A Brief History of Computers

Now, as we are reading this particular article, we are using personalized computers, or mobile devices that work in the similar way and fashion.

According to the definition, the computer is an apparatus that performs routine calculations automatically. This particular definition tends to be naive and to provide you narrow view, but you should avoid thinking that calculation is a strictly mathematical process.

The main fact is that calculation represents numerous activities that use functions. Therefore, everything we do on our PCs or mobile devices, in the background are mathematical equations and functions.

Today, we have different variants of computers such as laptops, tablets, personalized ones that almost every home contains, and many more gadgets that could work similar operations as these machines. You should check the Info Galaxy website if you want to determine how to purchase the best laptop for your specific needs.

Let us start from the very beginning:

Earliest History

  1. The Abacus

The first calculating device that people used in the first century Before Christ is the abacus, and it is still the common gadget that people use in Asia. It featured a rectangular frame as well as parallel rods with beads.

Before people used the standard way of writing numbers, they included abacus for weight, units by using rods. This particular scheme allowed a wide array of numbers until India invented the zero, which inspired the Arabic number system.

In most cases, people could use it to perform usual arithmetic operations such as subtraction, addition, dividing, and multiplication.

  1. Analog Calculators

John Napier, who was a Scottish mathematician, discovered logarithms in 1614 and he added ten-digit numbers inside so that people could multiply without any additional problem. This particular simplification was possible due to its logarithmic features.

You should click here to learn more on John Napier.

The most important moment when it comes to computing development was the transformation of multiplication through mechanization, which brought to us analog calculating devices, based on logarithms.

Edmund Gunter created terms contingent and cosine and created a device that could perform navigational calculations. That was Gunter scale, and it was used until William Oughtred created slide rule based on the Napier’s ideas.

The first one was circular, and he created later rectangular shaped, which comprised numerous advantages when compared with an abacus.

  1. Digital Calculators

Wilhelm Schicart created the first calculator, and he described it as a machine that can calculate, but the prototype was destroyed in a fire. Its name was calculating clock, and the device could subtract or add six digit numbers through interlocking gears, in which each rotated so that you can read it thoroughly.

Leonardo da Vinci was also a pioneer that sketched plans for modern calculator, but sketches were not complete. Modern engineers used this particular basis to create a calculator that we use nowadays.

Leibniz was the first person who thought that the binary number system is ideal for machines because they only use two digits that could be translated as on and off. As soon as computers became electronic, manufacturers implemented the binary system because it could represent the on or off circuits.

The First Computer

In the 19th century, inventors created numerous ideas that would help people create the first computer, and this particular machine would have potential advantages to industry and science because it could create automatic routine calculations.

Charles Babbage invented cowcatcher, and he was a first person who suggested that we could read weather of years from tree rings. He also had a fascination with ciphers, keys, and mechanical dolls.

If you want to check more information on Charles Babbage, you should visit this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/babbage_charles.shtml.

He created the difference engine in 1832, which was an advanced calculator that featured logarithm tables and people used it for navigation. However, this particular machine was not only a simple calculator; it provided a series of calculations that could solve complex issues and problems.

Similar to modern computers, it features storage that could be used for processing, and it stamped its output into soft metal so that people could use it afterward. Still, it performed one operation, an operator had to set data registers that he would apply to other registers, with the idea to get a perfect solution.

That was the first known computer that people used, and since then the technology advanced to the point where we are surrounded by a wide array of machines and computers that we use on a daily basis. It is simple as that.