A computer is an electronic device that stores, retrieves and processes information.
It helps us to solve large and various problems precisely and quickly. The problems
May relate to fields such as industry, commerce, engineering and education.
Computer is a tremendously efficient and reliable machine. It has the advantage over
Human mind that it does not get bored of repetition and performs a function each
Time with same speed and accuracy.
The history of computing is very old. It goes back to some 500 year B.C, when
Chinese used to calculate with the help of an “ABACUS” which is considered as the
First recognized manual device used for counting and doing simple arithmetic calculation.
With the introduction of Arabic numerals from 0 to 9, the calculations process became
Much easier, using these numbers, John Napier developed the first calculating device.
This device was named after him as Napier’s bones .Later on; this device led to the development of another calculating device called the Slide Rule in its improved shape was in use till the introduction of electronic calculators.
In 1642, Blaise Pascal invented the first adding Machine, consisting of wheels, gears and windows through which the number could be read. The results can be achieved up to eight digit numbers.
Gottfried. W. Leibniz:
About 30 years later, Gottfried. W. Leibniz invented a improved calculating machine, Pascal machine could only add and subtract, but Leibniz’s machine could also multiply, divide and find square roots.
Although there were a number of improvements in calculating devices, no intangible changes were recorded until the end of 18th century.
Joseph Marie Jacquard:
In 1801, Joseph Marie Jacquard, a French engineer, developed Punched card system for the power-looms. This system helped in creating specific weaving patterns on cloths automatically. This system was later on used with computing devices.
In 1821, Charles Babbage, a British scientist and mathematician worked on the creation of a huge mechanical machine based on the principle of difference of the squares of numbers. He named the machine as Difference Engine. While working on this machine, he predicts and designed the first programmable machine. Babbage called his planned machine the Analytical Engine, but he never transformed his dreams into realities, because the standard of engineering technology was not so high at that time. But infect Babbage’s machine gave birth to the research in the field of computers and that is why, the modern computers are mostly based on the principle developed by Babbage.
In 1890, an American, Herman Hollered designed the first electric computing device. He also made use of punched cards in this machine.
The efforts to improve the computing machine continued. A success came in this field in 1944 when Howard Aiken developed the first electro-mechanical computer. He used relays in his computer and named it MARK-1.
In 1946, John Macula and J.P Eckert developed an Electronic Numerical integrator and Calculator (ENIAC). ENIAC was also later improved by John Von Neumann and the improved version was named as EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer). EDVAC was the first computer that could store both the program as well as data. By 1950, computer with Automatic data processing capabilities were developed. One such computer was UNIVAC-1.