History of Computer Systems

ABACUS was perhaps the first man-made computer. It is the predecessor of modern computers. It is consisted of beads which were free to hang along parallel wires in the rectangular frame. ABACUS could perfom simple calculations like add, subtract and divide. It is basically a techniques which is done by visualizing the beads in brain. Though the speed is preety slow.

The first desk calculator which could perform only 2 mathematical ie. Addition and subtraction was developed in 1642 by a French scientist called Blaise Pascal. By 1671, a German scientist named Gottfried Lebnitz made improvement on this calculator and added two more features of multiplication and division.

In 1833, Charles Babbage designed another machine called ‘Analytical Engine’ which could perform a long sequence of operations, handling thousand of numbers. Punched cards were used as input/output devices. Due to the infantile stage of engineering and technology at that time he was not able to design anything more sophisticated.

Herman Hollerith developed the alphanumeric codes. They are still known as Hollerith codes.

In 1937, Howard Aiken put forth a proposal to IBM Corp. for development of an automatic sequence-controlled calculator. It was named Mark I and was a successful invention.

The US army designed and developed ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Interger and Computer) during World War-II. It was giant machine occupying a whole floor space. The problems of electromechanical computers were overcome in ENIAC. It could perform 5000 calculation per second. ENIAC was 30 times more powerful that earlier machines. It used vaccum tubes and consumed 150 KW of the power.

The first commercial computer was UNIVAC-I developed in 1951 by American Bureau of Census.

Since then the computer industry has taken huge technological steps. This is the only industry that has taken over virtually the whole world. There is no industry, nation organization that is left untouched by computers.

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