Computers And Its Impact On Modern Society

Good Essays
Computers have undoubtedly improved life in many respects, but they have not always been so easy to work with, nor so widespread. Changes in the computer came about from technological advancement, as well as necessity of performance. With a world changing so quickly and getting bigger each day, it’s no wonder systems needed to be implemented to keep up with the fast pace of an evolving society. The twentieth century was a time of rapid technological progression, spurred by globalization, conflict, and access to information. Computing machines, like Herman Hollerith’s tabulator for the 1890 census, had been around for a while and operated with mechanical systems. These machines generally had only one purpose and could never be reprogrammed to do anything but what the original design had entailed. This was true for the Atanasoff-Berry computer, the first digital computer, as well. However, this computer ran using electronics, used binary number representation for its calculations, and separated computation and memory (O 'Regan). These three points were essential for all proceeding designs in digital computing. The first programmable digital computer was completed in 1946 by a team who developed it for use by the US Army. The machine was called the ENIAC, and its purpose was for calculating missile trajectories. The computer was very large, as it was made up of vacuum tubes, a device that simulated 1s and 0s. The ENIAC could be reprogrammed by physically rewiring the machine (O 'Regan), a task that was time consuming and arduous. Vacuum tubes were also very unreliable and prone to breaking, and produced a significant amount of heat. In summary, computing took very large, expensive machines susceptible to error to do calculations, ... ... middle of paper ... ...the computer industry (O 'Regan), and out of this thought came specialized computers, such as home and personal computers. The change in design from computers before to these more dedicated purpose machines helped the spread of computers into all facets of life, from gaming and photography to banking and analysis. At the end of the 19th century, government officials feared that the time taken to process the US census numbers would take so long that the data would be outdated by completion. For this reason a tabulating machine was designed to cut that time taken in half. Computers like that one have been made and improved because they are necessary to accommodate a rapidly growing society, and the time from the 1950s to the 1970s saw magnificent changes in hardware and software design for these computers. As long as we are evolving and advancing, so must technology.
Get Access