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.
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. These improvements were mainly made for commercial users, and not for the needs of science. While Thomas was developing the desktop calculator, a series of very interesting developments in computers started in Cambridge, England. In 1812, Charles Babbage, a mathematics professor, realized that many long calculations, especially those needed to make mathematical tables, were really a series of predictable actions that were constantly repeated. From this he suspected that it should be possible to perform these actions automatically.
The Abacus was the first known machine developed to help perform mathematical equations. From what researchers have discovered it was invented around 500 to 600 BC in an area around China or Egypt. This early tool was used to perform addition and subtraction and can still be found used in some of today’s Middle Eastern cultures. In 650 AD the Hindus invented a written symbol for zero. Before this no true written calculations could be made, making this one of the most essential inventions to help computers.
About 1200 years later, Roman numerals were finally introduced, along with the idea of the zero and other mathematical basics. This helped lay the foundation for several different men who had findings that would eventually lead us to the beginnings of computers and computing. Though they are often referred to as scholars, many of these intellectuals were most likely just merely the nerds of their time. Take Wilhelm Schickard and Blaise Pascal of the 17th century, for example. Both of these men had enough time on their hands to individually build two of the first mechanical calculators in history.
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.
In 1812 Charles Babbage began designing the “Difference Machine”, which is considered one of the first programmable computers (evolutionofcomputers.edublogs.org/). Computers are used in many different fields of the world. As time progressed computers also progressed. At one time computers were enormous. The myths of a computer take over will not happen.
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).
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. Years later, Gottfried Leibnez improved Pascal’s model by allowing it to also perform such operations as multiplying, dividing, taking the square root. Technology continued to prosper in the computer world into the nineteenth century. A major figure during this time is Charles Babbage, designed the idea of the Difference Engine in the year 1820. It was a calculating machine designed to tabulate the results of mathematical functions (Evans, 38).
History of Computers One could say that the history of the computer started with the abacus, a wooden frame holding two wires with beads strung on them. The beads were moved around, and the abacus was used to solve arithmetic problems. Blaise Pascal built the first digital computer in 1642, which added numbers that were entered with dials. Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz built a computer in 1694 that could add and multiply (Meyers). Thomas of Colmar (Charles Xavier Thomas) created the first mechanical calculator that added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided (Augarten 37).
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.