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A Concise History of Computers, Smartphones and the Internet

A Concise History of Computers, Smartphones and the Internet

Автором Ernie Dainow

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A Concise History of Computers, Smartphones and the Internet

Автором Ernie Dainow

оценки:
5/5 (2 оценки)
Длина:
109 pages
1 hour
Издатель:
Издано:
Feb 12, 2017
ISBN:
9780995214415
Формат:
Книге

Описание

The very first electronic computers were invented at the end of World War II. They were very large machines that could only be used in special air conditioned rooms. Today, almost everybody carries a computer in their pocket, in their mobile phone. How did all this come about in only 70 years?

This book is for people who would like to know the answer to this question. It tells this exciting story, with a lot of pictures. This book is not a complete history, rather it is a concise history that covers the most important people, companies and inventions that led to where we are today.

The first chapter covers the evolution of computer hardware - the physical machine. The second chapter focuses on the software - the programs that provide the instructions that tell the hardware what to do. The third chapter covers the most important data networks that were developed so that computers could communicate with each other, ending with the Internet which only became the dominant computer network after 1995. The last chapter on Smartphones traces its history from the discovery of radio waves in the late 19th century to the Apple iPhone.

This book does not require a lot of technical knowledge about computers. People who are interested in learning more about how computers actually work can read the companion book “Understanding Computers, Smartphones and the Internet”, by Ernie Dainow.

Издатель:
Издано:
Feb 12, 2017
ISBN:
9780995214415
Формат:
Книге

Об авторе

Ernie Dainow was fascinated with mathematics at an early age. In university he became more interested in how people think and he began graduate work in psychology. The possibilities of using computers to try to understand the brain by simulating learning and thinking became an exciting idea and he completed a Master's degree in Artificial Intelligence in Computer Science. Ernie's interest in doing research shifted to an interest in building systems. He started working for Univac, the company that had built one of the first general purpose commercial computers. This began a long career in the computer field, working on large mainframe computers and then personal computers, doing software development for academic/scientific research, business and financial applications, data communications, computer hardware products and the Internet. Ernie never lost his fascination with computers. After he retired he began writing to explain many of the interesting things he discovered over the years that are not well known outside of the computer field.

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A Concise History of Computers, Smartphones and the Internet - Ernie Dainow

Who is this book for?

The very first electronic computers were invented at the end of World War II. They were very large machines that could only be used in special air-conditioned rooms. Today, almost everybody carries a computer in their pocket, in their mobile phone. How did all this come about in only 70 years?

This book is for people who would like to know the answer to this question. It tells this exciting story with a lot of pictures. It is not a complete history — that would be a very large and detailed book. Rather it is a concise history that covers the most important people, companies and inventions that led to where we are today.

This book does not require a lot of technical knowledge about computers. People who are interested in learning more about how computers actually work can read the companion book Understanding Computers Smartphones and the Internet.

Ernie Dainow

edainow@gmail.com

Toronto, Canada

February 2017

All rights reserved © 2016 Ernest Dainow

ISBN: 978-0-9952144-1-5

Contents

1. History of Computers

1936 Early Computers

1951 First Commercial Computers

1956 The Transistor

1958 Integrated Circuits

1964 IBM Mainframe Era

1981 Microprocessors, Microcomputers

2. History of Software

1956 Early Operating Systems

1957 Early Programming Languages

1961 Time-sharing Operating Systems

1968 Database Management Systems

1975 Unix

1981 Microsoft DOS

1984 Apple Macintosh

1985 Object Oriented Programming

1990 Microsoft Windows

1994 Linux

3. History of Computer Networks and the Internet

Networking in the Mainframe Era

Packet Switching

1969 ARPANET (Internet)

Other Networks

1982 Microcomputer Networks

1995 The Internet

Internet Software

4. History of Smartphones

Discovery of Radio Waves

Commercialization of Radio

Mobile Car Phones

Cellular Phone Networks

Personal Digital Assistants

Smartphones

5. The Future

About the Author

1. History of Computers

The invention of the computer cannot be credited to any one person. Many people contributed to the evolution of the computer over many years. As with any new technology, there was a burst of inventions and new companies that make up the history of computers, many of which were important for a period of time and then were overtaken by a newer technology. In this book, only the most important innovations that led to where we are today are mentioned. This is only a small number of the total number of companies and people who are part of the complete history.

There have been a number of major revolutions in technology that introduced new computer eras. The following is an outline of this evolution that this book follows.

1936 Early Computers — a simple theoretical machine was proposed by Alan Turing. While various calculators existed, this was the theoretical groundwork for a general purpose computing machine. The first working computers were developed during World War II and the years following in government research labs and in universities.

1951 First Commercial Computers — the first general purpose computers became available from many different companies in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

1964 IBM Mainframe Era — the IBM System/360 family of compatible computers allowed customers to start with a small system and upgrade to larger computers as their computing needs grew. The success of System/360 drove many computer vendors out of the market and established IBM as a dominating force in the computer industry for the next 25 years.

1981 Microcomputers — a revolution in widespread use of microcomputers started with the IBM Personal Computer (PC) that was released in 1981, even though earlier microcomputers had been popular, such as the Apple I in 1976.

1995 Internet — the Internet was first built in 1969 as a research project under a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, but widespread use of the Internet did not occur until after the World Wide Web (www) was developed in 1991 and Microsoft Windows 95 made it easy for non-technical users to access the Internet with simple point and click.

2007 Smartphones — the first smartphone was developed by IBM in 1994 and was followed by the BlackBerry in 2002. But the general Smartphone era really began with the revolutionary Apple iPhone in 2007 which led to widespread mobile computing in the general consumer market.

1936 Early Computers

In 1936, Alan Turing wrote a paper on an important theoretical question in mathematics, showing that it was not possible to decide if a statement was true or not given a set of axioms and rules of logic. This was the decision problem, posed by David Hilbert, one of the great mathematicians of the time.

To establish his proof, Turing described a theoretical machine that could manipulate symbols according to a set of instructions. This machine could move a tape forward or backward, read what was on the tape and then write 0 or 1 on the tape depending on what it had read. Turing proved that a series of instructions could be given to such a machine that would compute the solution to any problem, except those that did not have a solution. This theoretical machine became known as a Turing machine.

There were many mechanical calculators (such as adding machines) in use by the end of the 19th century and the idea that it was possible to build a general purpose calculator that would work for any calculation and was as simple

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