concepts to serve the purposes of civilization.

"Who invented the computer?" is not a question with a simple answer. The real answer is that many inventors contributed to the history of computers and that a computer is a complex piece of machinery made up of many parts, each of which can be considered a separate invention.http://inventors.about.com/library/blcoindex.htm

This chapter is a brief summary of the history of Computers. It is supplemented by the two PBS documentaries video tapes "Inventing the Future" And "The Paperback Computer". The chapter highlights some of the advances to look for in the documentaries.In particular, when viewing the movies you should look for two things:The progression in hardware representation of a bit of data:Vacuum Tubes (1950s) - one bit on the size of a thumb;Transistors (1950s and 1960s) - one bit on the size of a fingernail;Integrated Circuits (1960s and 70s) - thousands of bits on the size of a handSilicon computer chips (1970s and on) - millions of bits on the size of a finger nail.The progression of the ease of use of computers:Almost impossible to use except by very patient geniuses (1950s);Programmable by highly trained people only (1960s and 1970s);Useable by just about anyone (1980s and on).to see how computers got smaller, cheaper, and easier to use.http://homepage.cs.uri.edu/faculty/wolfe/book/Readings/Reading03.htm.


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