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Unit 1- A Brief History of Computers (EDCE2025)
Terms in this set (26)
List the first computing devices, origin and inventor
Weaving Loom>Joseph Jacquard>France
Difference Engine>Charles Babbage>Britain
Analytical Engine>Charles Babbage>Britain
Punch Card Tabulating Machine>Herman Hollerith>America
Electronic Computer>John Atanasoff>America
UNIVAC>Eckert and Mauchly>America
How long have computing devices existed?
over 4000 years
What is an abacus?
*300BC (Babylonians) or 500BC ( Chinese)
*an oblong frame with rows of wires or grooves along which beads are slid, used for calculating. It did multiplication, division, subtraction and addition the same way modern computers and calculators do today.
*Place of a bead or rock determined its place value ( ones, tens, ...)
*No definite inventor however it was largely influenced by the Chinese and Romans.
What was the Pascaline used for ?
*invented in 1642
*first mechanical adding machine (digital calculator)
*could only perform addition and subtraction on whole numbers by manipulating its dials.
What was the weaving loom used for?
*invented in 1801
*invented a power loom that could base its weave (and hence the design on the fabric) upon a pattern automatically read from punched wooden cards, held together in a long row by rope.
What was the Difference Engine?
*set out to be built in 1820s-1830s
*was to be an automatic mechanical calculator which when the gears were cranked by hand moved numerical counters in order to supply complex results.
*The Difference Engine essentially did the work of scribes who would otherwise sit and compute polynomial tables for mathematics, chemistry or other purposes.
*secured funding from gov't and project was estimated for completion in 3years
*encountered setbacks including death of his wife
*worked stopped when he travelled the world
*secured funding upon return and wanted to resume work but clashed with head engineer
*construction of difference engine halted and in the meantime worked on analytical engine
*sought funding again in 1840s to complete either of machines.
*Denied funding as times were hard and 17,000 pounds were already donated for this invention which did not work
*Babbage envisioned it to be steam-powered and as large as a locomotive
*In 1991, the bicentennial of his birthday, the difference engine was completed as proof of the validity of his designs.
*A model of the difference engine resides in the Science Museum in London today.
What was the Analytical Engine?
*first proposed in 1837
*considered to be the concept for the first general mechanical computer
The design featured an Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) and permitted basic programmatic flow control. It was programmed using punch cards (inspired by the Jacquard Loom. It also featured integrated memory.
*Had teamed up with Ada Byron who came up with the concept of programming the machine to do various functions
N.B. For these reasons, historians consider it to be the first design concept of a general-purpose computer.
*Machine never completed due to lack of funding
*Youngest son completed a portion of the machine which could only do basic calculations
What was the Punch Card Tabulating Machine?
* invented in the 1880s
*it was an electrical device that rapidly sorted and analysed information recorded on punched cards.
*By punching holes into record cards, information such as age or gender could be represented. The machine then rapidly sorted the cards and produced useful statistical information.
*Hollerith used his machine to tabulate information collected in the United States 1890 census
*1890 census completed in 2.5 years compared to 5-10 years of the 1880 census
What was the 1st electronic computer?
*US Supreme Court declared in 1930s to be designed by John Atanasoff of Iowa State Uni.
*However, historians and computer scientists disagree. They argue that it was several brilliant minds who laid the foundation for this revolutionary device to emerge.
What was the ENIAC ?
*Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer
*The Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (ENIAC) was the very first general-purpose electronic computer.
*John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert built the machine at the University of Pennsylvania at the behest of the U.S. military.
*Mauchly had attracted the army's attention when he announced in 1942 that he thought vacuum tubes could be used to speed up the mechanical calculators being used at the time.
*Speedy calculations was just what the military needed during World War II as they pounded out artillery firing tables -- tables that could tell a soldier just which settings a particular piece of artillery needed under a particular set of conditions. The calculations involved could take a human days to complete.
*It used 18,000 vacuum tubes. A tube was blown every couple of minutes. This then necessitated rewiring of the machine. The result was loss of data.
*Led to development of stored program concept. Hence, computer program and memory could be stored in its memory during execution. So if the computer crashed, it could return to previous instructions and repeat them. Therefore, rewiring was no longer necessary.
*This revolutionized the way computers were used as it was no longer necessary to link a computer to a a specific job.
What was the UNIVAC?
*Up until 1951 US military had exclusive user rights to the electronic digital computer while UPenn owned the patent.
*This prevented Eckert and Mauchy from commercializing their invention
*Mauchy resigned from UPenn to start own computer company and through gov't grant designed the first commercial computer, the UNIVAC.
*First used in 1951 population census.
*It gained popularity among businesses when it was used to predict the winner of the 1952 presidential elections.
*Used punch cards and magnetic tape for data input.
* Vacuum tubes were not energy efficient and failed quite often resulting in lots of down time for the computers
*Despite this it had fewer vacuum tubes which made it more reliable than ENIAC. It also had a keyboard to control the keyboard and magnetic tapes for unlimited storage.
What was the first name of IBM?
*first known as the Tabulating Machine Company.
*Hollerith in 1896 founded machines which served data processing needs of large companies.
*TMC renamed IBM
What invention replaced the vacuum tube?
bipolar transistor and later field effect transistor
Did IBM once have a monopoly in the computer market?
*Between 1914 and 1993, the worldwide gross revenue of IBM increased 15,000-fold from about $4 million per year to about $63 billion per year.
*Over that time period, IBM introduced many new devices such as the IBM Personal Computer in August of 1981.
*The personal computer is arguably the most important piece of technology to come out of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
*IBM took initiative to deposit a patent giving them sole rights to the personal computer.
*Partly because IBM had such a stronghold over the market, these machines cost the public up to $6500 for the CPU, monitor, and keyboard. The lack of competition led to IBM's complete control over prices as well as direction of technology.
*IBM's excessive powers made it that much more difficult for startup companies and even established companies in the computer industry to succeed.
*If IBM had continued their market hegemony through the present, the world market, which is increasingly dependent on technological products and services, would be at the hands of one organization
What were two first generation computers?
ENIAC and UNIVAC
When was the transistor invented?
Who invented the transistor?
Describe a transistor
A transistor is a switch that regulates the flow of electrical current
How is the transistor better suited for computers than the vacuum tube?
* Fraction of the weight of the vacuum tube
*Consumed less power
*Generated less heat
*All of the above made it more convenient and reliable
*Changed the way computers were built
What did second generation computers look like?
* created with transistors instead of vacuum tubes
* faster, smaller and more stable
* in some respects resembled today's computer
*used punch cards for input
*used tape storage and disk storage
*Came with high-level programming language instead of machine language
*Programmers wrote machine's instructions using English commands and Arabic numbers. Now these programs could be used on machines of other computer manufacturers-programming language was non-computer specific unlike machine language which was computer specific
What were two program languages used by transistor computers?
FORTRAN ( Formula Translator) and COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language)
What was the leading transistor-operated computer system?
*IBM 1401 ( This computer was a mainframe computer-multi-user which served the needs of large businesses) .
*invented in 1959
*The powerful capabilities enticed many businesses to purchase computers that could handle all of their business needs.
What was remarkable about the IBM 360 computer?
*there was no difference in the line of the computers as they used the same programs and peripherals
* for the first time businesses and scientists used the same computers (instruction set big enough for both uses)
Describe Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak's "appliance computer"
*A microcomputer that could be plugged in from the box and was guaranteed to work.
*It was called the Apple 1 and the later model the Apple 2.
*Great success and was purchased for many schools and homes.
*They were small, lightweight and used a graphical user interface
*GUI- a computer working environment such as Windows that uses icons, buttons, windows and other imagery to represent files and operations visually. These are manipulated with a mouse.
How did IBM release hold on the computer industry?
*1980 IBM joined Apple and made first microcomputer in joint effort with Microsoft which wrote a program called DOS (disk operating system) for the new computer line.
*New computer had a microprocessor from Intel.
*A microprocessor is a chip that holds the entire control unit and arithmetic unit of a computer.
*IBM did not challenge computer companies who created clones to their computer lines; they could run any software that was created for the IBM PC.
* Apple and IBM PC successfully commercialized the computer industry bringing the PC into the reach of the average user.
How big was the Difference Engine?
It weighed 5 tons, has 8000 parts and was 11 ft long.