Computer Inventions

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What qualifies an invention as great? A good invention would be one that makes some aspect of life simpler. A great invention goes beyond that. It becomes ingrained into society as a part of everyday life, improves itself constantly, and leads to the rapid creation of more great inventions. I believe that since 1898, no invention fits that description more than the electronic computer. Since its creation, no device has changed so much, and so rapidly, as the computer.
The original computer was nothing like it is known now. It was a simple device known as an abacus, a mathematic tool that may have been invented in the fourth century BC by the Babylonians (PBS). Before a new computer could be created, a few things had to happen.
In the eighth century AD, Arabic numerals were introduced into Europe. Arabic numerals were important because they used zeroes as placeholders for tens, which made math simpler. Another simplification of math came in 1614 with John Napier, the creator of Logarithms. Logarithms allowed mathematicians to use addition and subtraction for multiplication and division problems (PBS). Everything was in place for the age of the mechanical calculator to begin.
The first mechanical calculator was built in 1623 by Wilhelm Schickard. It worked with six digits and carried these digits across columns. Though it worked, it never made it past the prototype stage. Another mechanical calculator, this time one with eight digits, was built by Blaise Pascal in 1642. This calculator was, however, prone to error and jamming (PBS).
In the early 1820s, Charles Babbage conceived the idea of the "Difference Engine". It was meant to be a steam-powered calculator for printing astronomical tables (PBS). He attempted to build it, but the ...

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...er, that dream has become a reality. However, like the internet, robots come with responsibility. Robots are becoming more mobile everyday and could be used in many helpful ways, but they can also be used in destructive ways.
The computer is an amazing invention that is still changing today. Computers more thousands of times powerful than the hulking machine ENIAC, are carried around in the pockets of nearly everyone in the United States. This very paper was written using a computer. The internet has become a powerful amalgam of information from billions of people and the center of nearly everything we do. With so much power in the hands of so many people, it is important that humanity take great care of the responsibility we have all been given. That way this glorious device will not have gone to waste and will continue to benefit the world for centuries to come.

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