Today computers are an indispensable part of the lives of human beings but at one point of time there were no computers. Knowing the history of computers and how much progress has been made can aid us in understanding just how complicated the invention of the computer really is. Unlike other devices, the computer is the one invention that does not have any one specific inventor. Throughout the development of the computer, various people have made contributions to making a computer work. Some of these inventions were those of complete computers or other additions that helped revolutionize the computer that existed at that time. One such invention was the Integrated Circuit.
The single most important year in the history of computers is 1936. It was in 1936 that the very first computer was created by Konrad Zuse who called it the Z1 Computer. This was the first system that was fully programmable. Even though there had been devices that had come and gone before this but they didnt match upto it because of its superior computing power. Till 1942 no business saw profits and opportunities in computers. The first computer company was called ABC computers and was owned and operated by Clifford Berry and John Atanasoff. Two years later in 1942 came the Harvard Mark I computer which furthered the science of computing even more.
The age of computers saw its biggest change ever in 1953 with the introduction of International Business Machines known today as IBM. The company has always been a key player in the development of new systems. This was the first real competition to bee seen in the world of computing and helped to encourage faster development of better computers. The first contribution of IBM was the IBM 701 EDPM Computer. A year after this the first high level programming language was brought to the centre stage. This was a programming language that had not been written in ‘assembly’ or binary languages and was called FORTRAN which was written to enable more people to be able to program computers. In the year 1955 Bank of America, Stanford Research Institute and General Electric joined hands to introduce the very first computer for use in banks.
After that the evolution was quick. Computers like Apple I and II, The Scelbi, Mark-8 Altair, TRS-80, the Commodore Pet computers and IBM 5100 were the leaders of the sector of home computing. The micro processor was like the heart of the computer and began with the Intel 4004. from then it has evolved into todays Pentium IV, Dual core and Core 2 Duo processors. Along with the evolution in Hardware came the evolution in software which went from assembly languages to todays languages like C++, Java and PHP. There is more to come in this field and that more will surely be AI or Artificial Intelligence. The term was coined by John McCarthy and is today a major field of study.
The world has been completely changed by the advent of personal computers. This is because they have radically transformed the way the world lives, works and conducts business. Computers actually arrived on the scene back in the 1930s and were the brainchild of one Konrad Zuse who produced what was then called the Z1 computer. While this was a giant innovation, this was far from the sophisticated machines that we have today.
That computer laid the groundwork for further research by others. In 1944, two men named John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry from Iowa University produced several innovations of the computer based on Zuse’s model. It was capable of producing simple to moderately complex arithmetic calculations and small but simple computing tasks.
Harvard University, then took it a notch higher and partnered with IBM, the business conglomerate in 1953 to produce what was then the world’s first sophisticated computer. Even then, computers were still gigantic and occupied huge spaces and used a lot of power.
The world as we know it today has been completely changed by computers. They now sit in almost every office space in most major cities of the world. It is hard to imagine business as we know it today without computers. Work would be grossly inefficient and cumbersome. Take for example calculations. It would not be possible for companies which hold a lot of material and inventory to process orders efficiently without computer power.
Computers have also made a giant impact in the field of communication. With the advent of the Internet, the World Wide Web or Information Superhighway, the world has become smaller and has even been referred to as a global village. Phrases such as “global market place” have also been coined to signify how computers have been able to link the world.
We mentioned communications and how computers have made a giant impact in this realm. Messages can now be sent and received via email instantaneously from one end of the globe to the other. This has almost rendered the regular snail mail obsolete. Then there are chat rooms, Instant Messaging and Video Messaging which have transformed the way people meet and interact across the globe.
All this has been made possible by computers connected to the Internet via wireless and wired networks. Large firms such as Microsoft, Yahoo and Google have contributed to this by running sophisticated web applications that have made it possible to chat in real time with someone on the other side of the globe. This has completely changed the way we conduct meetings and even run classrooms and training.
Businesses have benefitted tremendously owing to the advent computers. Companies can even open virtual branches in other countries without necessarily being there physically. Banks can even run on the Internet without possessing actual premises. Such has been the impact of computers to modern life. Sometimes they also have their own disadvantages in that some people accuse them of causing some to be thoroughly anti-social. It is also easy for some to develop multiple identities online to mask their true selves.