Monday, 17 March 2014

The Birth Of The Computer Age

Welcome my fellow learners. Today’s blog is about the birth of the computer age. Computers were built not just by one person, but a series of people, combining their talents to construct a computer, starting from its binary code to its storage memory.

The computer was created not for entertainment but out of necessity to solve serious number crunching issues. By 1880 the population in the U.S. had grown so much that it took over seven years to calculate the census results. The government began to look for faster ways to do the job, this gave rise to punch card computers that filled whole rooms. Today however, we carry more power on our phones than was in these earlier models.

Charles Babbage an English mathematician in 1822, created the first steam powered calculating machine, this could compute large tables of numbers. However, even though the government funded this revolutionary product, it was doomed to failure. And it took over a century for the world’s first computer to be built.

Herman Hollerith in 1890 designed the first punch card system to calculate the 1880 census. It took less than 3 years to do this job, and saved the government a whopping $5 million. He then established a company that would be known in time as IBM, which was actually founded in 1911.

J V Atanasoff, a physics and mathematics professor in 1937 tries to build the first computer that did not need gears, belts, cams or shafts. In later years he and his student Clifford Berry, designed a computer that could solve up to 29 equations at the same time. This was the first recorded computer that could store information in its memory.

In 1953 a lady called Grace Hopper develops computer language, (nice to see the ladies finally joining the race).

Two gentlemen known as Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce in 1958 give the world its first integrated circuit, also known today as the computer chip

The first known floppy disk was created an unveiled in 1971 by Alan Shugart and his team from IBM, thus allowing information to be traded between computers. Later on in years IBM 5100 is the first portable computer, this was released in 1975.

And let’s not forget about Steve Jobs and Wozniak who started Apple on believe it or not April Fool’s Day, they delivered to us the first single circuit board computer, known as the Apple I.  

These examples are but a drop in the ocean regarding inventions by little known people. Needless to say, the nameless individuals that helped built and create the computers of today are the unsung heroes we should not neglect. 

No comments:

Post a Comment