How and when was the first computer created

A computer is a device that can perform various calculations, operations and tasks under the control of special programs. Computers have a long and fascinating history that began in the 19th century and continues to this day. In this text, we will talk about the main stages of the development of computers and their impact on science, technology, education, culture and society.

The first computers in the 19th century:

Joseph Marie Jacquard’s barrel, invented in 1801 in France, can be considered one of the first computer prototypes. These looms used perforated wooden cards to automatically weave fabrics in various patterns. Early computers also used similar punch cards to store and transmit information.

In the mid-19th century, English mathematician and inventor Charles Babbage developed designs for two machines capable of performing complex mathematical calculations: the Difference Engine and the Analytical Engine. A difference engine was a mechanical device that could calculate the values of polynomials using the finite difference method. The Analytical Engine was a more advanced device that could perform any arithmetic operation on floating-point numbers and also had elements, memory, I/O, and programming similar to modern processors. However, due to technical and financial difficulties, these machines were never built during Babbage’s lifetime.

In the late 19th century, American inventor Herman Hollerith created an electromechanical tabulating machine that could read, sort, and count data written on punched cards. This machine was used to process the results of the 1890 US Census. Hollerith later founded the company, which in 1924 became part of the IBM Corporation, one of the leaders in the field of computer technology.

Electronic computers:

At the beginning of the 20th century, the first electronic computers appeared, which used vacuum tubes, relays, transistors and integrated circuits to process electrical signals. These computers were significantly faster, more reliable, and more compact than their mechanical and electromechanical predecessors. One of the first electronic computers was the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), which was created in 1946 in the US to solve military problems. This computer occupied an area of about 170 square meters, weighed 30 tons, consumed 150 kilowatts of electricity, and could perform about 5,000 operations per second.

In 1947, the transistor was invented in the USA – a semiconductor element that could amplify and switch electrical signals. Transistors replaced vacuum tubes in computers, making them more powerful, economical, and smaller. The first transistor computer was built in 1953 in the USA and was called TRADIC (TRAnsistor DIgital Computer). This computer weighed about 90 kilograms, consumed 100 watts of electricity, and could perform 100,000 operations per second.

In 1958, the first integrated circuit was created in the United States – a microscopic crystal on which several transistors, resistors, capacitors and conductors were placed to form an electronic circuit. Integrated circuits have made it possible to increase the speed, power, reliability of computers, and reduce the size and cost of computers. The first integrated circuit computer was built in 1964 in the USA and was called the IBM System/360. This computer was designed for a wide range of applications, from scientific and engineering computing to business and administration.

In 1971, the microprocessor was invented in the USA – an integrated circuit that contained all the basic elements of a computer’s central processor. Microprocessors made it possible to create personal computers – computers designed for individual use by one person. The first commercial personal computer was released in 1974 in the USA and was called the Altair 8800.

This computer was sold as a do-it-yourselfer, had 256 bytes of RAM, an 8-bit Intel 8080 microprocessor, and ran an assembly language program.

In 1975, the first mass-produced personal computer Apple I was released in the United States.



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