File Name: history and evolution of computer .zip
- Summary pf History and Evolution of Computers
- History of computing hardware
- Computer Concepts - History of Computers
In order for a computer to function, it requires some kind of computer program or software. The computer hardware provides the capability to perform computing-related tasks. The software is the set of instructions that humans create to tell the computer what to do.
Summary pf History and Evolution of Computers
Despite its high intelligence, the human brain is lacking rapidity and capacity to dealing with huge tasks of data processing, thus, a machine that can process big amount of data in a very fast way must be developed to solve the demands in terms of data record and communication as well as information.
That was the context in which computers emerged. In other words, they have been invented due to the need to find a device that can supersede the human brain in data processing. Therefore, they become instruments conceived to process huge amount of data, very quickly and accurately.
This is what makes them very helpful to human life, especially in the management of all fields of activities. Thereafter, it seems necessary to provide an outline of the early stage of computers before their breakthrough actually started. Finally, we offer a description of the different generations of computers from early stages up to nowadays. There are different types of computers. At the very beginning, the Mainframe Computer was the model. However, as it was costly and required more staff, it was later superseded by the Minicomputer which offered various software systems for multiple tasks.
The Microcomputers appeared afterwards, with the particularity of using microprocessors. The highly used computer nowadays is the Super Computer which is very powerful and adapted for many tasks. Basically, a computer consists of hardware and software. Hardware components describe the physical parts of the computer. Input devices like keyboards, mice, scanners Output devices like printers, monitors The Central Processing Unit is the heart of the computer system and includes the control unit, the arithmetic and logic unit, and a bus system.
There are also other categories of non-volatile memory viz. These previous memories volatile and non- volatile are just stocking data and instructions for a temporary period. These permanent storage devices can be called volumes and are named using a letter of the alphabet, followed by colon, example: A: for the first diskette drive, B: for the second, C: for the first hard disk. When it comes about storage and access to data in these devices, a whole system is need: File System.
A file is any document or programme that the user of a computer system creates. Every file stored on a permanent storage device is attributed a name that will be used to retrieve the file.
File names are unique as this will help distinguish one file from another. There is a convention for naming files computer systems based on the operating systems. The base name is obligatory and the extension is optional. The extension is usually used to indicate the type of file, example: doc is the extension for Ms Word files, xl is the extension for Ms Excel files.
The naming systems have been changing over time. Now these limitations do not apply to the current versions of operating systems. Another way to locate file easily is by creating a directory or folder in which can be held files relating to the same field.
On the same directory, it can also be created sub- directories. The naming convention for directories is the same as for files. Regarding the organization of files, it is noted that files can be organized on a directory in a hierarchical structure for an easy management. There will be a main directory with other directories sub-directories and files. As for software, there are two categories: application and system software.
Application software is a software that is conceived to generate information, fix a problem, or support a decision making process for individuals or organizations. When it comes about system software, it is designed to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the computer system. Hardware and software are thus the setup of the computer.
At the heart of the computer is the hardware; the system software is acted as a buffer between the hardware and the outer layer application software which is used by the user to interacts with the computer.
In this interactivity between the user and the computer system, the operating system plays a fundamental role. Actually, the operating system, available on all computers, is the main controlling software of the system and helps the user to communicate and access data in the computer system.
There are two broad categories of programming languages: low level and high level languages. Low level languages are designed to operate at a low level, either directly or close to the hardware. They are machine-dependent and comprise two types: machine language and assembly language. The machine language which is native for any computer comprises a series of binary digits that represent the instructions and data given to the hardware.
As for assembly language promoted due to difficulties to work with machine language, it comprises English-like mnemonics devices used to aid recall for instructions. Any programme in an assembly language needs an assembler which transforms the language into the equivalent machine language code before the computer can operate it.
High level languages can be classified in various ways, including the following: compiled language, interpreter, Java, procedural programming language, object oriented programming language, declarative language. Their fast development has led inevitably to the breakthrough of a multitude of applications adapted to industrial needs.
In many fields viz. With these resources computers appear to be vital in nowadays communication. However, computers can only perform tasks that can be described algebraically.
As a substantial description of computers, their components, organization and functioning is made, it is also important to understand their evolution. To retrace this history of computers, we need first to have an overview on the period preceding their coming.
Thus, before computers people over the world used different methods including primitive materials like papyrus, a crude form of paper by ancient Egyptians. At this age, Sumerians used boxes of stones to represent numbers. Chinese invented the abacus in B. Many other methods and techniques were used at this period, but with the genius of human being, invention with regard to computing was launched. A number of scientists Wilhelm Schickard, Blaise Pascal, Leibnitz, Ada Lovelace worked on the field, improving progressively the computer systems in terms quality and space.
In John Napier invented logs for calculations. In , Ada Lovelace began the study of scientific computation. She developed a programming language Ada, named after her. The creation and spread of companies specialized on the field brought a higher dimension to computing machines. However, the breakthrough of computers came almost in the second half of the twentieth century from , with the use of binary maths and Boolean logic. In this regard, the evolution of computers went with the major technological breakthroughs, generations after generations.
People started talking about digital computers that are smaller and more powerful. The first generation of the digital computers was under WW2 and the need to process timely immense data. Hence, the advancements carried out were the conception of programmes and programming languages.
As the devices working with vacuum tubes remained still too large, requiring vast space and lot energy, there was a need for improvement.
This led to the second generation of computers where great progresses were made in the early second half of the 20th century. Computer systems became more and more powerful miniaturization. Transistors quickly replaced the vacuums tubes. They required less space, less energy and processed more data in shorter time.
High level languages were used; operating systems replaced human operators. The performance was , to , calculations per second.
Batch processing and time sharing started. Being extremely motivated to meliorate computer products, engineers marked later the third generation with more sophisticated computers IBM The use of integrated circuit IC was the key characteristic of the third generation, but computers got also more single and cheaper, with broader range of programmes. As for the fourth generation, it was characterized by the utilization of microprocessor and microcomputers.
The engineers tended then to build on applications that qualified this generation of computers with the use of artificial intelligence and expert systems.
Sophistication of software and expansion of communication qualified also this computer development age.
In the fifth generation, specified by further miniaturization, computers reached a new dimension with the artificial intelligence which is defined as the ability of computer system to display behaviour that appears to be from an intelligent individual group.
Another characteristic of this fifth generation was also the expert system: a computer system that has the ability to make judgements and decisions like an expert in a particular field Stair, In terms of programming languages, advancement was noted. From the early stage up to date, the different types of computers are as follows: Mainframe early days of computers, very costly , Minicomputer replacement of mainframe , Microcomputer personal computer or PC; development of microprocessor, with CPU on a single chip, ex: Notebook, Laptop , Supercomputer the most powerful in use today.
To recapitulate this chapter of computer generations, computers have been transforming the world through successive stages. With their rapid evolution, leading to high programming skills, combined with the growth of Internet and the World Wide Web, the availability and sharing of information and data in a huge amount have led to the Information Age. This period is characterised by an economy based on information computerization.
History of computing hardware
The first computer was conceived as a machine of cogs and gears Figure 1. In the s, a hardware company called IBM footnote 1 emerged as the computing leader. In the s, however, software became increasingly important, and by the s a software company called Microsoft footnote 2 had become the computing frontline leader by giving ordinary people tools like word-processing. During the s computing became more personal, until the World-Wide-Web turned Internet URLs into web site names that people could read footnote 3. A company called Google footnote 4 then offered the ultimate personal service, free access to the vast public library we call the Internet, and soon everyone's gateway to the web was the new computing leader. In the s computing evolved yet again, to become a social medium as well as a personal tool.
The history of the personal computer as a mass-market consumer electronic device began with the microcomputer revolution of the s. A personal computer is one intended for interactive individual use, as opposed to a mainframe computer where the end user's requests are filtered through operating staff, or a time-sharing system in which one large processor is shared by many individuals. After the development of the microprocessor , individual personal computers were low enough in cost that they eventually became affordable consumer goods. Early personal computers — generally called microcomputers — were sold often in electronic kit form and in limited numbers, and were of interest mostly to hobbyists and technicians. Mauchly 's vision of future computing as detailed at a recent meeting of the Institute of Industrial Engineers. Mauchly stated, "There is no reason to suppose the average boy or girl cannot be master of a personal computer ". In , a manufacturer took the risk of referring to their product this way, when Hewlett-Packard advertised their "Powerful Computing Genie" as "The New Hewlett-Packard A personal computer".
The history of computing hardware covers the developments from early simple devices to aid calculation to modern day computers. Before the 20th century, most calculations were done by humans. Early mechanical tools to help humans with digital calculations, like the abacus , were referred to as calculating machines or calculators and other proprietary names. The machine operator was called the computer. The first aids to computation were purely mechanical devices which required the operator to set up the initial values of an elementary arithmetic operation, then manipulate the device to obtain the result. Later, computers represented numbers in a continuous form e. Numbers could also be represented in the form of digits, automatically manipulated by a mechanism.
Computer Concepts - History of Computers
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