Evolution of Computers

Evolution of Computers

  • 1600s: John Napier discovers logarithm
  • 1642: Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician and philosopher, invents the first mechanical digital calculator using gears, called the Pascaline
  • 1804: Joseph Marie Jacquard used punch cards to automate a weaving loom
  • Charles Babbage is considered the father of modern ditial computers in  1812.
  • Babbage designed “Difference Engine”
  • 1840s: Augusta Ada. "The first programmer"
  • 1850s: George Boole developed Boolean logic which would later be used in the design of computer circuitry
  • 1890: Dr. Herman Hollerith introduced the first electromechanical, punched-card data-processing machine which was used to compile information for the 1890 U.S. census. Hollerith's tabulator became so successful that he started his own business to market it. His company would eventually become International Business Machines (IBM).
  • 1906: The vacuum tube is invented by American physicist Lee De Forest.
  • 1939 : Dr. John V. Atanasoff and his assistant Clifford Berry build the first electronic digital computer. Their machine, the Atanasoff-Berry-Computer (ABC) provided the foundation for the advances in electronic digital computers
  • 1941: Konrad Zuse (recently deceased in January of 1996), from Germany, introduced the first programmable computer designed to solve complex engineering equations. This machine, called the Z3, was also the first to work on the binary system instead of the decimal system.
  • 1943: British mathematician Alan Turing developped a hypothetical device, the Turing machine which would be designed to perform logical operation and could read and write.
  • 1944: Howard Aiken, in collaboration with engineers from IBM, constructed a large automatic digital sequence-controlled computer called the Harvard Mark I.

Mark I is also known as Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator.

  • 1947 : The giant ENIAC (Electrical Numerical Integrator and Calculator) machine was developped by John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert, Jr. at the University of Pennsylvania. It used 18, 000 vacuums, punch-card input, weighed thirty tons and occupied a thirty-by-fifty-foot space.
  • 1949: Maurice V. Wilkes built the EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Computer), the first stored-program computer.
  • EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer), the second stored-program computer was built by Mauchly, Eckert, and von Neumann.





Generation of Computers

The First Generation

  • UNIVAC, EDSAC, ENIAC, EDVAC and IB 701 computers are from 1st Generation
    • Characteristics of First Generation Computers
  1. Use ofvacuum tubesin electronic circuits
  2. 2.Magnetic drum
  3. 3.Limited main-storage capacity
  4. Slow input/output, punched-card-oriented
  5. Low level symbolic-language programming
  6. Heat and maintenance problems
  • 1951: Mauchly and Eckert built the UNIVAC I, the first computer designed and sold commercially, specifically for business data-processing applications.
  • In 1952, Dr. Grace Hopper (University of Pennsylvania) developed a symbolic language called mnemonics (instructions written with symbolic codes). Dr. Hopper developed the first set of programs or instructions to tell computers how to translate the mnemonics
  • 1950s: Dr. Grace Murray Hopper developed the UNIVAC I compiler.
  • 1957: The programming language FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslator) was designed by John Backus, an IBM engineer.
  • 1959: Jack St. Clair Kilby and Robert Noyce of Texas Instruments manufactured the first integrated circuit, or chip, which is a collection of tiny little transistors.

Second Generation Computers (1959-1964)

Characteristics of Second Generation Computers

  • Use of transitors
  • Magnetic coreas primary internal-storage medium
  • Magnetic disks were also developed that stored information on circular tracks that looked like phonograph records
  • Use of High-level programming languages(COBOL,FORTRAN,ALGOL,SNOBOL)
  • Increased speed and reliability
  • 1960s: Gene Amdahl designed the IBM System/360 series of mainframe (G) computers, the first general-purpose digital computers to use intergrated circuits.
  • 1961: Dr. Hopper was instrumental in developing the COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) programming language.
  • 1963: Ken Olsen, founder of DEC, produced the PDP-I, the first minicomputer (G).
  • 1965: BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) programming language developped by Dr. Thomas Kurtz and Dr. John Kemeny.

Third Generation Computers (1965-1974)

Characteristics of Third Generation Computers

  • Use of integrated circuits
  • Magnetic core and solid-state main storage
  • Smaller size and better performance and reliability
  • Emergence of minicomputers
  • Remote processingandtime-sharingthrough communication

1969: The Internet is started.

1970: Dr. Ted Hoff developed the famous Intel 4004 microprocessor (G) chip.

1971: Intel released the first microprocessor, a specialized integrated circuit which was ale         to process four bits of data at a time. It also included its own arithmetic logic unit.     PASCAL, a structured programming language, was developed by Niklaus   Wirth.

Fourth Generation (1975-)

Characteristics of Fourth Generation Computers:

  • Use oflarge scale integrated circuits
  • Increased storage capacityand speed.
  • Modular designand compatibility between equipment
  • Special application programs
  • Versatilityof input/ output devices
  • Increased use ofminicomputers
  • Introduction ofmicroprocessors and microcomputers
  • 1975: Ed Roberts, the "father of the microcomputer" designed the first microcomputer, the Altair 8800, which was produced by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS). The same year, two young hackers, William Gates and Paul Allen approached MITS and promised to deliver a BASIC compiler. So they did and from the sale, Microsoft was born.

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