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A Brief History of Computer Hardware

Taken from "An Introduction to Programming in Turing" by J. N. P Hume

L. Dunn

on 6 September 2012

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Transcript of A Brief History of Computer Hardware

A Brief History of
Computer Hardware Ancient Civilizations The desire to improve reasoning and mathematical accuracy led ancient civilizations of people to develop formal logic, formulas, tables and patterns. Algebra, logarithms, and analytical geometry are being developed to assist us in complex mathematics. Late 16th - Early 17th Centuries Wilhelm Schickard designs the first mechanical calculator in 1623. This machine can add and subtract, and partially multiply and divide. In the 1640s, Blaise Pascal develops a device that can add and subtract. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz invents the Leibniz Wheel, that can add, subtract, multiply, and divide automatically. 19th Century Charles Babbage designs two computing machines, the Difference Engine and the Analytic Engine, the former of which was able to compute up to eight decimal places. In 1854, Pehr George Scheutz of Sweden built a Difference Engine which was operated by punch cards containing commands. Herman Hollerith, a mechanical engineer from the United States, established what is considered to be the fist computer company, IBM. He created a new way to gather information from censuses using punch cards. Alan m. Turing developed the Turing Machine in 1937, which helped to break Germany's code during WWII In 1944, the Mark I computer was built. It was able to perform a variety of mathematical functions, ande ran on punched paper tape rather than cards. In 1945, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC) was built using 18,000 vacuum tubes and 1500 relays. This machine was 1000x faster than previous computing machines. Later, a new machine called the Electronic Discrete Variable Calculator (EDVAC) was built as an improvement to ENIAC. EDVAC used binary notation to process information. In 1951, the Universal Automatic Computer (UNIVAC I) was developed by John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert Jr. In 1953, IBM stared using decimal machines instead of punched-card machines. In the early 60s, another breakthrough came with the replacement of vacuum tubes in exchange for more reliable transistors. Later, between 1965 and 1970, integrated circuits were introduced. Multiple transistors were combined to make these circuits. From 1970 to 1980, computers continued to grow smaller and more powerful. Personal computers were developed so the average person could afford to use them.
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