Saturday, August 3, 2019
The History of Computers :: Computers Technology Technological Essays
The History of Computers From primitive abaci to lab tops and calculators, the computer has evolved through time to become the essential part of our technocratic society. The development of the computer has shaped the way technology and science is viewed in different cultures around the world. The connotation of what a computer is nowadays brings to mind a monitor, keyboard, processor and its other electronic components; however, that is not how things have always been. From the Chinese using abaci to count, to the Druids' usage of stones to follow the seasonal changes, to the Europeans using Pascalines and calculators to work out mathematical problems the concept of the computer has been around for hundreds of years (Hoyle). Therefore, the history of computers is important to observe not only for the influence it brought to our culture, but the progress it has made through time. The history of modern computers has been influenced by the earlier advancement of primordial technology. The abacus developed in circa 500 B.C for example, used pebbles, rocks, beads, or shells to keep track of the counters numbers. Furthermore, "the abacus was man's first attempt at automating the counting process" (Hoyle). In addition, the Pascaline, invented and built by a French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal, was the first mathematical adding machine (Long 54). The Pascaline was a gear-driven machine that allowed the user to calculate answers without doing arithmetic (Hoyle). In addition to the abacus and the Pascaline, Babbage's Folly, also known as the difference machine, "hastened the development of computers. [and] advanced the state of computational hardware" (Long 55). This engine, designed by the Cambridge professor Charles Babbage, could do any of the basic functions of mathematics: adding, subtracting, multiplying, and division in series at a "rate of 60 additions per minute" (55) could all be accomplished with minimal effort. All of these ideas and concepts helped pave the way for innovators to design what we now view as the modern-day computer. It took certain people to utilize these primitive forms of computing data to create real technologically advanced machines. Such a person, for example, was the professor Dr.