Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Invention of the Computer


The computer is one of the most influential inventions of all time. It can do so many things and give us an unlimited amount of knowledge. Just typing in a phrase and reading a document can help us learn almost anything. The computer was first being designed in the 1930’s and is always being reinvented. If someone were to buy the most update computer in the world by the time they had set it up at home it would already be outdated.

Invention of Computer

There is no single inventor of the computer. It was a combination of many inventors and ideas. In the 1930s, in Germany, Konrad Zuse wanted to create a computer that was able to calculate after being given hard calculations to do. After a great deal of work he created the first calculator. From there the idea grew; a company called IBM started working on the same thing at roughly the same time. In August 1942, John W. Mauchly, a physicist, tried to invent his own kind of computer. It was huge and used f 18,000 vacuum tubes, 70,000 resistors, 10,000 capacitors, 6,000 switches and 1,500 relays just to make it work. John Vincent Atanasoff created the ABC computer. This was able to solve linear equations. John von Neumann, an influential mathematician, designed a universal computer. This computer was able to compute a table of square numbers, and has worked its way up to where it is today.

History of the Computer/Inventors of the Computer

Several people invented the computer. As I cannot do a biography on every inventor, I found a graph of the history of the computer and its evolution.


Konrad Zuse - Z1 Computer First freely programmable computer.


John Atanasoff & Clifford Berry
ABC Computer Who was first in the computing biz is not always as easy as ABC.


Howard Aiken & Grace Hopper
Harvard Mark I Computer The Harvard Mark 1 computer.


John Presper Eckert & John W. Mauchly
ENIAC 1 Computer 20,000 vacuum tubes later...


Frederic Williams & Tom Kilburn
Manchester Baby Computer & The Williams Tube Baby and the Williams Tube turn on the memories.


John Bardeen, Walter Brattain & Wiliam Shockley
The Transistor No, a transistor is not a computer, but this invention greatly affected the history of computers.


John Presper Eckert & John W. Mauchly
UNIVAC Computer First commercial computer & able to pick presidential winners.


International Business Machines
IBM 701 EDPM Computer IBM enters into 'The History of Computers'.


John Backus & IBM
FORTRAN Computer Programming Language The first successful high level programming language.

(In Use 1959)

Stanford Research Institute, Bank of America, and General Electric
The first bank industry computer - also MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) for reading checks.


Jack Kilby & Robert Noyce
The Integrated Circuit Otherwise known as 'The Chip'


Steve Russell & MIT
Spacewar Computer Game The first computer game invented.


Douglas Engelbart
Computer Mouse & Windows Nicknamed the mouse because the tail came out the end.


ARPAnet The original Internet.


Intel 1103 Computer Memory The world's first available dynamic RAM chip.


Faggin, Hoff & Mazor
Intel 4004 Computer Microprocessor The first microprocessor.


Alan Shugart &IBM
The "Floppy" Disk Nicknamed the "Floppy" for its flexibility.


Robert Metcalfe & Xerox
The Ethernet Computer Networking Networking.


Scelbi & Mark-8 Altair & IBM 5100 Computers The first consumer computers.


Apple I, II & TRS-80 & Commodore Pet Computers More first consumer computers.


Dan Bricklin & Bob Frankston
VisiCalc Spreadsheet Software Any product that pays for itself in two weeks is a surefire winner.


Seymour Rubenstein & Rob Barnaby
WordStar Software Word Processors.


The IBM PC - Home Computer From an "Acorn" grows a personal computer revolution


MS-DOS Computer Operating System From "Quick And Dirty" comes the operating system of the century.


Apple Lisa Computer The first home computer with a GUI, graphical user interface.


Apple Macintosh Computer The more affordable home computer with a GUI.


Microsoft Windows Microsoft begins the friendly war with Apple.

Influence on Humanity

Computers are one of the most influential inventions of all time. When I was born in 1994, 25% of households had a personal computer. 16 years later 80% of adults own a computer. This is a major difference and it is continuing to grow every day. Teens on average spend 31 hours a week online. The average workweek in the USA is 32-40 hours a week. Overall, the Internet has a total of 52,357,293,525 hits per day. Over 52 billion hits a day. It should be impossible for a product to be used over 52 billion times in a day. The top three viewed sites get in-between 4 and 5 billion hits a day. Google, the number one site, is the face of the Internet. It is the most common homepage.

Facebook is the second most viewed website, it has a quarter-billion users. It is projected to be worth 33 billion dollars, making it worth more then eBay, Costco, and many other large companies. There is even a new movie about it.

Next in the list is Youtube. Youtube is a video sharing website, where people can watch and upload videos. Youtube averages about a billion hits per day. Youtube is basically destroying TV as it is getting many more views per day. For example, the premier comedy news show is the Daily Show with John Stuart. Philip DeFranco, who goes by SXEPHIL on Youtube, also has a comedy news show which he calls the Philip DeFranco show or PDS for short. They both put out videos Monday though Friday. The Daily Show averages 900,000 views a day, which does incredibly well for today’s standards. The Philip DeFranco show averages 1,200,000 views a day. On another note, Philip DeFranco is the ninth most subscribed person on Youtube meaning that there are still eight more people on Youtube that are more popular then Philip DeFranco.

Another industry that the computer is killing is papers. As it is easier to get news from the web then the newspaper, the New York Times says that they will go out of press in the near future and go 100% digital. Amazon came out with the kindle last year, and over Christmas they sold more eBooks then they did real books. Overall, the computer has truly changed the way the world works.

Review of Journal Article

In the journal article Atanasoff: inventor, problem-solver, and inventor of the real computer, Jo Campbell interviewed one of the most important men in the invention of the computer. Atanasoff talked about what he did and said he didn’t believe it would take off like it did and he believes it is one of the most important inventions of all time. Overall, the article talked about how Atanasoff helped invent the computer.


The Invention of the Computer-

The history of Computers-

Atanasoff: inventor, problem-solver, and inventor of the real computer-

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