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History of Computers

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1: Mid-1800s-1930s: Early Mechanical Computers The first computers were designed by Charles Babbage in the mid-1800s, and are sometimes collectively known as the Babbage Engines. These include the Difference Engine No. 1, the Analytical Engine, and the Difference Engine No. 2.

2: It was during the development of these early electro-mechanical computers that many of the technologies and concepts still used today were first developed. The Z3, a descendent of the Z1 developed by Konrad Zuse, was one such pioneering computer. The Z3 used floating-point numbers in computations and was the first program-controlled digital computer.

3: The first electronic computers were developed during the World War II, with the earliest of those being the Colossus. The Colossus was developed to decrypt secret German codes during the war. It used vacuum tubes and paper tape and could perform a number of Boolean (e.g. true/false, yes/no) logical operations.

4: Another notable early electronic computer was nicknamed "The Baby" (officially known as the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine). While the computer itself wasn’t remarkable—it was the first computer to use the Williams Tube, a type of random access memory (RAM) that used a cathode-ray tube.

5: The Altair 8800 was the first popular computer using a single-chip microprocessor. It was also sold in kit form to electronics hobbyists, meaning purchasers had to assemble their own computers. Clones of this machine quickly cropped up, and soon there was an entire market based on the design and architecture of the 8800. It also spawned a club based around hobbyist computer builders, the Homebrew Computer Club. 1977 saw the rise of the "Trinity" (based on a reference in Byte magazine): the Commodore PET, the Apple II, and the Tandy Corporation’s TRS-80. These three computer models eventually went on to sell millions. These early PCs had between 4kB and 48kB of RAM. The Apple II was the only one with a full-color, graphics-capable display, and eventually became the best-seller among the trinity, with more than 4 million units sold.

6: The IBM 650 would cost you $4 million dollars if you bought it today. A smaller IBM 650 was developed in the mid-1950s, and was popular due to its smaller size and footprint (it still weighed over 900kg, with a separate 1350kg power supply). They cost the equivalent of almost $4 million today (adjusted for inflation).

7: The first of these was the Osborne 1, in 1981. It had a tiny 5" monitor and was large and heavy compared to modern laptops (weighing in at 23.5 pounds). Portable computers continued to develop, though, and eventually became streamlined and easily portable, as the notebooks we have today are. These early portable computers were portable only in the most technical sense of the word. Generally, they were anywhere from the size of a large electric typewriter to the size of a suitcase.

8: The first Apple computer was built by Steve Wozniak in Steve Job’s garage in 1976. | For 20 years now, computing for personal and small business has been a “settled” issue. As late as the end of the 80s (the first IBM PC came out in 1981),

9: And now you seen from all these old computers, to this new awesome computer. Where some of these computers don't have a keyboard, and it's touch screen. The history/looks of computers have sure changed.

10: Sources,r:7,s:0,i:101&tx=64&ty=23,r:7,s:0,i:101&tx=64&ty=23,r:7,s:0,i:101&tx=64&ty=23


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  • By: Angelica C.
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  • Title: History of Computers
  • By angelica colmenares
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  • Published: over 4 years ago

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