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Ancient Computers

Friday - January 5, 2018 10:27 am , Category : Fun Facts

During the Renaissance, innovators from Leonardo da Vinci to Gottfried Leibinz and Blaise Pascal designed or build machines that could add and subtract . (Leibinz’s Step Reckoner even multiplied) .

But the 1800s saw the first machines that could translate programmed instruction, store information and branch through alternative processes depending on prior outcomes. Joseph-Marie Jacquard, a French weaver, developed a loom that used punched cards to execute complicated designs. In the 1820s, Englishman Charles Babbage envisioned a steam-driven Analytical Engine that would store a thousand large numbers, decipher punch-card instructions, switch operation based on outcomes and feed results to a printer.

Babbage’s wonder was never built, but in the 1930s inventors like Howard Aiken and John Vincent Atanasoff began using vacuum tubes and electronic circuits to build increasingly powerful machines. They also experimented with expressing instruction in binary code , reducing information to 1 s and 0s. that work culminated in the World War- II era devolvement by Alan Turing of the Colossus, a code cracking machine.

In 1946, the room size Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) became the first modern computer in operation. By 1964, integrated circuits helped move computers into the commercial world, with IBM’s first mainframe office computer. A decade later, microprocessors  made machines  faster and smaller. 


1100 B.C. - The abacus: beads on a wire
A.D. 1671 - Leibinz’s Step Reckoner: a gear-driven computing machine
1804 - Jacquard ‘s loom:  punched cards ,that executed designs
1823 - Babbage’s Analytical Engine: 
1854 - Boole’s symbolic logic: Key to computer programming
1943 - Turing Colossus: The first  programmable computer
1946 - ENIAC: The first modern computer
 

World's First Computer



 
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