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CS101 Introduction to Computing

Lecture 2
Evolution of Computing

During the Last Lecture

We learnt about the Analytical Engine - the first general-purpose, digital computer and its inventor Charles Babbage We had a discussion about the key strengths (speed, do not get bored) and weaknesses (pattern recognition, innovative ideas) of the modern computer

Todays Goal
To learn about the evolution of computing

To recount the important milestones and the key events To learn about the steps that took us from Babbages idea of the Analytical Engine to todays ultra-smart hand held computers

But first, why should we spend time on recounting the events of the past
Why not just talk about what is happening in computing now and what is going to happen in the future? Why?

If you do not learn from the history, your condemned to repeat it

Recounting the events of the past provides an excellent opportunity to:
learn lessons discover patterns of evolution, and use them in the future

If we learn from history well, we will:

neither repeat the mistakes of the past nor would we waste time re-inventing what already has been invented

Babbages Analytical Engine - 1833

Mechanical, digital, general-purpose
Was crank-driven Could store instructions

Could perform mathematical calculations

Could store information permanently in punched cards

Click here to see the picture of punched card

Punched Cards - 1801

Initially had no relationship with computers Invented by a Frenchman named Joseph-Marie Jacquard for storing weaving patterns for automated textile looms (khuddian) Their value for storing computer-related information was later realized by the early computer builders Punched cards were replaced my magnetic storage only in the early 1950s

Protests Against Jacquards Invention

Hand weavers saw the automatic loom as a threat to their livelihood
They burned several of the new machines

A few weavers even physically assaulted Jacquard

Turing Machine - 1936

Alan Turing of Cambridge University presented his idea of a theoretically simplified but fully capable computer, now known as the Turing Machine
The concept of this machine, which could theoretically perform any mathematical computation, was very important in the future development of the computer You will learn about the details of the Turing Machine in your advanced Computer Science courses

Another contribution by Alan Turing

The Turing test
A test proposed to determine if a computer has the ability to think So far no one has built a computer that can pass that test there is cash prize of US$100,000





Machine on its own

Turing Test
An interrogator is connected to one person and one machine via a terminal, therefore can't see her counterparts
The interrogators task is to find out which of the two candidates is the machine, and which is the human only by asking them questions. If the machine can "fool" the interrogator, it passes the Turing Test.

Vacuum Tube - 1904

John Fleming, an English Physicist, developed the very first one
These electronic devices consist of 2 or more electrodes encased in a glass or metal tube They along with electric relays were used in the construction of earlier computers These tubes have now been almost completely replaced by more reliable and less costly transistors

ABC - 1939
Attanasoff-Berry Computer John Attanasoff & Clifford Berry at Iowa State College Worlds first electronic computer The first computer that used binary numbers instead of decimal Helped grad students in solving simultaneous linear equations

Harvard Mark 1 - 1943

Howard Aiken of Harvard University
The first program controlled machine Included all the ideas proposed by Babbage for the Analytical Engine The last famous electromechanical computer

ENIAC 1946
Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer Worlds first large-scale, general-purpose electronic computer Built by John Mauchly & John Echert at the University of Pennsylvania Developed for military applications 5,000 operations/sec, 19000 tubes, 30 ton 9 x 80 150 kilowatts: Used to dim the lights in the City of Philadelphia down when it ran

Transistor - 1947
Invented by Shockly, Bardeen, and Brattain at the Bell Labs in the US
Compared to vacuum tubes, it offered:
much smaller size better reliability much lower power consumption much lower cost

All modern computers are made of miniaturized transistors

Tubes replaced mechanicals

Transistors replaced tubes What is going to replace the transistors?

EDVAC 1948
Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer

Built by Echert & Mauchly and included many design ideas proposed by Von Neumann The first electronic computer design to incorporate a program stored entirely within its memory
First computer to use Magnetic Tape for storing programs. Before this, computers needed to be rewired each time a new program was to be run

Floppy Disk - 1950

Invented at the Imperial University in Tokyo by Yoshiro Nakamats
Provided faster access to programs and data as compared with magnetic tape

Compiler - 1951
Grace Hopper of US Navy develops the very first high-level language compiler Before the invention of this compiler, developing a computer program was tedious and prone to errors

A compiler translates a high-level language (that is easy to understand for humans) into a language that the computer can understand

UNIVAC 1 - 1951
UNIVersal Automatic Computer Echert & Mauchly Computer Company First computer designed for commercial apps First computer that could not only manipulate numbers but text data as well Max speed: 1905 operations/sec Cost: US$1,000,000 5000 tubes. 943 cu ft. 8 tons. 100 kilowatts Between 1951-57, 48 were sold

BASIC - 1965
Beginner All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code Developed by Thomas Kurtz & John Kemeny at Dartmouth College The first programming language designed for the nontechies The grand-mother of the most popular programming language in the world today Visual BASIC

Computer Mouse - 1965

Invented by Douglas Englebart
Did not become popular until 1983, when Apple Computers adopted the concept

ARPANET - 1969
A network of networks
The grand-daddy of the todays global Internet A network of around 60,000 computers developed by the US Dept of Defense to facilitate communications between research organizations and universities

Intel 4004 - 1971

The first microprocessor
Microprocessor: A complete computer on a chip

Speed: 750 kHz

Altair 8800 - 1975

The commercially available 1st PC
Based on the Intel 8080 Cost $397 Had 256 bytes of memory; my PC at home has a million times more RAM (Random Access Memory)

Cray 1 - 1976
The first commercial supercomputer

Supercomputers are state-of-the-art machines designed to perform calculations as fast as the current technology allows
Used to solve extremely complex tasks: weather prediction, simulation of atomic explosions; aircraft design; movie animation Cray 1 could do 167 million calculations a send; the current state-of the-art machines can do many trillion (1012) calculations per second

IBM PC & MS DOS - 1981

IBM PC: The tremendously popular PC; the grand-daddy of 95% of the PCs in use today
MS DOS: The tremendously popular operating system that came bundled with the IBM PC

TCP/IP Protocol - 1982

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
The communications protocol used by the computer networks, including the Internet A communication protocol is a set of rules that governs the flow of information over a network

Apple Macintosh - 1984

The first popular, user-friendly, WIMPbased PC
Based on the WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointing Device) ideas first developed for the Star computer at Xerox PARC (1981)

World Wide Web -1989

Tim Berners Lee British physicist
1989 At the European Center for Nuclear Energy Research (CERN) in Geneva

1993 - The 1st major browser Mosaic was developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Deep Blue -vs- Kasparov - 1997

It could analyze up to 300 billion chess moves in three minutes

In 1997 Deep Blue, a supercomputer designed by IBM, beat Gary Kasparov, the World Chess Champion That computer was exceptionally fast, did not get tired or bored. It just kept on analyzing the situation and kept on searching until it found the perfect move from its list of possible moves

Mobile Phone-Computer
A small computer, no bigger than the hand set of desktop phone
Can do whatever an Internet-capable computer can plus can function as a regular phone First consumer device formed by the fusion of computing and wireless telecommunication

What is he next major Milestone?

1. Mechanical computing
2. Electro-mechanical computing 3. Vacuum tube computing 4. Transistor computing (the current state-of the-art) 5. Quantum computing

Quantum Mechanics

QUANTUM MECHANICS is the branch of physics which describes the activity of subatomic particles, i.e. the particles that make up atoms

What is he next major Milestone?

Quantum computers may one day be millions of times more efficient than the current state-of-the-art computers. They take advantage of the laws that govern the behavior of subatomic particles. These laws allow quantum computers to examine all possible answers to a question simultaneously For example, if you want to find the largest from a list of four numbers:
The current computers require on average 2 to 3 steps to get to the answer Whereas, the quantum computer may be able to do that in a single step

For further info

Read the following article that is available on the Web:

Quantum Computing with Molecules

by Neil Gershenfeld and Isaac L. Chuang default/files/mguzman/01historias/haciaelfuturo/Burgo s090900/quantumcomputingSciAmer/0698gershenfeld .html

What have we learnt today?

Focus of the Next Lecture

The World Wide Web