Before this no true written calculations could be made, making this one of the most essential inventions to help computers. In 830 AD the first mathematics textbook was invented by a man named Mohammed Ibn Musa Abu Djefar. The subject of this textbook he wrote was “Al Gebr We'l Mukabala” which in today’s society is known as “Algebra” (History of Computers). So what does all of this have to do with computers? Well without numbers computers wouldn’t exist or have any reason to exist.
In 1671, Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz invented a computer that was built in 1694; it could add and, by successive adding and shifting, multiply. Leibniz invented a special "stepped gear" mechanism for introducing the addend digits, and this mechanism is still in use. The prototypes built by Leibniz and Pascal were not widely used but remained curiosities until more than a century later, when Tomas of Colmar (Charles Xavier Thomas) developed (1820) the first commercially successful mechanical calculator that could add, subtract, multiply, and divide. A succession of improved "desk-top" mechanical calculators by various inventors followed, so that by about 1890 the available built-in operations included accumulation of partial results, storage and reintroduction of past results, and printing of results, each requiring manual initiation. These improvements were made primarily to suit commercial users, with little attention given to the needs of science.
The abacus provided the fastest method of calculating until 1642, when the French scientist Pascal invented a calculator made of wheels and cogs. The concept of the modern computer was first outlined in 1833 by the British mathematician Charles Babbage. His design of an analytical engine contained all of the necessary components of a modern computer: input devices, a memory, a control unit, and output devices. Most of the actions of the analytical engine were to be done through the use of punched cards. Even though Babbage worked on the analytical engine for nearly 40 years, he never actually made a working machine.
The History of Computers Thousands of years ago calculations were done using people’s fingers and pebbles that were found just lying around. Technology has transformed so much that today the most complicated computations are done within seconds. Human dependency on computers is increasing everyday. Just think how hard it would be to live a week without a computer. We owe the advancements of computers and other such electronic devices to the intelligence of men of the past.
The prototypes made by Pascal and Leibniz were not used in many places. They were even considered a little weird until, a little more than a century later, Charles Xavier Thomas created the first successful mechanical calculator. Thomas' calculator could add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Many improved versions of the desktop calculator followed. By about 1890, the range of improvements on the calculator included accumulation of partial results, storage and automatic reentry of past results (memory functions), and a printing of the results.
Our Society relies critically on computers for almost all of their daily operations and processes. Only once in a lifetime will a new invention like the computer come about. The fist computer, known as the abacus, was made of wood and parallel wires on which beads were strung. Arithmetic operations were performed when the beads were moved along the wire according to “programming” rules that had to be memorized by the user (Soma, 14). The second earliest computer, invented by Blaise Pascal in 1694, was a “digital calculating machine.” Pascal designed this first known digital computer to help his father, who was a tax collector.
The beads were manually moved around by the user and were only used by the user who knew the rules of programming in order for the wooden calculator to be accurate. It is said that the wooden calculator was able to do all regular arithmetic (Meyers 2001). The many different parts of a computer as we now know it did not just appear in one machine created by one person. Starting in the 1640’s, many people began to work on machines that would mechanize tasks, with results that we still use today (In the beginning 2004). Records exist of earlier machines, but Blaise Pascal invented the first hand powered commercial calculator that can add numbers entered with dials (Meyers 2001).
Both of these men had enough time on their hands to individually build two of the first mechanical calculators in history. Unfortunately, Schickard calculator never even made it past the model stage and Pascal machine had several snags of its own; nevertheless, both of their discoveries helped lead to more advanced computing. The next so-called geek to make his way into the computing spotlight was Charles Babbage. In 1842, he developed ideas for a computer that could find the solution to a math problem. His system was rudimentary, using punch-cards in the computation; however, his ideas were far from basic.
This device was made up of a wooden rack that held two wires. Beads were placed on the wires where they could slide up and down. This machine could only do simple math problems, but it was a start and the beginning of one of the greatest inventions. Nothing else regarding the advancement of these type devices was invented until almost twelve centuries later. In 1642, Blaise Pascal invented a machine that would help his father, a tax collector, to keep track of his work.
in Long and Long 33C). All mechanical calculators used this counting- wheel design until it was replaced by the electronic calculator in the mid-1960s (Long and Long 33C). Pascal''s Calculator, however, was only the first step between the abacus and the computer. The next step involves a loom. In 1801 the weaver Joseph-Marie Jaquard invented a machine that would make the jobs of over worked weavers tolerable (Long and Long 34C).