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Most of usäparticipate in this digital culture, whether by using an ATM card, composing and printing an office newsletter, calling a mail-order house on toll-free numberäor shopping at a mega-mall where the inventory is replenished just in time. (Ceruzzi 1) In the Information Age of today society has become dependent on technology; every aspect of our lives have become centered on how fast and efficiently something can be accomplished. The use of computers aids our stride to becoming technologically advanced. But how did we as a society arrive at such a point? How did we end up becoming so reliant on computers? These questions will hopefully be answered by looking back at the history of computers to date.
During the WWII, Eckert and Mauchly designed and built the ENIAC, an electronic calculator that computed firing tables for the U.S Army; it established the era of computing in the United States. After the War, the drum came about as the reliable, inexpensive but slow memory device. ERA sold the drum machines, advertising their dependability, large storage capacity and their high speed capabilities.
Eckert and Mauchly in 1951 started the intrigue with computers with their UNIVAC, a computer with computing abilities; as time passed the UNIVAC became essentially important. During the 1960πs, The Case 1107 provided the main computing facility for Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland Ohio in the United States (Walker). The UNIVAC was extremely large yet quiet; its front cabinets ranged from floor to ceiling. The central processor was capable of computing simple arithmetic equations. The Case 1107 was one of the first computers on Earth to provide access from remote locations both at other locations on the campus and as far afield as Erie, Pennsylvania (Walker). A transformation in circuit technology during the 60πs, enabled the transitor to become reliable and cheap enough to serve as the basic circuit element for processors (Ceruzzi 49).
By 1971, Intel had already released the world's first generally available DRAM chip and therefore, built the world's first single chip general purpose microprocessor. Two years later in 1973, IBM developed what is considered to be the first true sealed hard disk drive.
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Since 1940πs the developments in the computer industry have taken leaps and bounds. Our society has become completely dependent on the use of computers and technology and it is necessary to understand the history of computers to fully appreciate what technology does for us today.
Ceruzzi, Paul E. A History of Modern Computing. Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1998.
Patterson, Jason. The History of Computers During My lifetime-. www.pattosoft.com.au/jason/Articles/HistoryOfComputers/1990s.html
Walker, John. The Case 1107. September 14, 2003. www.fourmilab.ch/documents/univac/case1107.html