But computers cannot make such judgements on their

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: e. But computers cannot make such judgements on their own. Their judgement is based on the instructions-given to them in the form of programs that are written by us. They are only as good as man makes and uses them. THE EVOLUTION OF COMPUTERS Necessity is the mother of invention. The saying holds true for computers also because computers were invented as a result of man's search for fast and accurate calculating devices. The earliest device that qualifies as a digital computer is the "abacus" also known as "soroban". This device (shown in Figure 1.1) permits the users to represent numbers by the position of beads on a rack. Simple addition and subtraction can be carried out rapidly and efficiently by positioning the beads appropriately. Although, the abacus was invented around 600 B.C., it is interesting to note that it is still used in the Far East and its users can calculate at amazing speeds. Another manual calculating device was John Napier's bone or cardboard multiplication calculator, designed in the early 17 th century and its upgraded versions were in use even around 1890. The first mechanical adding machine was invented by Blaise Pascal in 1642. Later, in the year 1671, Baron Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz of Germany invented the first calculator for multiplication. Keyboard machines originated in the United States around 1880 and are extensively used even today. Around this period only, Herman Hollerith came up with the concept of punched cards, which were extensively used as input media in computers even in late 1970s. Business machines and calculators made their appearance in Europe and America towards the end of the nineteenth century. Charles Babbage, a nineteenth century Professor at Cambridge University, is considered to be the father of modern digital computers. During his period, mathematical and statistical tables were prepared by a group of clerks. Even the utmost care and precautions could not eliminate human errors. Babbage had to spend several hours c...
View Full Document

This document was uploaded on 04/07/2014.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online