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Evolution of the Computer:

The first counting device was the abacus, originally from Asia. It worked on a place-
value notion meaning that the place of a bead or rock on the apparatus determined how
much it was worth.
16s! "ohn #apier discovers logarithms. $obert %issaker invents the slide rule which
will remain in popular use until 1&''.
16()! %laise *ascal, a +rench mathematician and philosopher, invents the first
mechanical digital calculator using gears, called the *ascaline. Although this machine
could perform addition and subtraction on whole numbers, it was too e,pensive and
only *ascal himself could repair it.
1-(! "oseph .arie "ac/uard used punch cards to automate a weaving loom.
1-1)! 0harles *. %abbage, the 1father of the computer1, discovered that many long
calculations involved many similar, repeated operations. Therefore, he designed a
machine, the difference engine which would be steam-powered, fully automatic and
commanded by a fi,ed instruction program. In 1-22, %abbage /uit working on this
machine to concentrate on the analytical engine.
1-(s! Augusta Ada. 1The first programmer1 suggested that a binary system should be
used for storage rather than a decimal system.
1-3s! 4eorge %oole developed %oolean logic which would later be used in the design
of computer circuitry.
1-&! 5r. 6erman 6ollerith introduced the first electromechanical, punched-card data-
processing machine which was used to compile information for the 1-& 7.8. census.
6ollerith9s tabulator became so successful that he started his own business to market it.
6is company would eventually become International %usiness .achines :I%.;.
1&6! The vacuum tube is invented by American physicist <ee 5e +orest.
1&2&! 5r. "ohn =. Atanasoff and his assistant 0lifford %erry build the first electronic
digital computer. Their machine, the Atanasoff-%erry-0omputer :A%0; provided the
foundation for the advances in electronic digital computers.
1&(1, >onrad ?use :recently deceased in "anuary of 1&&6;, from 4ermany, introduced
the first programmable computer designed to solve comple, engineering e/uations. This
machine, called the ?2, was also the first to work on the binary system instead of the
decimal system.
1&(2! %ritish mathematician Alan Turing developed a hypothetical device, the Turing
machine which would be designed to perform logical operation and could read and
write. It would presage programmable computers. 6e also used vacuum technology to
build %ritish 0olossus, a machine used to counteract the 4erman code scrambling
device, @nigma.
1&((! 6oward Aiken, in collaboration with engineers from I%., constructed a large
automatic digital se/uence-controlled computer called the 6arvard .ark I. This
computer could handle all four arithmetic operations, and had special built-in programs
for logarithms and trigonometric functions.
1&(3! 5r. "ohn von #eumann presented a paper outlining the stored-program concept.
1&(A! The giant @#IA0 :@lectrical #umerical Integrator and 0alculator; machine was
developed by "ohn B. .auchly and ". *resper @ckert, "r. at the 7niversity of
*ennsylvania. It used 1-, vacuums, punch-card input, weighed thirty tons and
occupied a thirty-by-fifty-foot space. It wasn9t programmable but was productive from
1&(6 to 1&33 and was used to compute artillery firing tables. That same year, the
transistor was invented by Billiam 8hockley, "ohn %ardeen and Balter %rattain of %ell
<abs. It would rid computers of vacuum tubes and radios.
1&(&! .aurice =. Bilkes built the @58A0 :@lectronic 5elay 8torage Automatic
0omputer;, the first stored-program computer. @5=A0 :@lectronic 5iscrete =ariable
Automatic 0omputer;, the second stored-program computer was built by .auchly,
@ckert, and von #eumann. An Bang developed magnetic-core memory which "ay
+orrester would reorganiCe to be more efficient.
1&3! Turing built the A0@, considered by some to be the first programmable digital
The First Generation (1951-1959)
1&31! .auchly and @ckert built the 7#I=A0 I, the first computer designed and sold
commercially, specifically for business data-processing applications.
1&3s! 5r. 4race .urray 6opper developed the 7#I=A0 I compiler.
1&3A! The programming language +D$T$A# :+ormula translator; was designed by
"ohn %ackus, an I%. engineer.
1&3&! "ack 8t. 0lair >ilby and $obert #oyce of Te,as Instruments manufactured the
first integrated circuit, or chip, which is a collection of tiny little transistors.
The Second Generation (1959-195)
1&6s! 4ene Amdahl designed the I%. 8ystemE26 series of mainframe :4; computers,
the first general-purpose digital computers to use integrated circuits.
1&61! 5r. 6opper was instrumental in developing the 0D%D< :0ommon %usiness
Driented <anguage; programming language.
1&62! >en Dlsen, founder of 5@0, produced the *5*-I, the first minicomputer :4;.
1&63! %A8I0 :%eginners All-purpose 8ymbolic Instruction 0ode; programming
language developed by 5r. Thomas >urtC and 5r. "ohn >emeny.
The Third Generation (195-19!1)
1&6&! The Internet is started. :8ee 6istory of the Internet;
1&A! 5r. Ted 6off developed the famous Intel (( microprocessor :4; chip.
1&A1! Intel released the first microprocessor, a specialiCed integrated circuit which was
ale to process four bits of data at a time. It also included its own arithmetic logic unit.
*A80A<, a structured programming language, was developed by #iklaus Birth.
The Fourth Generation (19!1-"resent)
1&A3! @d $oberts, the 1father of the microcomputer1 designed the first microcomputer,
the Altair --, which was produced by .icro Instrumentation and Telemetry 8ystems
:.IT8;. The same year, two young hackers, Billiam 4ates and *aul Allen approached
.IT8 and promised to deliver a %A8I0 compiler. 8o they did and from the sale,
.icrosoft was born.
1&A6! 0ray developed the 0ray-I supercomputer :4;. Apple 0omputer, Inc was founded
by 8teven "obs and 8tephen BoCniak.
1&AA! "obs and BoCniak designed and built the first Apple II microcomputer.
1&-! I%. offers %ill 4ates the opportunity to develop the operating system for its new
I%. personal computer. .icrosoft has achieved tremendous growth and success today
due to the development of .8-5D8. Apple III was also released.
1&-1! The I%. *0 was introduced with a 16-bit microprocessor.
1&-)! Time magaCine chooses the computer instead of a person for its 1.achine of the
1&-(! Apple introduced the .acintosh computer, which incorporated a uni/ue graphical
interface, making it easy to use. The same year, I%. released the )-6-AT.
1&-6! 0ompa/ released the 5esk*ro 2-6 computer, the first to use the -26
1&-A! I%. announced the D8E) operating-system technology.
1&--! A nondestructive worm was introduced into the Internet network bringing
thousands of computers to a halt.
1&-&! The Intel (-6 became the world9s first 1,, transistor microprocessor.
1&&2! The @nergy 8tar program, endorsed by the @nvironmental *rotection Agency
:@*A;, encouraged manufacturers to build computer e/uipment that met power
consumption guidelines. Bhen guidelines are met, e/uipment displays the @nergy 8tar
logo. The same year, 8everal companies introduced computer systems using the
*entium microprocessor from Intel that contains 2.1 million transistors and is able to
perform 11) million instructions per second :.I*8;.