Make your own free website on Tripod.com
 
outline

 

 

 

 

THE PRE-COMPUTER AGE

STONEHENGE

Ruins of Stone Age monument in Salisbury Plain in Southern England
Built originally as a religious structure
Modified gradually to perform astronomical functions – record the advent of the summer solstice, predict sunrise, moonrise, and probably eclipse, all as part of a religious and agricultural ritual
A sophisticated device which is unlikely of existence during that age in a culture that was otherwise considerably lower level of development than the heart of Bronze Age culture in the eastern Mediterranean.

Back to top

ABACUS (450 B.C.)

It consists of wires strung across a rectangular frame
The frame divides each wore into two sections: one on the top, which contains two, beads –represents quantity five. One on the bottom, which contains five beads – represents the quantity one.

Back to top

 ASTROLABE (1600)

Did the astronomers and navigators use the most important instrument?
The function was to measure the altitudes of celestial bodies, from which time and observer’s latitude could be determined

Back to top

 JOHN NAPIER (1617)

A Scottish mathematician
Invented the logarithms
Enable us to multiply and divide
It made large numbers quickly, accurately and easily. Devised a tool called Napier’s Bones for multiplication and division as a by-product of logarithms
Napier’s Bones were actually rods. Each rod was divided into nine squares, each square was divided diagonally and numbers were given to each half of the square. To multiply two numbers, the rod were manipulated and then the numbers in the adjacent squares were added

Back to top

 BLAISE PASCAL (1623-62)

A well known French Philosopher and a mathematician
Invented and built the first mechanical adding machine
Pascaline, used gear-driven counting wheeks to do addition.
The number for each digit position were arranged on wheeks so that a single revolution of one wheel resulted on one tenth of a revolution of the wheel to its immediate left.

Back to top

WILLIAM OUGHTRED (1662)

An English cleric and mathematician
Adopted the concept of logarithms after Napiers’s principle of logarithms
Invented the slide rule – consists of two movable rulers fixed so that the distance
Was accurate, easy to use & inexpensive

Back to top

GOTTFRIED WILHELM VON LEIBNITZ (1674)

German mathematician and philosopher (best remembered for his independent development of calculus)
Using the same principle used by Pascal – built a machine for multiplication, division such as extraction of square root.

Back to top

19th Century Computer Development

CHARLES XAVIER THOMAS (1820)

Developed the first commercially successful mechanical calculator that could add, subtract, multiply and divide.

Back to top

JOSEPH-MARIE JACQUARD (1753-1834)

French weaver, devised a method of weaving that employed punched cards

JACQUARD’S LOOM

All threads were fastened to single rod
Cards were punched with holes
Rods were lifted in the order indicated by the cards, which was punched against them
Those rods that did not pass through a set of holes were lifted
A repetitive pattern was woven by using the same catds in succession

Back to top

CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)

English mathematician and visionary
Cambridge Professor
Had a vision to design a computer that can perform: arithmetic calculation, read input data, writes results and contains data within a storage unit

Back to top

DIFFERENCE ENGINE

A calculating machine to compute mathematician tables, which were then laboriously computed by hand and filled with errors.
Was based on the mathematical principle of differences, which stated that level difference between values computed for a formula remain the same

Back to top

ANALYTICAL ENGINE

A machine that embodied the principle of the modern automatic computer. It was designed to have 1,000 50-digits numbers in its store (similar to the computer memory). It could compare numbers and make judgement and act on them.
Data was to be fed into the machine on punched cards and the output was to be engraved on metal plates ready for printing
Output was to be stored in punched cards – to be fed back into analytical engine for further computation needs
Arithmetic operations were to be performed automatically, without the intervention of a human operator
A program was to be performed on punched cards
To read one card at a time, execute the instruction it contained, the read the next card and so on
A branch in the program was made possible by instructing the machine to examine the results of the computation or calculation.
If the results were negative – the program card could be moved either forward or backward a specified number of cards
It had limitations: no standardized machine parts, bolts, nuts, and claws, ratchets cams, links and shafts. Wheels for the engine had to be hand fitted. No electronics “the missing link”.

Back to top

 LADY ADA AUGUSTA LOVELACE (1843)

The countess of Lovelace and daughter of poet Lord Byron
She was Babbage’s friend; she contributed by developing the problem-solving instructions the engine would follow when doing calculations

Back to top

 DR. HERMAN HOLLERITH (1884)

A statistician, applied for a patent for a punched-card tabulating machine (1889)
Devised a 3 x 5 inch card to contain data represented by holes punched in the card
Also built a machine for tabulating and sorting the punched cards
His idea for punched card came not from Jacquard or Babbage but from “punch photography”
Railroads – issued tickets with physical descriptions of passengers. A conductor would punch holed in a ticket that noted a passenger’s hair & eye color and the nose shape

Back to top

PUNCHE-CARD TABULATING MACHINE

Census data were translated into series of holes in a punched card to represent the digits and the letters of the alphabet
It was then passed through a machine with a series of electrical contacts that were either turned off or on depending on the existence of holes in the punched cards.
He organized the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896
In 1924, the company merged with the Time Recording Company and Dayton Scale Company to form the International Business Machine (IBM).

Back to top

 WILLIAM BURROUGHS (1888)
Invented the first adding and listing machine.
His machine differed form others of his day by the addition of a device that printed out the numbers entered into the machine and the calculated results
The calculator had a full numeric keyboard and was operated by a hand crank.
Burroughs founded the corporation that bears his name.

Back to top

JAMES POWER (1910)
Statistical engineer at the census bureau
Designed a set of punched card equipment with slightly different features from Hollerith
Power’s Keypunched Machine, allowed an operator to key an entire card without actually punching holes in it. The subsequent depression of a release key caused the punching of the entire card at one time. The simultaneous punching feature allowed an operator to correct a punching card error without destroying the card.

EAM ERA – for decades through the mid –1950s, punched card technology improved with the addition of more punched-card devices and more sophisticated capabilities. The electromechanical accounting machine (EAM) family of punched card devices includes the cardpunch, verifier, reproducer, summary punch, interpreter, sorter, collator and the accounting machine.

Back to top

DR. JOHN V. ATANASOFF (1935-1938)

Professor at IOWA University
Thought about machine that could reduce the time it took him and his physics students to make long, complicated mathematical calculations. It was officially credited as the inventor of the automatic electronic digital computer
He also made concepts about electronic medium with vacuum tubes, the base-2 numbering system, memory and logic circuits, which set the direction for the development of the modern computer
I
n 1939, Dr. Atanasoff and one of his graduate student, Clifford E. Berry, assembled a prototype of the ABC ( Atanasoff Berry Computer)

Back to top

ALAN TURING’S COLOSSUS

To assist the British Military in analyzing information gathered about German was effort, Colossus was developed with the help of British mathematician, Alan Turing.
It was a room-sized machine designed exclusively to break German codes
More than 18000 vacuum tubes were used and paper tape acted as input
It was the first digital machines

Back to top

HOWARD AIKEN (1937-1952)

Developed the basic plan for a programmable mechanical computer, Mark 1 (was built by IBM) – the first large-scale automatic computer (1939-1944)
Designed three more computers, each more advanced than its predecessor (Marks 2,3, and 4), 1952

Back to top

FIRST GENERATION COMPUTERS
 

HARVARD MARK I
Could perform division, multiplication, addition and subtraction in a specified sequence determined by the setting of the switches
Typed its answer on a typewriter connected to it or on punched cards after a few seconds
It contained more than three thousand electromechanical relays and weighed five tons.

Back to top

JOHN W. MAUNCHLY

Built a machine using electronics to do rapid calculations of large quantities of information ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer).  He created the machine for war considerations.

ENIAC – was the first electronic digital computer. It was completed in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering but it had no moving parts. Though it was programmable and had the capability to store problems and calculations. It was different from other Electro-mechanical computing machines in its time because it used vacuum tubes (about 18,000 in number)

A computer using vacuum tube technology is now referred to as a “first generation computer”
Could add in 0.2 of a millisecond or about 5,000 computations per second
The principal draw back was its size and processing ability
It occupied 1,500 sq. feet of floor space
Could process only one program or problem at a time.

Back to top

MAUCHLY & ECKERT REMINGTON RAND CORP. (1950)

Manufactured the first commercially available first-generation computer
It was named UNIVAC I (Universal Automatic Calculator)
It could calculate at the rate of 10,000 additions per second

Back to top

SECOND GENERATION

GRACE HOPPER

Contributed to the development of COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) a computer language widely used in business Pioneered the use of compliers
She was a member of the US Navy with a rank of rear admiral
Joined the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation to work in UNIVAC
A computer scientist and a mathematician programmer who contributed considerably to computer programming
The word “bug” was coined

Back to top

JOHN VON NEUMANN’S LOGICAL COMPUTER CONCEPT

He developed the logical framework around which computers have been built
He developed the concept of storing a program in the computer’s memory called the stored program concept.
His theory converted each program instruction into a numeric code.
The six components of  con Neumann’s theoretical computers were: arithmetic unit, a logic unit, input device, memory unit, control unit and output unit.

Back to top

THIRD GENERATION

EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator)
in 1949 was the first computer to incorporate the stored-program idea. It used letters as input and converted them into binary digits.

EDVAC (Electronic Delay Variable Automatic Computer).
It was a stored-program machine that used a unique code of zeros and ones developed for it by Von Neumann. EDVAC’s hardware directly r
eflected the distinct components he described

IBM (1953 –1954)
developed its own first-generation computer (1953). It was called IBM 701. It could perform 100,000 calculations per second

Back to top

FOURTH GENERATION

In 1971, the “fourth generation of computers” was introduced
Characterized by further miniaturization of circuits
Increased multiprogramming (the concurrent execution of two or more programs by the computer)
Virtual memory (secondary storage devices – disks and tapes)

Back to top

FIFTH GENERATION

In 1980’s the “fifth generation of computers” was introduced, operating at speeds of 3 to 5 million calculations per second (for small computers). 10 to 15 million instructions per second (for large-scale computers)

Back to top

THE AGE OF MICROCOMPUTERS

The age of microcomputers began in 1975 when a company called MITS introduced the ALTAIR 8800. A computer which one programmed by flicking

Introduced the ALTAIR 8800. A computer which one programmed by flicking switched on the front. It came as a kit and had to soldered together. It was available to the consumer for a few thousand dollars when most computer companies were charging tens of thousands of dollars

In 1977 both computers and Radio Shack announced that they were going to make personal computers. They did, and trotting along right beside them were Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak who invented their computer in a garage while in college.

In 1979, mass production of APPLE began and by the end of 1981, it was the fastest selling of all personal computers

Back to top

MICROCOMPUTER AGE TIMELINE

1981
IBM tossed its hat into the personal computer ring with the announcement of the IBM PC

In its first year – it sold 35,000 units

1982
800,000 were sold, and the IBM PC was well on its way to becoming the standard for the micro industry.

TCP/IP protocol established
MIDI – Musical Instrument Digital Interface published

IBM launched its double floppy disks

1984
DNS – domain name server introduced Turbo Pascal, Apple Macintosh was also released.

 1985
CD-ROM was invented, EGA released and the release of 803 86 DX. Microsoft Windows was also launched

 1987
Microsoft Windows 2 released

1988
First Optical Chip released. WORM – write once read many disks marketed for the first time by
IBM

1989
World Wide Web invented by Tim burners Lee

1990
Introduction of Windows 3.0. MPC (Multimedia PC Specifications)

1991
MS-DOS 5.0, PC DOS 5.0. The counter movement for DOS is dead Linux was born.

1992
Introduction of CD-I. Windows 3.1 and sound blaster 16 ASP

1993
Intel Pentium released MPC Level 2

1994
Pentium 90 100 and 23 MHz released. Rapid increase in quality.

1996
Netscape 2.0, Pentium 150, 166 and 200 MHz was released

1997
Intel MMX. Pentium 233, 266 and 300 MHz.  IBM’s Deep Blue First Computer to defeat World Chess Champion.

1998
Pentium 333 MHz and launching of Windows 98

1999
AMD released, Athlon 750 MHz, the first ever Microprocessor company that topped over Intel. Until now, the performance of AMD's Athlon processor overtakes Intel's Pentium III.

Apple release G4 and the famous Y2K scare.

2000
Transmeta launch Crusoe chips. Windows 2000 was launched!

Back to top