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Computers - Page Text Content


1: Calculating devices were invented long before the computer devices that we have today. Before electricity, before batteries, before wires and voltage; people still had math. Blaise Pascal invented a devices that used a series of gears and wheels that when turned to add digits together the correct answer would be revealed. Pascal created his calculator for his father, who was a clerk and often had to make large calculations.

2: Joeseph Jaquard was a weaver, he created textiles, cloth, that was made into clothing and other necessary items. The British had began to take over the industry from the French, making their cloth much faster and less expensive. The French needed to come up with a plan so that they could be more competitive in the industry. Jaquard created a loom that would do just what was needed, revolutionize the textile industry. He created a system of boards that had holes drilled into them that would travel up and over the loom. There was a device that would "feel" the board and determine if it had a hole or no hole, then according to that pattern would determine the color of thread to be woven. This greatly increased the speed of the loom and reduced the labor needed at the same time. Before long France had regained its original strength in the textile industry, and Jaquard had invented the method of communication with a computer that we still use today--Binary Code.

3: After the discovery of electricity and the implementation of its many uses, such as light bulbs, telephones, and powering motors, the idea of using electricity to make math calculations came to "light". Using Jaquard's idea of a board with a hole or without a hole, computers began to be designed with electricity, either it was "on" or it was "off". These computers were enormous, taking up space in entire buildings. A computer programmer would use wires with plugs on the end of them and move those plugs from one hole to another hole to create the desired calculation. For many years these large "Mainframe" computer were used and developed. Later the wires were permanent and cards with holes punched in them became the way programmers worked with the computers. Data was stored on large "reels" of magnetic tape and read from the tape to the computer memory.

4: What if I wanted to have my own computer? This was the question that many scientist began to ask. Soon it was exactly what the industry began to produce. The personal computer first began as a "kit" that you could buy and put the computer together yourself. It was thought that only scientists and engineers would want such a device. However, some companies began to create computers that helped with tasks that everybody had to do, math. Their computers were designed so that one person used it at a time, not hundreds of people at a time, like the huge Mainframe Computers. Soon people began to write programs that you could buy that would help with your checkbook, or create a budget, and they also wrote programs that could play games.

5: Two men named Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak decided that they could build a computer that was designed specifically to retail to common consumers. They had a vision of one day everybody having a computer in their home. They worked in their garage and designed a computer made of wood and old mainframe terminal parts. They called their new creation the "Apple" Apple Computers was one of the first companies to begin making computers for the individual consumer. Apple has consistently developed and designed new technology in the computer industry that was destined to be copied by other manufactures. In 1984 Apple Computers revolutionized the computer revolution with the release of Macintosh. Macintosh used a graphics based communication program and a device that pointed to images called icons on the computer screen. The Mouse.

6: How we communicate with the computer became an intense and rapid progression of ideas and designs. G.U.I. stands for Graphic User Interface, which uses a concept of communication through pictures that represent programs and a mouse that allows the user to interact with those pictures (icons). Bill Gates started his company, Microsoft, designing programs that were specifically developed for user to computer communication. | Microsoft released a program called "Windows" that allowed the user to not only communicate through these images, but open different programs on the computer at the same time--multi-tasking. Each program would open in its own "box" or "window" on the screen and the user could switch back and forth between programs. Today, Microsoft is the number one company in developing operating systems for personal computers. Their "look" for Windows has change over the years. The latest release is designed to work both with traditional computers and newer "touch" screen computers as well.

7: The computers that we have today are drastically different than the computers that we had just a few years ago. Gone are the bulky computer towers and cables and wires. Instead we can use a small computer shaped like a notebook, or a computer that is just a screen and we use our finger to navigate the programs rather than a mouse. | The video displays have dramatically increased in the amount of detail that can be seen in the picture. The size of the computer has become much smaller, but the amount of data that can be stored has become exponentially larger. Computers run on batteries and are mobile. They can be found not only in homes, but on the beach, in a coffee bar, or even at a football game.

8: You are the next computer designer. You and your generation will be the ones that will take everything that has come before you and make it into something far greater and better than anybody today could conceive. How will we interact, communicate with our computers in the future? How will images and the Internet, social networking and education develop future generations? That is for you to decide. | Just like those people that asked the question, "what if I wanted to have my own computer?" and then went out and designed computers that were made for individuals, we need to ask a similar question today. That question is, "what is next?" Computer Designers need to think outside of the box. New ideas and new concepts are only limited by our inability to imagine the impossible becoming possible.

9: Ament, P. (2006, October 26). Jacquard Loom. Retrieved from Apple Computer Inc. (1983). Apple Invents the Personal Computer Again. Retrieved from Bellis, M. (2012). Biography of Blaise Pascal - Blaise Pascal invented the first digital calculator, the Pascaline. Retrieved from Kopplin, J. (2002). An Illustrated History of Computers. Retrieved from Microsoft, Inc. (n.d.). A history of Windows - Highlights from the first 25 years. Retrieved from

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  • By: Mark W.
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  • Title: Computers
  • Short book on the history of computer
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  • Published: over 5 years ago