Computers Development

A Computer is an electronic device that can receive a set of instructions, or
program, and then carry out this program by performing calculations on numerical
data or by compiling and correlating other forms of information. The modern
world of high technology could not have come about except for the development of
the computer. Different types and sizes of computers find uses throughout
society in the storage and handling of data, from secret governmental files to
banking transactions to private household accounts. Computers have opened up a
new era in manufacturing through the techniques of automation, and they have
enhanced modern communication systems. They are essential tools in almost every
field of research and applied technology, from constructing models of the
universe to producing tomorrow\'s weather reports, and their use has in itself
opened up new areas of conjecture. Database services and computer networks make
available a great variety of information sources. The same advanced techniques
also make possible invasions of privacy and of restricted information sources,
but computer crime has become one of the many risks that society must face if it
would enjoy the benefits of modern technology. (Gulliver 12-15) Imagine a world
without computers. That would mean no proper means of communicating, no

Internet, no video games. Life would be extremely difficult. Adults would have
to store all their office work paper and therefore take up an entire room.

Teenagers would have to submit course-works and projects hand-written. All
graphs and diagrams would have to be drawn neatly and carefully. Youngsters
would never have heard of \'video-games\' and will have to spend their free time
either reading or playing outside with friends. But thanks to British
mathematicians, Augusta Ada Byron and Charles Babbage, our lives are made a lot
easier. (Malone 5-6) There are two main types of computers that are in use
today, analog and digital computers, although the term computer is often used to
mean only the digital type. Analog computers exploit the mathematical similarity
between physical interrelationships in certain problems, and employ electronic
or hydraulic circuits to simulate the physical problem. Digital computers solve
problems by performing sums and by dealing with each number digit by digit. (Cringley

28-30) Hybrid computers are those that contain elements of both analog and
digital computers. They are usually used for problems in which large numbers of
complex equations, known as time integrals, are to be computed. Data in analog
form can also be fed into a digital computer by means of an analog- to-digital
converter, and the same is true of the reverse situation. (Cringley 31-32) The

French philosopher Blaise Pascal devised the first adding machine, a precursor
of the digital computer, in 1642. This device employed a series of ten-toothed
wheels, each tooth representing a digit from 0 to 9. The wheels were connected
so that numbers could be added to each other by advancing the wheels by a
correct number of teeth. In the 1670s the German philosopher and mathematician

Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz improved on this machine by devising one that
could also multiply. The French inventor Joseph Marie Jacquard, in designing an
automatic loom, used thin, perforated wooden boards to control the weaving of
complicated designs. During the 1880s the American statistician Herman Hollerith
conceived the idea of using perforated cards, similar to Jacquard\'s boards, for
processing data. Employing a system that passed punched cards over electrical
contacts, he was able to compile statistical information for the 1890 U.S.
census. (Hazewindus 44-48) Also in the 19th century, the British mathematician
and inventor Charles Babbage worked out the principles of the modern digital
computer. He conceived a number of machines, such as the Difference Engine, that
were designed to handle complicated mathematical problems. Many historians
consider Babbage and his associate, the British mathematician Augusta Ada Byron
(Lady Lovelace, 1815-52), the daughter of the English poet Lord Byron, the true
inventors of the modern digital computer. The technology of their time was not
capable of translating their sound concepts into practice; but one of their
inventions, the Analytical Engine, had many features of a modern computer. It
had an input stream in the form of a deck of punched cards, a "store"
for saving data, a "mill" for arithmetic operations, and a printer
that made a permanent record. (Hazewindus 56-58) Late in the 1960s the
integrated circuit, or IC, was introduced, making it possible for many
transistors to be fabricated on one silicon substrate, with inter- connecting
wires plated in place. The IC resulted in a further reduction in price, size,
and failure rate. The microprocessor became a reality in the mid-1970s with the
introduction of the large-scale integrated