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A Brief History of the Computer

A Brief History of the computerPublished by jDixonblication date and edition201e content in this book is available under the terms of the creative commons attributionShareAlike License For full details of thse, please go tohttp:/creativecommons

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Napiers boneslohn Napier(1550-1617)-a Scoiast and astroted thatmul tiplication and division of numbers can be performed by addition and subtractiogarithhose numbers While producing the first logarithneeded to perform many mul tiplications, and it was at this point that he designed Napier'sBOARD7×52a57×67×9SET OF RODSFigure 1-4- John Napier and Napier's bonesNapiers bones provide a mechanical method for performing multiplication and division basedpon manipulation of rods with printed digits

they became a very popular calculating deThe slide rulepliperations to be carried si gni ficantly faster than was previously possible Slide rules were useby generations of engithematically indined professional workervention of the pocket calculator thto thetions on slide rules which wererate to 3 or 4 significfiguresFigure 1-5-The slide rule, a basic mechanical calculator, facilitates multiplication and division

Punched Card Technology (1801)01, Joseph-Marie jacquard developed a loom in which the pattem being woven wascontrolled by punched cards Thf cards could be chechanical design of the loom this was a landmark point in programmability

te desianalytical engine which would draw directly on Jacquard s punch cards fStates Census Bureau used punch cards and sorting machines designed byBy 19Figure 1-6-Hed a tabulating machrds in the 1880sdescribed techniques which were suffidentlyadvanced to solve differential equations, perform mul tiplication and division using floating poon punched cards and plugboards similar to those used by tele phoneoperators The Thomas J Watson Astronomical Computing Bureau, Columbia Universityperformed astronomical calculations representing the state of the art in computingmany computer installations, punched cards were used until(and after) the end of the 1970sor example, science and engineering students at many universities around the world wouldocal computer centre

processing, compiled, and executed

In due course a printout of any results, marked with theput tray outsiny cases these results would comprise solely a printout of error messages regarding programstill used and manufactured in the current century and their distinctivedimensions(and 80-cotill bids, andThe First Programmable Machines (1835-1900)e defining feature of a" universal computer" is programmability which allows the compute1837, Charles Babbage described his analytical engine It was the plan of a general-purposegrammable computer, emplploying punch cardssteam engine for poweOnehe beadsense, computers all contain automatic abacuses (technical ly called the AlU or floating-pointigure 1-7-Charles Babbage and a model of part of the analytical Engine, as displayed at thto use punch-cards to control a machine ths Idea soolo a general- purpose programmable computer his analytical engineWhile his design was sound and the plans were probably correct, or at least debuggable, theproject was slowed byfficult man to work with anddwith anyone who didn t respect his ideas, all the parts for his machine had to be made by handdi

thousands of parts the project dissolved over disputes with the artisan who built parts and wasAda Lovelace, Lord Byron 's daughter, translated and added notes to the Sketch of theAnalyticalby Fedeigi, Conte Menabrea She has becomeated withBabbage Some claim she is the world s first computer programmer, however this claher other contri butions are disputed by manyigure 1-8- Augusta Ada King, Countess of lovelaceA reconstruction of the Difference Engine ll, an earlier more limited design, has beererational since 1991 at the London Science Museum With a few trivial changes, it workse museum used computer-operated machine tools to construct the necessary partstolerances which a machinist of the perod would have been able toSome feel that theechnology of the time was unable to produce parts of sufficient preasion, though this appearsto be fale failure of Babbage to complete the engine can be chiedifficultieselated to politics but also his desire to deve lop an increasingly sophisticated computer

erly ambitious attitudehisfailure Today, many in the computer field term this sort of obsession creeping featuritise their finandal contributions

ollowing in the footsteps of Babbage although unaware of his earlier work, was percy ludgateependently designed a programmable mechanicacomputer which he desca work that was published in 1909Desktop Calculators(1930s-1960sBy the 1900s, earliesh registers, accounting machines and so owere redesigned to use ethe state ofable Coke Friden Marchant and Monroe made desktop me chaltitle assigned to people who used theators to perfothematical calculationsDuring the Manhattan project, future Nobel laureate richard Feynman was the supervisor of themful of hthematicians, whential equations which were being solved for the war efforMarcin Ulto service to translate the mathematics ihydrogbomb after thportable, mechanical calculator thatne

during the 1950s and 1960s a vdibrands of mechani caator appeared on the markete first desktop electronobably Sumlock Comptometer's 1961 Anita C/which used a Nixie tube display and 177 subminiature thyratron tubes In June 1963, fridetroducedC-130 It had13-dpantyCRT, and introduced reverse Polish notation(RPN)to the calculator market at a price of $2200

igure 1-10-Sumlock Comptometer's 1961 Anita C/VlI Electronic Calculatoas officially prodaimed to be derived from, variously, a New InspiratioArithmepiration To Accounting, theere have been rumours that thiwas also the name of the designer's wifeThe model EC- 132 added square root and reciprocal functions In 1965, Wang Laboratorieroduced the LoCI-2, a 10-digid desktop calculatod aNbe displayand could compute logarithmsVith development of the integrated circuits and microprocessors the expensive, largecalculators were replaced with smaller electronic devicesThe Arrival of the Electrical Digital Computer(1940s)e era of modern computing began with a flurry of development before and during world waas electronic circuits, relays, capacitors and vacum tubes replaced mechanical equivalentsnd digitaltions replacedations

The compute rs designed and constructedduring this period have sometimes been called first generation computerst generation computers such as the Atanasoff-Berry Computer, Z3 and Colossus were built bycontaining relays or vacuum valves(tubes), and oftepunched paper tape for input and as the maivolatile)storage medium Temporary, orprovided bytic dda medium such as wire to store data) or by williams tubes which use the ability of acture tube to std retrieve data) Byagnetic core memory was rapidlyplayingms of temporary storage, and dominated the field through the midsera, a number of different machines were produced with steadily advancing capabilitiesAt the bedexcept in the long-lost plans of Chares babbage and the mathematical musings of alan turing

and others At the end of the era devices like the edsac had been built and are universags 1936 paper has proved enormously influential in computing and computer sciencet proof that theg problem)beovi ded a definitiering machidevice invented to formalize the notion ofxecution, replacing Kurt Godel's more cumbersome univModern computers are Turing-complete(ie equivalent algorithm execution capability to aiversalThis limitedcomplete ness is some times viewed as a thre shold capability separating general-purposeng- Complete(taken freible design fo

uting device so far advanced can bea universal Turing machine an observation that has become known as theChurch-Turing thesis Thus, a machine that can act as a universal Turingble of Howerfor the machine to perfom the calculation or any abilities the machine mayare unlated to computationthTurinattributed to physical machines or

programming languages that would beuniversal if they had unlimited storage All modem computers are Turingomplete in this senselowever, theoretical Turing-completeness is a long way from a practical universal computingvice To be a practical general-purpose comre must be some convenient way toncedtility the vchitecture uses the same memory both to store programs and data; virtuallyypossible to implement a full computer entirely meckge s design slectronics made possible the speed and later the miniaturization that characterises modecomputehree parallel stref computer dwere either largely ignored or were de li berately kept secret The first was the german work of

Prefaceousands of years agodevices to help with computation, but it wasnt until the mechanical calculator was invented byting devintury In fact, theented way back in the 1620s by william Oughtredntion of thehed card in 1801 was another significantne in the history ofhe computer

In 180ph-Marie Jacquard developed a loombeing woven The series of cards could be changed without changing themechanical design of the loommark point in programmabilitye defining feature of a computer is the ability to program it, and programmable machinegradually became more widespread from about 1835 onwards, a program enables a computeemulate different calculating machines by using different stored sequences of instructionsrles babbage describecal Engine, which was a general purpoBabbage never bui lt his alEngine, but a model of part of it is on display at the scienceOs, with the Sumlock Comptometer Anita C/Vuite possibly being the firss2200themselves were invented in the 1940s with the onset of the second World War causing greadvances to be made in computer design and development Electroniand vacuum tubes replaced their mechanical equivalents and digital calculations replacedwhich replaced the fragile and power- hungry valves with a much smaller and reliableofbecame more widespread and in 1959 IBM started selling the transistor-based IBM 1401e explosion in computers really began with the invention of the integrated circuit ( ortion of the microprocessor atedturn, to the development of the microcomputer microcomputers were affordable to smalbusinesses and individuals alike, and continued the unstoppable technological march thatbrought us to where we are today

About this booktake you on a nostalgic journey as we look back atople, computersprogramming languages and games that have forged the history of the computerThe youtube channelAny videos that accompany this book are available on our You tube channel, which you can findhttps:/wwwyoutubecom/channel/uchobheuk6tc6si2hrdoyjowWho this book is foris book is for anyoneabout the history of theuter

Thebook isnt exhaustive, but it should give you a taster that will hopefully encourage you to carryut more research on the history of the computer should you wish to doQuick Start WorkbooksYou can find information about other books written by John Dixon at the Quick Start Workbookhttp:/wwwquickstartworkbookcomHow this Book is Organisedcomputer itself, we then move on to look at programming languages, the microprocessoroperating systems, and computer gamesChapter 1- The ComputerComputing hardware has been attial component of the process of calalation and datarage since it became useful for nume rical val ues to be processed and shared The ear liestcomputing hardware was probably some form of tally stick In this chapter we 'll take a look a

some of the most significant advances that have been made in the word of computing over theChapter 2-Programming lanThde discusses the major developments in the history of programming languagesfirstderithd thatcould encode information on punch cards when he observed that railroad train conductorsde thetrain tickets using the position ofpunched holes on the ticketsChapter 3-The MicroprocessorA microprocessor (sometimes abbreviated up)is a digital electronic component with transistorsngle semiconductor integrated arcuit (IC) One or more microprocessors typically serve asa central processing unit(CPU)in a computer system or handheld device Microprocessors madepossible the advent of the microcomChapter 4-Operatingstemsa computers operating system(os)provides a set of functions needed and used by mostages to che firstcomputers, without an operating system, each program would need its own drivers for theals

The evolution of computer applications andtheir complexity led to the os necessitieChapter 5-Computer GamesAlthough the history of computer and video games spans five decades, computer and videogames themselves did not become part of the popular culture until the late 1970s Over the pastar, either in the form of handheld consoles, or with games that run on computers or attached to Tvs the range of gamesth add sports games being verypopular In this chapter we wi ll look at how computer and other video games have evolved since

About meen working as awebsites, which is something i have been doing since1997 when I produced my first website whilst workingat Hewlett-Packard in grenoble, france Since theesarge companles sas iBM as webegan my working career as an engineering apprentice in 1979

This almost seems like the darkages now, and i remember that at my first company we had one desktop computer for thewhole firm and there were over 1100 of us apart from using a mini co mputer at collegest experience of computing wasnt until the mid-eighties when i was working at an electronicsompach incidentallyanyone then could have imagined where the computer industry would be todayMy LinkedIn address is shown below I'd be pleased to hear from you if you have any commentst want to couk linkedin com/pub/iohn-dixon/1/648/a52

ContentsThe You Tube channelthis Book is oThe first Mechanical cPunched Card Technology(1801)le First Programmable Machines (1835-1900)Desktop Calculators(1930s-1960sgital Computer(1940s)American Developmentseration voCProgramming Languagee 1950s and 1960sand Performancee 1990s: The Internet Age

CThe Microprocessorstory of the microprocessoOperating SysteBackgroundcomputers and the rise of UniXe corGame Consoles and video gamese personal Computer Era: Apple, DOS and BeyondChapter 5Computer Games: The BeginningThe19605e1970se1990s2000s

Chapter 1The computerorage since it became useful for numerical val ues to besed and shared Thecome torm or tally stcoenician clay shapes which represented quantities or counts'ofitems, probably livestockgrains, in containers These seem to have been used by the merchants, accountants andovemment officials of the timeDevices to aid compue abacus, the slide rule early electronic computers to the sophisticated mobile computinga device designed hundreds ofte basiout-perform even the most skilled humanIn the beginningHumanity has used devices to aid in computation for millennia

One example is a device forblishing equality by weight: the classic scales, later used to symbolize equality in justiceother is simple enumeration: the checkered cloths of the counting houses served as simpleby weight A more arithmetic-oriented machines the abacus one of the eariest machines of this type was the chinese abacus, wligure 1-1- The Chinese abacus

The first mechanical calculators623 Wilhelm Schickard built the first mechanical calculator and thus became the father ofputiFigure 1-2-Wilhelm Schickard and a replica of his calculating machnce his machine used techniques such as cogs and gears that were first developed for clocks, itwas also called a 'calculating clockas put to practical use by his friend the astronomerMachines by blaise Pascal (the Pascaline, 1642 )and Gottfried wilhelm von Leibniz(1671)ollowed Around 1820, Charles Xavier Thomas created the first successful, mass-producedator

the thomas arithmometer thatwas mainly based on Leibnizs work Me chanical calculators, like the base-ten addiator thepotometer, the Mothe Curta and the addo- xthe 1970seibniz also described the binary numeral system which is a central ingredient of all modecomputers However up to the 1940s, many subsequent designs (induding Charles babbagechines of the 1800sen ENIAC of 1945)were based on tidecimal systemigure 1-3-A mechanical calculator from 1914