Computers, one of the brightest inventions of human beings, have a vivid and remarkable history. This website aims to explore the historical aspects of the invention and evolution of the computer, resulting in modern computers that can process complex information and have high computing power. The earliest reference to a computing device dates back to 1801. French scientist Joseph Marie Jacquard invented a machine for weaving holes assembled in small wooden sheets. The plates are placed inside a machine that reads a pattern and works in the form of a weave.
Konrad Zuse from Germany is known for the invention of the first freely programmable Z1 mechanical computer. The dual machine has led to revolutionary developments such as high-capacity memory in the calculator, floating point calculation and modules, or relays based on the ‘Yes / No’ operation. The ideas were implemented more seriously with each Z prototype. In 1939, Zuse, popularly known as the “inventor of the modern computer,” developed the first fully functional electromechanical computer.
In 1942, a significant development took place at Iowa State University. Professor John Atanasoff and graduate student Clifford Berry invented the world’s first electronic digital computer. The binary account system has resulted in many advanced results, such as recoverable memory; parallel processing and memory interruption and other computational functions.
In 1944, a group of scientists from Harvard University, Grace Hopper and Howard Aiken, invented the first MARK series computers. The calculator was a machine 55 feet long, 8 feet high, and weighed 5 tons! Almost 760,000 units were used. The calculator was mainly used by the US Navy and was in operation until 1959.
The invention of the Electric Numerical Integrator and Calculator (EINAC) in 1946 by John Mauchly & J Eckert led to many developments. The artillery was developed for the U.S. military, which needed a computing device to write firing tables, design hydrogen bombs, weather forecasts, space radiation research, heat ignition, and wind tunnel design. The large device weighed 30 tons and contained 17,468 vacuum tubes, 70,000 resistors, 10,000 capacitors, 1,500 relays, 6,000 mechanical switches and 5 million alloys. It covered an area of 1,800 square meters (167 square meters) and used 160 kilowatts of electricity. In 1948, Dr. John Von Neumann made many changes at ENIAC.
Sir Frederick Williams and Tom Kilburn co-invented the Williams-Kilburn Tube, a form of modified cathode-ray tube. The Williams Tube was the first random access memory (RAM) to store large amounts of data, and was a more convenient way to store data.
Dr. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly later invented the Universal Automatic Computer (UNIVAC), which led to the development of the system computer. UNIVAC’s extra time was 120 microseconds; Multiplication time of 1800 microseconds and division time of 3600 microseconds. The original UNIVAC is still on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
IBM, International Business Machines, a well-known computer company, developed a series of calculators (600s) based on card processing equipment in the 1930s. In 1944, IBM, along with Harvard University, sponsored the MARK 1 computer, the first machine to automatically perform long calculations. In 1953, IBM developed the 701 EDPM. IBM claims to be the first general-purpose computer to be commercially successful.
Beginning in 1955, the history of computers has evolved with the contributions of the Stanford Research Institute, MIT, Intel, Apple, and Microsoft, and many individual contributions to the scientific world.
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