Development of Computer:
Computer is a man-made electronic machine that changes the way we work. The computer is one of the most powerful innovations in human history. In the last 40 years it has changed the our lifestyle. From the first wooden abacus to the latest high-speed microprocessor, the computer has changed nearly every aspect of people’s lives for the better. With the use of computers, people are suddenly able to perform a large amount of computations at dazzling speed. Information can be crunched, organized, and displayed in the blink of an eye. Things that were only dreams a few years ago are now possible due to computers.
Evolution of computers:
Abacus: The abacus is one of the earliest known computation devices. It is simply a wooden rack holding parallel wires on which beads are strung. Calculations are done by manipulating the beads. The abacus was developed in China about 5000 years ago. The abacus was so successful that its use spread form China to many other countries.
Napier Bones:As the necessity demanded, scientist started inventing better calculating device. In thus process John Napier’s of Scotland invented a calculating device, in the year 1617 called the Napier Bones.In the device, Napier’s used the bone rods of the counting purpose where some no. is printed on these rods. These rods that one can do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division easily.
Pascal calculator :The first real mechanical calculator was invented by a French scientist and mathematician Blaise Pascal, around 1645. The device was constructed by interlocking gears representing the number 0 to 9. It was only able to do addition and subtraction, so it is called adding machine.
Leibniz Calculator :In the year 1671, a German mathematics, Gottfried Leibniz modified the Pascal calculator and he developed a machine which could perform various calculation based on multiplication and division as well.
Analytical Engine : In 1801, Joseph Marie Jacquard perfected the idea of the automated weaving loom. Using holes punched into a series of connected cards, Jacquard was able to control the weaving of fabrics. Jacquard loom not only cut back on the amount of human labor, but also allowed for patterns to be stored now on cards and to be utilized over and over again to achieve the same product. In 1820 Charles Babbage, a British mathematician and inventor, designed and built the mechanical calculator and the Difference Engine on principles that anticipated the modern electronic computer. The concept by engineers in the development of the first computer prototype. For this Babbage put forward was eventually used of work, Babbage failed to built a fully operational model of Difference or reason Charles Babbage is known as father of computing. Despite ten years and her contribution to binary arithmetic was later used by John Von Analytical Engine. In 1842 Lady Lovelace wrote a demonstration program Neumann in developing the modern computer. So she is often regarded as the “first computer programmer”.
Herman Hollerith and Punch cards: In 1890 the United States Census Bureau asked Herman Hollerith to find a way to speed up the processing a census data. Herman Hollerith created punched cards that resemble today’s computer cards. He also invented the Hollerith 80 columncodeand tabulating machine.
First Electronic computer (ENIAC) : Howard Aiken, with his colleagues at Harvard and with some assistance from International Business Machines he had built by 1942 the MarkI, the world’s first program-controlled calculator, an early form of a digital computer. In 1944 John Mauchley, an American physicist, and J. Presper Eckert, an Americanengineer, proposed an electronic digital computer, called the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (ENIAC), and completed it in 1946 which is regarded as the first successful general digital computer.
Stored Program concept (EDSAC): According to John Von Neumann’s concept, the operating instructions and data used in processing should be stored inside the computer. Whenever necessary the computer would have the capability to modify these program instructions, during their execution This concept was incorporated into the EDSAC computer (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Computer), which was developed at Cambridge University. This computer was capable of storing a sequence of instructions,the equivalent of the first computer program.
UNIVAC 1: It is the short form of Universal Automatic Computer.In 1951 it was introduced and became the first commercially available computer. The UNIVAC 1 was characteristic of the first generation of computers.
Basic applications/uses of a computer:
1. Entertainment or Recreation : Computer is used for playing games,listening to music and watching movies. It is also used for making cartoon movies, animation films and drawing pictures etc.
2. Education:The computer is widely used in the field of education and independent study field of computer science has developed which is popular these days. At every stage computer is compulsory. The distance education is using computer for instructional purpose as multimedia approach. The computer makes teacher learning process effecting by involving audio and visual sense of learners.
3. Banks: Computer is used in banks for storing information about different account holders, keeping a record of cash and providing all kinds of information regarding any account in the bank. It is also used by ATM(Automatic Teller Machine) of a bank which provides cash without any bank staff.
4. Railway stations and Airports: Computer helps in providing information about seat availability, booking tickets and keeping records of all passengers. It helps in providing information about the arrival and departure as well as timing of trains and aeroplanes.
5. Medical Science : Computer helps in keeping records of all the patients in a hospital and doing a number of medical tests. It helps doctors in controlling machines in an operation theatre.
6. Business: Computers are used to type and print documents, letters etc.They help in keeping records of employees and sending e-mails etc.
7. Defence : In defence computer is used to help in building weapons,controlling their functions, launching missiles and keeping record of criminals. It helps in establishing communication links between the soldiers and their commanders through satellites.
8. Designing : Computer helps in designing magazines, newspapers,books and advertisements etc. It also helps in designing buildings,houses etc.
9. Scientific research : Computer is used in scientific research and is handy for all kinds of scientific research.
10. Administration : Computer is used to improve administrative services and their efficiency.
Limitations of a computer:
Though computer is programmed to work efficiently, fast and accurately, but it is programmed by human beings to do so. Without a program computer is nothing. A program is a set of instructions. Computer only follows these instructions. If the instructions are not accurate the working of computer will not be accurate.The computer sometimes malfunctions and results in loss of data if some virus attacks. One of the limitations also includes machine failure in case of some hardware or software problem. The computer sometimes results in loss of data if power fails.
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