Many inventions have contributed to the development of modern computers. French mathematician Blaise Pascal and other inventors in the 1600s began making machines that could add and subtract numbers. Wheels, levers, and other moving parts made these machines work. In the 1800s, British mathematicians Charles Babbage and Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace, worked on plans for machines that could store information on cards with holes punched in them.

American inventor Herman Hollerith made a machine that automatically totaled population figures for the 1890 United States census. His company joined with other companies to become International Business Machines (IBM) in 1924. Other inventors built better computers. But none of these early computers were digital that is none used the digits zero and one.

The first digital computer, called ENIAC, was built in the 1940s. It was huge. It was as big as a house. It had more than 18,000 glass tubes inside and weighed more than five elephants. The first computer used by business was called UNIVAC. Big computers like ENIAC and UNIVAC were called mainframes. The desktop or laptop computer that you use today is much more powerful than those big machines.

In the 1940s, scientists at Bell Telephone Laboratories invented a tiny electric switch called the transistor. In the 1960s, scientists and engineers invented integrated circuits or computer chips. Computer chips cram millions of transistor into a space the size of your little fingernail Computer chips allowed computers to be smaller. Personal computers (PCs) were invented in the 1970s. Most PCs are meant to be used by only one person at a time. They are small enough to fit on a desk. The Altair 8800 was the first PC. Apple Computer made its first PC in 1977. IBM made its first PC in 1981.


As computers have become more powerful and widespread, operating systems have become extremely complex. Pew people can use a computer without one. In 1975, Bill Gates and his friend Paul Allen wrote a program for the Altair 8800 and founded the Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft later developed the DOS and Windows operating systems used on many home and office PCs. Computers keep getting smaller and more powerful. Personal computers that fit on a desktop today are more powerful than early "supercomputers" that filled entire rooms. Cell phones and watches contain tiny computer that can store information such as telephone numbers, addresses, and appointments. These devices allow you to surf the Web and play games. Many computer experts think that computers have only begun to make their mark on history.


This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited


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