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The Age of Computers

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The Age of Computers

Believe it or not, but the age of computers is upon us. I believe Computers are not only here to stay, but in my opinion computers are the wave of the future. Only a device like the computer can change the way we work, live, and think. I see computers taking us places where no man has gone before. Twenty years ago people were just not up to date with computers back then. I mean if you ask someone about a computer, they probably would say something like, what in the world our you talking about, or what the hell is a computer. Today just about anybody you ask, can tell you something about a computer. Papia Bhattacharyya , says: "Technology has bounded onto the center stage in the last few years"(59). The earliest existence of the modern day computer's ancestor is the abacus. The abacus dates back to almost 2000 years ago. It is simply a wooden rack holding beads which are strung on wires. The next step in computers took place in 1694 when Blaise Pascal invented the first digital calculating machine, which was designed to help Pascal's father who was a tax collector.

Now we look at Charles Babbage, who many say is the father of computers. Charles Babbage was a professor of mathematics. In the 1800's Babbage designed an automatic calculation machine. This machine was steam powered and could store up to 1000 50-digit numbers. 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. The Mark I was slow, and required 3 to 5 seconds to perform multiplication.
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