History Of Computing

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History of Computing



(1800s-1930s): Early Mechanical computers1

1930s: Electro-Mechanical Computers2

1940s-Electronic Computers3

1950s: The First Commercial Computers5

1960s: The Microchip and the Microprocessor6

1970s: Personal Computers8

1980s-1990s: The Early Notebooks and Laptops9

2000s: The Rise of Mobile Computing11



History of Computing


Computers have become a most popular and necessary part of our lives. It is a very beneficial and notable invention of human being. With the help of this incredible machine, we can get the information from the remote parts of the world in a single click (Carroll, n.d.). Now, the question arises who is the inventor of this "think-machine"? the answer is that computer consists of the series of components and many people contributed to history of computing to make this powerful think machine. All its components are separate inventions (Bellis, n.d.).


History of computing consists of many major inventions and milestones. Let's discuss them in detail (Bellis, n.d.).

Early Mechanical computers (1800s-1930s)

First computer was designed by Charles Babbage. He is the Father of computer. He introduced the set of engines which are known as Babbage's engines (Chapman, 2010). In 1832, he designed a portion of difference engine and then he focused on designing an analytical engine in 1834-35 (Carlson, B. et.al, n.d.). These computers were not completed in Charle's Babbage's life time. His designs were preserved. In 2002, , a difference engine is built (Chapman, 2010).

Fig 1.1: First difference engine constructed from the designs of Charles Babbage (Chapman, 2010)

In 1938, Konrad Zuse invented the first fully programmable electro-mechanical computer named Z1. (Bellis, n.d.).

1930s: Electro-Mechanical Computers

Electro mechanical computers are used as switches because they work on the mechanism of relays (Chapman, 2010). Zuse worked on this idea and invented Z2 in 1939. It was a fully programmable electromechanical computer with some better implementations. In 1941, Zuse completed Z3. It was the world's first fully programmable digital computer. It was a binary computer which was able to work out floating point number calculations and switching system was also implemented in that (Bellis, n.d.).

1940s-Electronic Computers

Collosus was the first Electronic computer which was designed during the World War II. It was used for the decryption of Secret German codes during the war. It was able to perform Boolean and logical operations. Vacuum tubes and paper tapes were used in its construction (Chapman, 2010).

Fig 1.2: Collosus- First early electronic computer designed during World War II (Chapman, 2010).

After that, Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine was the noticeable electronic computer. It was nicknamed as “The Baby”. It was a computer in which William Tubes were used for the first time (Chapman, 2010). In 1942, First electronic computer was designed by John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry. He introduced binary arithmetic and parallel processing in his computer, and it was called the first Electronic digital computer (Bellis, n.d.)

Fig1.3: The Atanasoff-Berry Computer (www.computerhistory.org)

In 1944, Howard Aiken & Grace Hopper constructed another electronic computer known as Harvard Mark I Computer. In 1946, John Presper Eckert & John W. Mauchly designed ENIAC 1 Computer. ENIAC was based on 20,000 vacuum ...
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