Development Of Computers And Technology Essay

3847 words - 16 pages

Computers in some form are in almost everything these days. From Toasters to Televisions, just about all electronic things has some form of processor in them. This is a very large change from the way it used to be, when a computer that would take up an entire room and weighed tons of pounds has the same amount of power as a scientific calculator. The changes that computers have undergone in the last 40 years have been colossal. So many things have changed from the ENIAC that had very little power, and broke down once every 15 minutes and took another 15 minutes to repair, to our Pentium Pro 200's, and the powerful Silicon Graphics Workstations, the core of the machine has stayed basically ...view middle of the document...

Nowadays, no matter where you look, computers are somewhere, doing something.Changes in computer hardware and software have taken great leaps and jumps since the first video games and word processors. Video games started out with a game called Pong...monochrome (2 colors, typically amber and black, or green and black), you had 2 controller paddles, and the game resembled a slow version of Air Hockey. The first word processors had their roots in MS-DOS, these were not very sophisticated nor much better than a good typewriter at the time. About the only benefits were the editing tools available with the word processors. But, since these first two dinosaurs of software, they have gone through some major changes. Video games are now placed in fully 3-D environments and word processors now have the abilities to change grammar and check your spelling.Hardware has also undergone some fairly major changes. When computers entered their 4th generation, with the 8088 processor, it was just a base computer, with a massive processor, with little power, running at 3-4 MHz, and there was no sound to speak of, other than blips and bleeps from an internal speaker. Graphics cards were limited to two colors (monochrome), and RAM was limited to 640k and less. By this time, though, computers had already undergone massive changes. The first computers were massive beasts of things that weighed thousands of pounds. The first computer was known as the ENIAC, it was the size of a room, used punched cards as input and didn't have much more power than a calculator. The reason for it being so large is that it used vacuum tubes to process data. It also broke down very the tune of once every fifteen minutes, and then it would take 15 minutes to locate the problem and fix it. This beast also used massive amount of power, and people used to joke that the lights would dim in the city of origin whenever the computer was used.The Early Days of ComputersThe very first computer, in the roughest sense of the term, was the abacus. Consisting of beads strung on wires, the abacus was the very first desktop calculator. The first actual mechanical computer came from an individual named Blaise Pascal, who built an adding machine based on gears and wheels. This invention did not become improved significantly until a person named Charles Babbage came along, who made a machine called the difference engine. It is for this, that Babbage is known as the "Father of the Computer.'Born in England in 1791, Babbage was a mathematician, and an inventor. He decided a machine could be built to solve polynomial equations more easily and accurately by calculating the differences between them. The model of this was named the Difference Engine. The model was so well received that he began to build a full scale working version, with money that he received from the British Government as a grant.Babbage soon found that the tightest design specifications could not produce an accurate machine. The...

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