History of Computers
What Is a computer? Well, the English dictionary states that It is “Also called [a] processor. An electronic device designed to accept data, perform prescribed mathematical and logical operations at high speed, and display the results of these operations” (dictionary, 2011). But, computers are much more than that. Computers are not Just pieces of equipment, they are tools that make up our everyday lives and greatly help and facilitate them; they make our lives faster, easier, simpler, and more efficient.
They have only been around for a small amount time. They are part of the modern era” as some refer to it, and are the fastest growing technology in man’s history (History of Computers, 2011). There are many debates going on about which computer was the first one to be invented. This question is very difficult to answer if it is not more specific. The reason being that it all depends on what you are looking for in a computer. There are many types of computers, and they can be arranged in categories.
Some examples of categories Include, analog computers, hybrid computers, portable computers, desktop computers, war computers, mainframe computers, mint computers, corrupters, and the list goes on and on (Types of Computers, 2011). The list could also include things like satellites, GAPS systems, and house security alarms. All these things can be called computers because they have characteristics of computers, and are processors. For this reason, there Is no definite answer to the question “Which was the first computer ever built? “. The question has not been left unanswered, though.
The first programmable computer ‘Turing COLOSSUS’ appeared In the year 1943, and by many has been named the first computer to exist. It was used to “decipher World War II coded messages from Germany (The History of the Computer, 2011 This was the main task that computers had at that time. They were used as “war computers” and were used to encode and decode messages from enemies. As stated above, it was the “first programmable computer”. This means that In that category, the programmable computer category, It was the first, but It does not mean that it was the first “computer” ever to be invented.
Others attribute the title of “first electronic computer” and “first computer” to MANIAC. This was “the brain” of Turing Colossus (The History of the Computer, 2011). MANIAC, was developed by John W. Macaulay and J. Presser Checker at the university of Pennsylvania, and by many Is considered the first computer. MANIAC set many records, including the cost, space, and material used to build it. It used an extraordinary number of 1 8,000 vacuum tubes and 1800 square Ft. Of space, to build. (First Computers, 2011).
MANIAC was a major step in the development of the computer, but two inventions that really spurred on the building of computers were the Silicon chip and Transistor. Both made it possible for computers such as MANIAC, to be reduced to a much smaller size, which cost less and was also more efficient and safer. The Transistor was created by people working at Bell Labs, and the Silicon Chip was Invented by Jack SST. Claim Silky of Texas Instruments. Silicon Chips are still used in our modern portable computers, and they are the reason why we have portable computers since they greatly reduce the size needed for a processor. Amputees like MANIAC smaller, safer, and more affordable. This meant that instead of only government owning computers, now businesses could own computers. The computers were still too big, dangerous, and laborious for home use. The computers were not safe, because like the MANIAC, that had so many parts, it had to be maintained by professionals. These many parts also had to be replaced very often. Because of this, these tasks were extremely time consuming and meant that the computers were laboriously slow machines and were not yet efficient. The company that was responsible for many of the “first computers” was MOM.
This company was the “unquestioned market leader in selling these large, expensive, error-prone, and very hard to use machines” (Mainframes to PC’s, 2011). After the Silicon Chip came to be, the change from big computers to portable everyday-use computers, was under way. The portable computers started coming out in the early sass (Mainframes to PC’s, 2011). The first major company to design computers was IBM but then companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Dandy Radio Shack started producing their own portable computers, which IBM had not yet done.
IBM at this time was still not involved in the “portable computer business” (The History of the Computer, 2011). IBM was still producing government and business owned computers. The two first people to create computer code were Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Their program was called a BASIC program and later Bill Gates created Microsoft which old computer software (Personal Computer History, 2011). IBM was the first, though, to create a PC computer which could add pieces to its architecture (Mainframes to PC’s, 2011).
Apple’s Macintosh was the first computer to come out with a GUI (graphical user interface). This meant that it could be programmed by people at home, was easy to use with its interface, and it included a mouse, which meant it was a personal favorite at home for the people, while IBM was well liked by businesses and big corporations because of its programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, ND its spreadsheets (Mainframes to PC’s, 2011). In 1977, Dandy Radio Shack and Apple had the only machines equipped with disk drives.
This meant that their software could be sold on “floppy disks” and this made it easier for them, and helped their companies become very successful (Knight Dan, 2001). The portable computer industry continued to evolve and change, but it took a couple decades before they started producing the kinds of computers we have now. Next, came the evolution of the new portable computers. Just like the big computers MANIAC and UNIVAC, the portable computers had a “revolution” of their win, where they improved as better programs and better devices were created. This “revolution” is fairly recent, less than a decade ago, up until now.
One of the major milestones in technological and computer advancements was the touchstones. Computers called tablet PC’s started being produced, and touchstones smart-phones, too. Tablet PC’s are capable of being written on with a special pen. Now, computer companies are trying to build the smallest, fastest, most portable computers, and these computers are being called “Notebooks”. Also, some of the newer computers re equipped with built-in internet, meaning that anywhere the user is, the computer receives an internet signal and it can connect to the World Wide Web (WWW).
Apple “app store” of its own, meaning users can download applications ranging from school to games and these pap’s prices range from free to around $50. Some have even called this a cultural revolution in computer development (Lappets Antonio, 2011). There are also other computers that can have third-party software downloaded onto them. This means that any person that can create computer software can then share it with a community of people. This is all made possible by the World Wide Web. Computers have drastically changed the way we work, both the efficiency and productivity has sky rocketed.
Computers are now used for science, calculations, medicine, and also things like AD building. Our whole stock exchange market is made up of computers who calculate and then communicate the news to the public. Computers are also frequently used to create plans for buildings, homes, and businesses. They can also help save lives in the medicine and search fields. They can help prevent illnesses and can also help find outbreaks from others and even covers new ones (The Pros and Cons of Technology Today, 2011). Next comes the World Wide Web (WWW), and it makes computers even more useful.
The World Wide Web connects the entire world together with an internet network, and many new purposes for computers have arisen thanks to it. First of all, computers are very important for communication. We can now communicate with people on the other side of the world, in only a matter of seconds. This is done through social networks, emails, and instant messaging programs. All our technology has greatly increased our productivity as we can share our findings with others in a worth amount of time. Also, smart-phones have evolved so much that now they are being called “portable computers” themselves.
We can almost do everything on our phones that we can do on our computers, now. This is the reason why many believe that in a few years, computers will have disappeared and smart-phones and tablets will replace them. Some even say that in 2011, smart-phones and tablets will take over (Lour Steve, 2011). With all the positives stated above, there are also some “side-effects” created from computer usage. One example being that some people rely so much on technology hat when it fails them, they are unproductive. Also, computers now decrease the amount of exercise people get.
Now, people tend to spend most of their day at work, on the computer ,and then at home in front of their TV’s. This has greatly affected, for example, the obesity death rate in the United States. Around 600,000 adults each year die from physical inactivity and this number has been increasing each year (Obesity Levels in America, 2008). This is due to laziness among the people, created by use of technology, and has been an increasing factor in health issues. Many people are not getting enough exercise because they are on their computers too much, and this is one of the major negatives that computers have brought about.
Also, it has been proven by many eye doctors that being in front of a computer screen for too long can damage the eye sight. Other health issues have arisen too concerning rays that could be emitted from computers and could be dangerous to our bodies (Hartmann Thomas, 2011). There have been many assumptions made about what will happen to the they will continue to evolve into ways that are at the moment unimaginable, and they ill make our lives more CEO-friendly. That is a major development right now in computers. Scientists are finding new ways to make houses CEO-friendly and more efficient in the way they work.
This is all related to computers, since the houses are equipped with computer processors of their own. Some houses of the future will include automatic heating systems and automatic blinds. For example, they will receive data from a nearby weather station and then they will apply this to the house so that they can make the house cooler on a hot day and warmer on a cold day. They ill also have houses with refrigerators, for example, that display when they are about to run out of food and what they are running out of.
There are lists that go on and on about the development of the future for computers and how they will change the way we think and live. Computers are huge parts of our daily lives and many experts believe that it will stay that way for a long time to come. They believe that the technology will improve and speed up our work and make it more efficient. There are others, though, that believe that computers are making our generations lazier and not as scholarly. This is major debate that is on going about computers and their pros and cons.
Even so, computers have still greatly improved our lives in every aspect ranging from fun and games, to school and science, to medicine and curing illnesses. We can really believe now that computers are much more than Just pieces of equipment. They are tools that make up our everyday lives and greatly help and facilitate them; they make our lives faster, easier, simpler, and more efficient.