History of Computers Historically, the most important early computing instrument is the abacus, which has been known and widely used for more than 2,000 years. Another computing instrument, the astrolabe, was also in use about 2,000 years ago for navigation. Blaise Pascal is widely credited with building the first "digital calculating machine" in 1642. It performed only additions of numbers entered by means of dials and was intended to help Pascal's father, who was a tax collector. In 1671, Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz invented a computer that was built in 1694; it could add and, by successive adding and shifting, multiply.
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.
But just as we have changed computers, computers have changed life indefinitely. When computer were first invented they were tools, used to solve equations and problems. But today computers exist in every aspect of life, even in the simplest things. They are replacing alarm clocks, thermostats, and even people. Computers can drive cars, have conversations, and pilot planes.
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.
It was not until thousands of years later that the first calculator was produced. In 1623, the first mechanical calculator was invented by Wilhelm Schikard, the “Calculating Clock,” as it was often referred to as, “performed it’s operations by wheels, which worked similar to a car’s odometer” (Evolution, 1). Still, there had not yet been anything invented that could even be characterized as a computer. Finally, in 1625 the slide rule was created becoming “the first analog computer of the modern ages” (Evolution, 1). One of the biggest breakthroughs came from by Blaise Pascal in 1642, who invented a mechanical calculator whose main function was adding and subtracting numbers.
After algebra was discovered in Europe, mathematicians put the information to use in very remarkable ways. Also, algebraic and geometric ways of thinking were considered to be two separate parts of math and were not unified until the mid 17th century. The simplest forms of equations in algebra were actually discovered 2,200 years before Mohamed was born. Ahmes wrote the Rhind Papyrus that described the Egyptian mathematic system of division and multiplication. Pythagoras, Euclid, Archimedes, Erasasth, and other great mathematicians followed Ahmes (“Letters”).
Records exist of earlier machines, but Blaise Pascal invented the first hand powered commercial calculator that can add numbers entered with dials (Meyers 2001). He is credited with building the first digital calculator. Although attempts to multiply mechanically were made by Gottfried Liebnitz in the 1670s the first true multiplying calculator appears in Germany shortly before the American Revolution (A brief 2004). Charles Xavier created the first successful calculator which was able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide (Meyers 2001). In the early 1800’s, Charles Babbage began a life long quest for a programmable machine.
The myths of a computer take over will not happen. Now humans are able to carry tiny computers in their pocket. The History of Computers The first computer in history is called the “Difference Machine”. The “Difference Machine” was designed to be able to solve complex math equations and remember the answers to the problems solved (evolutionofcomputers.edublogs.org/). “Due to the cost of the thousands of precisely cut metal gears.
Charles Babbage was so ahead of his time, that the machines that were used back then were not even precise enough to make the parts for his computer. Gulliver, states: The first major use for a computer in the US was during the 1890 census. Two men, Herman Hollerith and James Powers, developed a new punched-card system that could automatically read information on cards without human intervention (Gulliver 82). In the 1930's punched-card machine techniques had become so well established that Howard Hathaway Aiken, together with engineers at IBM, came up with the automatic computer called Mark I. The Mark I ran by using prepunched paper tape.
Therefore, in order to understand the intelligence of computers, one must first look at the history of computers, the way computers handle information, and, finally, the methods of programming the machines. The predecessor to today¹s computers was nothing like the machines we use today. The first known computer was Charles Babbage¹s Analytical Engine; designed in 1834. (Constable 9) It was a remarkable device for its time. In fact, the Analytical Engine required so much power and would have been so much more complex than the manufacturing methods of the time, it could never be built.