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Introduction to Computers

By: Paul Andrew V. Roa

What is a computer?
A

computer is an electronic device that helps people perform different tasks. An electronic device which is capable of receiving information (data) in a particular form and of performing a sequence of operations in accordance with a predetermined but variable set of procedural instructions (program) to produce a result in the form of information or signals.

What is a computer? (Cont.)


Computers

are used in many different ways to help us with all kind of tasks. Computing technology allows us to write letters, create pictures, make calculations, play games and send electronic mail.

History of Computers

Four Basic Period


A. Pre-Mechanical

Age B. Mechanical Age C. Electro-mechanical Age D. Electronic Age

Pre-mechanical Age: 3000 B.C. 1450 B.C.


1. Writings and Alphabets communication

First humans communicated only through speaking and simple drawings known as petroglyths (signs or simple figurers carved in rocks). Many of these are pictographs or sketches that visually resemble that which are depicted. Ideographs symbols to represent idea or concepts. Cuneiform the first true written language and the first real information system. Devised by the Sumerians in 3100 B.C.

Pre-mechanical Age: 3000 B.C. 1450 B.C. (cont.)


Around

2000 B.C., Phoenicians created symbols that expressed, single syllable and consonants (the first true alphabet). The Greeks late adopted the Phoenician alphabet and added vowels; the Romans gave the Latin names to create the alphabet we use today.

Pre-mechanical Age: 3000 B.C. 1450 B.C. (cont.)

Pre-mechanical Age: 3000 B.C. 1450 B.C. (cont.)


2. Papers and Pens input technologies

Sumerians input technology was a stylus that could scratch marks in wet clay. About 2600 B.C., the Egyptians wrote on papyrus plant. Around 100 A.D., the Chinese made paper from rags, on which modern-day papermaking is made.

Pre-mechanical Age: 3000 B.C. 1450 B.C. (cont.)


3. Books and Libraries output technologies

Religious leaders in Mesopotamia kept the earliest books. The Egyptians kept scrolls. Around 600 B.C., the Greeks began to fold sheets of papyrus vertically into leaves and bind them together.

Pre-mechanical Age: 3000 B.C. 1450 B.C. (cont.)


4. The First Numbering Systems.

Egyptian system

100 200 A.D. The Hindus in India created a nine-digit numbering system. Around 875 A.D., the concept of zero was developed.

Pre-mechanical Age: 3000 B.C. 1450 B.C. (cont.)


5. The First Calculator: The Abacus.

The abacus was the mans first recorded adding machine. Invented in 500 B.C. by the Babylonians and popularized in Chine.

The Mechanical Age: 1450-1840


1614
- John Napier introduces logarithms

1623 - Wilhelm Shickard, a professor at Germany invented the first mechanical calculator.

The Mechanical Age: 1450-1840 (cont.)


1625 - William Oughtred invented the slide rule.

The Mechanical Age: 1450-1840 (cont.)


1642 - Blaise Pascal invented the pascaline a mechanical calculation machine made out of clock gears and levers. It could solve basic mathematical problems like addition and subtraction.

The Mechanical Age: 1450-1840 (cont.)


1671 - Gottfreid Leibniz invented a machine called the stepped reckoner that could multiply 5 digit to 12 digit numbers yielding up to 16 digit number.

The Mechanical Age: 1450-1840 (cont.)


1820 - Arithmometer is invented by Charles Xavier Thomas De Colmar in France.

The Mechanical Age: 1450-1840 (cont.)


1821 - Charles Babbage invented the first, modern computer design: a steam powered adding machine called The Difference Engine.

The Mechanical Age: 1450-1840 (cont.)


1832 - Charles Babbage invented the analytical engine. It is a mechanical adding machine that took information from punched cards to solve and print complex mathematical operation. - thus Babbage is titled father of computers.

The Mechanical Age: 1450-1840 (cont.)


1842 - The first program was written by Ada Augusta Lovelace, for Babbages Difference Engine. She is credited as the first computer programmer. Ada is named in her honor.

The Electromechanical Age: 1840-1940


1.

The Beginnings of Telecommunication a. Voltaic Battery - The first electric battery, known as the voltaic pile, was invented in 1800 by Alessandro Volta.

b. Telegraph - Samuel F.B. Morse conceived of his version of an electromagnetic telegraph in 1832.

The Electromechanical Age: 1840-1940


c. Telephone and Radio In 1876, Alexander Graham Belle, invented the first working telephone. In 1852, George Boole develops binary algebra. This became knows as Boolean Algebra.

The Electromechanical Age: 1840-1940


2. Electromechanical Computing
1853
-Pehr and Edvard Scheutz complete the Tabulating Machine, capable of processinf 15 difit number, printing result and rounding off to 8 digit. 1885 - Dorr Felt devises the Comptometer, a key drive adding and subtracting calculator. In 1889, he changed it into Comptograph with a built-in printer.

The Electromechanical Age: 1840-1940


1890 Herman Hollerith is the first person to used punched card.

The Electromechanical Age: 1840-1940


Hollerith later went on to found the Tabulating Machine Company which late became the Computer Tabulating Recording Company. We know it today as IBM(International Business Machine).

The Electromechanical Age: 1840-1940


1893 The Millionaire, the first efficient fourfunction calculator, is invented by Otto Shweiger, a Swiss engineer.

The Electromechanical Age: 1840-1940


1906 Lee De Forest developed the Vacuum tube. This is important because it provided electrically controlled, switched; a necessity for digital computers.

The Electronic Age: 1941-present.


1941 Konrad Zuse built the first programmable computer called the Z3. A computer is programmable because it is able to follow instructions.

The Electronic Age: 1941-present.


1942 Howard Aiken built the Mark I the first stored-program computer. 8 feet tall, 51 feet long, 2 feet thick, weighed 5 tons, used about 750,000 parts, 500 miles of wires, 3-5 seconds per calculation.

The Electronic Age: 1941-present.


1942 The First Electronic Computer John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry completed the first all-electronic computer, called the ABC(Atanasoff-Berry Computer).

Computer Generations

The 1st Generation of Computers (1951 - 1958)


Vacuum

tubes as their main logic elements. Punch cards to input and externally store data. Rotating magnetic drums for internal storage of data and programs.

(cont.)
First

generation computers had vacuum tubes, resistors, and welded metal joint. They were large, slow, expensive and produce a lot of heat. Often broke down because of burned out vacuum tubes.

(cont.)
In

1945, Presper Eckert and John Mauchly developed the first operational electronic digital computer, calle ENIAC, for the U.S. Army. It was 1,000 times faster than Mark I, and could perform 5,000 additions per second. Has more than 18,000 vacuum tubes and took up to 1,800 square feet of space.

(cont.)
In

1951 the UNIVAC-1 became the first commercially available computer. This computer was designed by Eckert and Mauchly and built by the Remington Rand Corporation. In 1953 IBM 701 was invented, IBMs 1st electronic business computer.

The 2nd Generation of Computers (1959 1953)


Vacuum

tubes are replaced by transistors as main logic element. Magnetic tape and disk began to replace punched cards as external storage devices. Magnetic cores became the primary internal storage memory.