History Of Personal Computer Essay

1012 words - 5 pages

Personal computers also known as PC’s, are used in a variety of ways. PC’s have a wide range of uses, but the typical PC is used primarily for work, education and gaming. A common PC today usually includes the system itself, a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse. But how did computers come to what they are today? Computers themselves, are devices that are used to carry out certain tasks or operations. So with this, what was the first computer? As there are many different classifications of computers there is no easy answer. There are Abacus’s which are also known as “counting frames”, that are calculating tools used for basic math such as addition, division, subtraction and multiplication they made their first appearance between 2700-2300 BC (Ifrah). However, the first mechanical computer was created by Charles Babbage in 1822 (Babbage). So consequently, computers have been around for centuries but it wasn't until the mid 1900’s that computers were becoming more advanced and developed. In 1943 the first digital computer was invented by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly at the University of Pennsylvania. This computer took 3 years to complete and occupied more than 1,800 square feet and weighed a grand total of 50 tons. This computer, was the first digital computer to be ruled out by a judge because it was the first fully functional (Bellis).

Continuing along history, the first computer that had stored memory, was developed by a group of code-breakers working for the Navy during WWII and was the first computer capable to perform tasks, out of given memory. Later, MIT made the “Whirlwind Machine”, which revolutionized computers with RAM also known as “random access memory” a type of computer memory that can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes. With RAM now in the market, companies were able to build upon RAM and in 1975, Ed Roberts had coined the term “personal computer” when he introduced the Altair 8800. And ever since, computers have been successfully modified throughout the years with added features and improved capabilities. It is also worth noting Moore’s Law: an observation that over the history of computer hardware, “the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years” (Strickland). His predictions so far have been proven accurate. And because of this companies can accurately project long term R&D.

Understanding of how computers are developed, leads us to what computers are actually made up of. Computers themselves, are intricate in design but are simple when broken down. So far we have introduced two parts of a conventional computer, the memory and the RAM, but there are yet multiple parts that tie in the a computer's functionality. The memory of a computer was first used by Babbage's Analytical Engine that used punch cards as its form of memory. Memory of general purpose computers however, have used Drum memory, a form of computer memory that used a drum as a part working with data....

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