History of Computing Development
In early days there were no facilities to count and calculate. people at that time use different means to count in informal way such as using Pebbles drawing lines. Scratching on wall etc. as there is saying necessity is the mother of invention. The saying holds true for computers also; computer were invented because of human in search for a fast and accurate calculating devices. We know that, the history of computer begins from counting or computations. There is a great contribution of scientists, mathematicians, philosophers,, engineers and many organizations to bring the computer at present stage. The historical development of computer can he categorized in three distinct eras. They are.
This was the era in which several mechanical devices were used for the purpose of counting and computing manually. The devices development in this era became the basis for the invention of electromechanical devices or electromechanical computers. The era is called mechanical era because the machines were based on moving parts, operated completely by machines and they did not have any logical control in operation. The major inventions of this era are discussed below in terms of different calculating devices. They are :
Abacus (Before 2500 to 3000 years ago)
Abacus was the first mechanical calculating device which was developed by Chinese, Russian or Egyptian before 255-3000 year ago. Abacus consists of a arectangular frame carrying number if rods and coils along with beads, It is divided into two parts upper part known as heaven and lower part known as earth which are separated by mid bar. The heaven consists of two beads and the earth consist of five beads. Sliding the beads towards or away from the central bar, the calculation was performed. It is still used in some part of the world such as Asia, Greece, Egypt and China.
Napier’s Bones (1617 AD)
The Napier’s Bone also known as Napier’s Rod was invented by Scottish mathematician John Napier in 1617 AD. Each bones on this device consisted of set of ten vertical rectangular rods. These rods correspond to the digits 0-9 and special eleventh rod is used to represent the multipliers. Napier’s Bone was very much useful for finding multiplication at that time.
Leibniz Calculating Machine ( 1671 )
Leibniz Calculating Machine (1671 AD) In 1671, a German mathematician Gottfried Wilhem Von Leibniz invented a calculating machine called Leibniz Calculating Machine. It was also known as stepped reckoner which was based on the principle and idea of Pascaline. The Stepped Reckoner could perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It could find out even square root also.
In 1801 AD, a French silk weaver Joseph Marie jacquard invented an automatic weaving machine called Jacquard’s loom. The loom used punched card for intricate design and produce certain pattern in the woven cloth. This card was automatically fed through a loom mechanism in sequence, with the purpose of controlling the Loom’s weaving action. The function of loom was dependent upon the presence of hole or absence of holes on the punched card.
Charles Babbage (Father of Computer Science)
Charles Babbage was born in 1791 A.D. in United Kingdom. He was the professor of mathematics at Cambridge University as well the creative thinkers of nineteenth century. He invented difference engine and analytical engine which became themilestone for the development of modern computers. He is known as the father of computer science because he had led to the foundation of modern computer in his analytical engine including the concept of input, processing, output and storage. He also kept the concept of using binary digits in his machine
Difference Engine (in 1822)
Charles Babbage invented the Difference Engine in 1822 which was able to compute tables of numbers, such as logarithm tables. Charles Babbage obtained government funding for this reject due to the importance of numeric tables in ocean navigation. The difference engine was capable to perform calculations, store program and display the result automatically. However, Babbage never quite made a fully functional Difference Engine due to the lack of required technology and resources. of on
Analytical Engine (in 1833)
In 1833, Charles Babbage developed general purpose fully programmable calculating device called Analytical Engine. This device was able to perform calculations and store the result. The Analytical Engine was based on the principle of Input, Processing and output. It also used binary number system for its operation. The modern digital computers are based on the same principle. The analytical engine had the following major parts with different functions Purpose Parts To Input data and instructions. a. Punched card:
Lady Augusta Ada Lovelace
Lady Augusta Ada Lovelace was the student of Charles Babbage at Cambridge University as well as daughter of great English poet Lord Byron. She gave the idea of using binary number system to Charles Babbage in his analytical engine. She also operated the Analytical Engine for the first computer programmer in the computer history
Note: The programming language ADA was developed in American defense department to honor the Lady Ada Augusta Lovelace for her great contribution
Herman’s Tabulating Machine ( In 1887 )
Dr. Herman Hollerith an American census statistician invented the punched card tabulating machine in 1887. His device could automatically read census information which had been punched onto the card. As a result of his invention, reading errors were greatly reduced, work flow was increased. It was the first machine to make practical use of punched cars on data processing.
This was the era in which the parts of computers were electronic and mechanical based. This era was the outcome of mechanical era so that the computational devices were partly programmable. Scientists discovered electrical charges as a way to represent data in this period. For the first time, electricity was used to operate the computer but computer still had many mechanical components. Programming in computer did not involve using the software. Since the both electrical and mechanical era. The major inventions of this era are discussed below.
Howard Aiken the professor of Harvard university invented Mark-I in 1937 AD using the electrical and mechanical technology for the first time. Mark – I was also named as ASCC ( Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator ). Aiken was able to invent Mark –I following the idea of Analytical engine and punched card tabulating machine. The following are the special features of Mark-I
•It used 18000 vacuum tubes.
•It consisted even Lakh and fifty thousand Parts.
•It was 51 feet long, 8 Feet height and 3 feet wide.
•It consumed huge amount of electricity.
Atanasoff berry Computer
John Vincent Atanasoff, the professor of mathematics and physics of IOWA state college, with the
help of his graduate student Clifford Berry Invented ABC Computer in 1939 AD. This computer was
designed and developed for the purpose of solving simultaneous equations. The following are the
major features of ABC.
•The concept of Boolean algebra was applied in designing the circuits.
•IT used 18000 vacuum tubes and other 45 volves for internal logic.
•It used capacitors for internal storage of electrical charge.
•It was appropriate for solving only one type of mathematical problem.
This is the modern era of computer in which mechanical devices were replaced by fully electronic
circuits so that calculations were based on digital mechanism. The development of this era is the
result of specific technology, people and motivation. The major inventions of this era are:
ENIAC ( Electronic Numerical Integrator And Calculator )
In 1946, John William Mauchly and Jeorge PersperEckert at the Moore school of electrical and
engineering of university of Pennsylvania constructed ENIAC.. It was the first general purpose
electronic computer. It was developed for the purpose of military and defense. The features of
•It used decimal number system for the calculation.
•It consisted of 18000 vacuum tubes and 70000 registers.
•It was very much faster than any other devices invented at that time.
•It was huge in size so occupied more than 15,000 square feet
EDSAC ( Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Computer )
EDSAC was the electronic computer invented by the group of scientists led by Maurice V.
Wilkes at Cambridge University in 1949. It also used vacuum tube as main component. This
machine could perform any addition operation in 1500 microseconds and similarly
multiplication operation in 4000 microseconds.
EDVAC ( Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer )
In 1952, John Mauchly and J.P . Eckert with the idea and concept of John von Neumann invented
EDVAC. It was used to store data as well as instruction. It used 4000 Vacuum tubes and 10000 crystal
diodes. The EDVAC was the first computer with stored program concept in its design.
UNIVAC ( Universal Automatic Computer )
UNIVAC was the first general purpose electronic computer designed for commercial purpose. It was
also invented by John W. Mauchly and J.P eckert in 1951. It was operational in census Bureau of the
U.S. the Universal Automatic Computer ( UNIVAC ) was able to handle both numbers and alphabets
equally. This computer was 25 feet x 25 feet in length, contained 5600 tubes, 18000 crystal diodes
and 300 relays