We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

History Of Computing Essay Sample

The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals.

Get Access

History Of Computing Essay Sample

Way back in early history, when people relied mainly on their brains to perform calculations, people used their fingers, pebbles, and tally sticks for computing purposes.

Various attempts were made to build general-purpose programmable computers from the same mechanical devices used in calculators. But the problems posed by the lack of technology at the time were not satisfactorily solved until the introduction of electronic computing techniques in the mid-20th century. Between Pascal’s invention and around 1820 there were about 25 manufacturers of calculating machines; most of them were the work of one man. Few of them worked correctly and even less actually reached the manufacturing line.

In the mid-19th century Charles Babbage, a visionary British mathematician at Cambridge University, designed the first computers to perform multistep operations automatically.

The technologies were entirely mechanical. He called this first computing machine the Difference Engine, and it was intended to compute and print mathematical tables automatically. The Difference Engine performed only one arithmetic operation: addition. Babbage constructed a small portion of his first Difference Engine in 1832, which served as a demonstration prototype.

The first widely known general-purpose electronic computer was the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC) that John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert built at the University of Pennsylvania.

The primary motivation for the ENIAC was the need to construct ballistic tables for the U.S. Army. Work began on the ENIAC in 1943 and in 1946 it was completed. It was an enormous machine weighing about 30 tons and filling a 30 by 50 foot room. It contained 1,500 electromechanical relays and over 18,000 vacuum tubes and when it was switched on it consumed 150,000 watts of energy. Despite its enormous size it stored only the equivalent of 80 characters of information. However, it was substantially faster than any previous computer.

The idea of storing programs and their data in the same high-speed memory – the stored-program concept – was first put forth by von Neumann in a publication entitled, “First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC” (Electronic Discrete Variable Computer). The IAS machine in its overall design is quite modern, and can be regarded as the prototype of most subsequent general-purpose computers. It had the general structure depicted in Figure 4. It had a CPU (Central Processing Unit) for executing instructions, a main memory for storing active programs, a secondary memory for backup storage, and miscellaneous input-output equipment.

The IBM PC series was introduced in 1981 and quickly became the de facto standard for this class of machine. IBM made a smart decision by making the architecture of the PC open, meaning its design specifications were available to other manufacturers of computers and software. As a result of this decision the IBM PC became very popular and many versions of it, PC clones, were produced by others.

Many other significant achievements have occurred in the PC era and continue to occur with the widespread use of the Internet and networked computers. Here are a few other notable historical achievements having to do with PC’s:

o 1976 – The Cray 1 Supercomputer was the first commercially developed supercomputer. It contained 200,000 IC’s and was cooled by Freon.

o 1977 – Apple II computer introduced.

o 1979 – Commodore Pet released, with 1 MHz computing power, 8K RAM, cassette deck, and 9″ monitor displaying monochrome text.

o 1979 – The compact disk was invented.

o 1982 – The TCP/IP network communications protocol was established and the “Internet” was formed as a connected set of networks using TCP/IP.

o 1982 – Commodore 64 released, costing just �595.

o 1982 – Compaq releases their IBM PC compatible, the Compaq Portable.

o 1983 – The IBM XT is released. This machine had a 10MB hard disk, 128KB of RAM, one floppy drive, a mono monitor, and a printer, all for �5000. What a bargain!

o 1984 – Apple Macintosh released.

o 1985 – Microsoft Windows launched, but not really widely used until version 3 in 1990.

o 1987 – IBM introduced its PS/2 System which was very successful, selling over 2 million machines in less than 2 years.

o 1989 – The World Wide Web (WWW) is invented by Tim Berners-Lee who saw the need for global information exchange that would allow physicists to collaborate on research. The Web was a result of the integration of hypertext and the Internet. Hyperlinked pages could not only provide information but could provide transparent access to other pages of information as well as other Internet facilities such as ftp, telnet, Gopher, WAIS, and USENET. The Web started out as a text-only interface but NCSA Mosaic, an early browser, later presented a graphical interface for it and its popularity exploded as it became accessible to the novice user. The explosion of the Web started in earnest during 1993 and in a single year Web traffic increased by 300,000%.

o 1990 – Windows 3.0 introduced by Microsoft. This graphical user interface OS offered true multi-tasking, meaning you could run multiple programs at the same time.

o 1993 – The Pentium microprocessor released by Intel. It was only available at that time in 60 and 66 MHz versions.

o 1995 – Windows 95 operating system released by Microsoft.

o 1995 – Pentium Pro microprocessor released.

o 1997 – Pentium MMX (166 and 200 MHz) released.

o 1997 – Pentium II (233, 266, and 300 MHz) released.

o 1998 – Windows 98 released.

o 1999 – Linux, a free alternative operating system to Microsoft’s Windows, is estimated to be running on over 10 million computers worldwide.

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Computer software programs

To know about the connection of these topics it is must to know about the link between these phrases as well as the basic concept of these two. Firstly, to know what is computer software and wireless Information systems and then secondly to discuss about their affects upon each other. Computer software is basically some programs or events that are written just to achieve certain...

The Turing Test Review

The Turing Test (TT) is used to test whether computers have mentality. The set up of the test is as follows: there are 3 subjects involved. All three subjects are accessible to each other via a chat program and nothing else. The first subject is a real person, a human being. The second subject is a computer. The third subject is an interrogator whose job...

Chic Paints Ltd Essay Sample

1 Chic Paints Limited (CPL) are a large manufacturing company who specialise in producing niche specialist paints such as those used on boats, cars and industrial machinery. As a result of a management buyout from Ashstead Plc 6 years ago, CPL was bought by 5 of Ashstead’s directors who had previously formed the board on Chic Paints when it was a subsidiary of Ashstead Plc....

What is Computer Crime?

It is unfortunate to see that the number of computer crimes is increasing and has been considerably swelling during the last few decades. However, computer and information technology provide many benefits for everyone. Although, they have sometimes used to annoy or harm people. This trend has caused several social issues as public property, unauthorized using password of someone, stealing a billion dollar from bank or...

The use of computer systems in different...

- Accounting is a paramount aspect of all businesses, as every venture has a legal duty to produce correct tax reports, an accountant job would be very difficult without a computer. For example, a human error in cash flow data can critically affect the management of a business and even result in an HMRC tax fine. Biz Brain is one of the most used online...

Get Access To The Full Essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Become a member

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59
Become a Member