Computer History

Back in ancient times people used to use there fingers to count. Ten

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became the basis of number systems for everybody because of 10

fingers and 10 toes. When they ran out of fingers and toes to count on

they used stones and scratches in trees to store and record information.

Later somebody invented the abacus. The abacus is still in use today in

many Asian countries. Some people that use the abacus are as fast as a

human now using a calculator. They used the abacus to keep track of

totals and as a way to store numbers and not have to remember them.

In the 1600's John Napier who was a great mathematician invented a

new way to count. Away that was a bit better then the abacus. The

thing that he invented was called Napier's Bones. He also invented

calculator rods. His machine that he invented could multiply. When

you move rods a person could multiply two large numbers in a way. It

really only helped assist the people that use it.

Also in the 1600's Blaise Pascal was a mathematician. He invented

a shoe box size machine. His shoe box size machine could add quickly

and replaced Napier's Bones. His device was mechanically geared. It

was the first computer of modern times.

Libenz the mathematician invented the Stepped Reconer. The

Stepped Reconer was a very clever machine at the time because it could

multiply and divide as well as it could add and subtract large numbers.

This device was great at it's time.

In the 1800's Joseph Jacquard invented a loom type of machine that

used punch cards to store information. A punch card was kind of like a

modern day disk. His loom could repeat patterns with different cloths.

It was like a computer run Loom.

The first calculating machine was invented by Charles Babbage. His

machine was the very first modern computer. His computer used the

binary number system to calculate. The binary number system is made

up of one's and zero's. There are eight one's and zero's for every byte

one thousand bytes for a kilobyte and one thousand kilobits for a

megabyte and so on. His computer that he invented was called the

Analytical Engine. He didn't have enough money to complete his

computer when he started building it so Ada Augusta Lovelace helped

fund Charles Babbage.

In the 1800's the United States of America was looking for a new

way to do a census. As soon as they were done with one it was time for

the next census. The machine they needed was a Tabulating Machine

invented by Herman Hollerith. Herman Hollerith used his punch card

machine and worked for the United States army.

In the 1900's Howard Aiken built the first electromagnetic computer.

He called this computer the Mark One. The Mark One used punch

cards that stored and relayed information. He built his computer for

IBM in 1944.

In 1946 an all digital computer was built by J. Presper Eckert. His

computer that he built called the Eniac weighted over 30 tons and took

up a whole gymnasium. The Eniac used vacuum tubes that got hot and

burn't out and had to be replaced. In 1951 the Univac was made. The

Univac was even bigger and larger than the Eniac. The Univac was

built and sold. IBM became the first commercial company to build and

sell computers.

In the 1950's and better way for making computers was invented.

They used transistors that replaced vacuum tubes that got hot,

transistors didn't get hot. The transistors were more reliable than

vacuum tubes and didn't bun out like tubes. Because of transistors

computes became smaller.

In the 1960's integrated circuits soon replaced transistors like

transistors replaced vacuum tubes. The integrated circuits were faster

and more reliable. The integrated circuits were so small that computers

could now fit on a desktop size area. Mass production of the chip

started to lower size and cost.

In the 1970's integrated chips became outdated and a new faster chip

that was much smaller and much smaller was invented. The new chips

are like modern day chips but not as fast. The new chip was less

expensive than older models and performed ten million calculations per


Over the years computers have progressed very slow at first and now

computer technology is going to fast to keep up with.