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All About Computer Essay

6884 words - 28 pages

Who is the father of the computer?
There are hundreds of people who have major contributions to the field of computing. The following sections detail the primary founding fathers of computing, the computer, and the personal computer we all know and use today.

Father of computing
Charles Babbage was considered to be the father of computing after his invention and concept of the Analytical Engine in 1837. The Analytical Engine contained an Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU), basic flow control, and integrated memory; hailed as the first general-purpose computer concept. Unfortunately, because of funding issues this computer was never built while ...view middle of the document...

Finally, on July 12, 1950 Zuse completed and shipped the Z4 computer, which is considered to be the first commercial computer.

Father of the personal computer
Henry Edward Roberts coined the term "personal computer" and is considered to be the father of the modern personal computers after he released of the Altair 8800 on December 19,1974. It was later published on the front cover of Popular Electronics in 1975 making it an overnight success. The computer was available as a kit for $439 or assembled for $621 and had several additional add-ons such as a memory board and interface boards. By August 1975, over 5,000 Altair 8800 personal computers were sold; starting the personal computer revolution.

When was the first computer invented?
There is no easy answer to this question due to the many different classifications ofcomputers. The first mechanical computer, created by Charles Babbage in 1822, doesn't really resemble what most would consider a computer today. Therefore, this document has been created with a listing of each of the computer firsts, starting with the Difference Engine and leading up to the computers we use today.
Note: Early inventions which helped lead up to the computer, such as the abacus,calculator, and tablet machines, are not accounted for in this document.

The word "computer" was first used
The word "computer" was first recorded as being used in 1613 and originally was used to describe a human who performed calculations or computations. The definition of a computer remained the same until the end of the 19th century, when the industrial revolution gave rise to machines whose primary purpose was calculating.

First mechanical computer or automatic computing engine concept
In 1822, Charles Babbage conceptualized and began developing the Difference Engine, considered to be the first automatic computing machine. The Difference Engine was capable of computing several sets of numbers and making hard copies of the results. Babbage received some help with development of the Difference Engine from Ada Lovelace, considered by many to be the first computer programmer for her work and notes on the Difference Engine. Unfortunately, because of funding, Babbage was never able to complete a full-scale functional version of this machine. In June of 1991, the London Science Museum completed the Difference Engine No 2 for the bicentennial year of Babbage's birth and later completed the printing mechanism in 2000.
In 1837, Charles Babbage proposed the first general mechanical computer, the Analytical Engine. The Analytical Engine contained an Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU), basic flow control, and integrated memory and is the first general-purpose computer concept. Unfortunately, because of funding issues, this computer was also never built while Charles Babbage was alive. In 1910, Henry Babbage, Charles Babbage's youngest son, was able to complete a portion of this machine and...

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