Computers have evolved from expensive and bulky instruments used only by a small number of professionals to lightweight, portable devices that can be carried anywhere at any time. This evolution has been brought about by advances in technology which have led to the development of a computer repair industry. As computers become increasingly sophisticated, their user base grows and the need for computer technicians increases as well. With this in mind, we take a look at the evolution of computers from their earliest iterations all the way until today’s laptops and tablets.
The First Computer: The Difference Engine
The first computer was invented in the 1820s by Charles Babbage, a British mathematician and cryptanalyst. His employer at the time, the government, was desperately trying to improve their accounting procedures. Babbage designed a difference engine which could be used to calculate the amount of grain needed to feed a population based on their consumption rate. Babbage’s difference engine was extremely large and complex and consisted of over 3,000 cogs and gear wheels. Although it was eventually used to calculate the amount of grain needed to feed the population, it was too complex and unreliable to be used as a commercial product.
The Word Processor: IBM Selectric Typewriters And The IBM 1401
The first word processor was created in 1967 by Ray Tomlinson, a programmer working for the top-secret government agency, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Tomlinson’s typewriter-based word processor was able to create documents and print them out on a regular typewriter. This was achieved by using control characters that translated into the letters needed to type on the paper. While Tomlinson’s creation was the first complete word processor, it was still too complex and unreliable to be used as a commercial product. The first personal computer with a word processor was the IBM 1401. This computer weighed almost 90 pounds and was so big that it had to be installed on a table. Although the 1401 was extremely slow and could only run one program at a time, it was a huge leap forward in the computer industry. The 1401 was a standalone unit that had nothing to do with any other computers.
Computers With Moving Covers: IBM Card Punch Machines
One of the first successful computer peripherals was the IBM card punch. This device enabled engineers to create large quantities of custom punch cards, which were used to store data electronically. The first computer with a card reader was the IBM 1401. This computer had a card reader that was able to read the punch cards created by the IBM card punch. As the computer industry grew, so did the need for custom computer parts and printed circuit boards that could be used to create integrated circuits (ICs). The computer industry took advantage of the flexibility offered by paper and invented the moving-covers industry. Computer manufacturers would manufacture custom printed circuit boards, connect them to a computer, and then move the computer out of the production hall to a location where the printed circuit boards were assembled. This process was hugely beneficial to the computer industry as it enabled manufacturers to create custom-made circuits without the need for expensive, time-consuming prototyping.
Calculators: Hewlett Packard HP-28S & HP-32S Calcs
The first programmable calculator was created by Hewlett Packard in 1957. This machine, called the HP-28S, was designed to perform basic arithmetic functions and was the first handheld electronic calculator. Two years later, Hewlett Packard created the HP-32S, the first programmable calculator that was designed for business and office use. While the HP-28S was able to calculate basic arithmetic functions, the 32S was able to perform more complex calculations like trigonometry, square roots, square braces, and logarithms. These two calculators were extremely popular and were used by engineers, accountants, and financiers. They were also used by scientists and researchers.
Computers With Keyboard Interface: CDC 1604 & 1802
Early computers had a keyboard interface that consisted of a cable running from the computer to the keypunch machine. This interface was used to input punch cards and create printed output cards. The main problem with this type of interface was that you had to be physically in the production hall with the computer to enter and output data. The first computer to have a keypunch that could be installed inside the computer was the CDC 1604. The 1604 was designed to have a keypunch that could be connected via wire or a paper tape. The main advantage of this interface was that data could be input and output remotely. The main disadvantage was that the data had to be transmitted by printed output cards, which were prone to errors.
Subtractive Type Processors: Univac 1101, 1102 & 1110 COBOL computers
Computer scientists began to develop the first computer hardware in the 1950s. The first computer that took advantage of these new hardware designs was the Univac 1101. This computer used computer hardware design concepts that were being developed by computer scientists. The 1101 was able to process data using a set of fixed instructions and mathematical instructions called a set of instructions. The 1101 was also the first computer to have a memory unit. The computers that followed the 1101 had similar architectures and used the same type of computer hardware. Subtractive type computers used a set of mechanical levers that operated on letters. The computer read a set of instructions, which were printed on a card. Each character on the card represented a set of levers that had to be moved to spell out the instructions. The computer input devices rotated the cards through a reader that had holes that corresponded to the letters printed on the cards to create a set of instructions. The computer then used the instructions to perform a function.
Electronic Digital Logic Computers: Burroughs B6700 B6500 & B7500
One of the main advantages of computer hardware was its ability to process large amounts of data. The computer industry had to find a way to store this data in a way that would be cost-effective, reliable, and safe. It was only natural for computer scientists to use a semiconductor device, such as a transistor, to store data. The first computer with a memory unit was the Burroughs B6700. The B6700 used a silicon memory device to store data. The B6700 had a set of instructions that were read from cards, a set of fixed instructions that the computer could not change, and a set of variables that the computer could change. This type of computer architecture was used in most computers throughout the 1960s. Another important development in computer hardware was the move from vacuum tubes to solid-state devices. The first computer to use solid-state devices was the Burroughs B6500. The B6500 was the first computer that could be called a modern computer. The B6500 used a set of older solid-state devices called complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) devices that could be switched on and off to create digital signals. The B6500 was also the first computer to use a set of instructions called object code as opposed to the set of instructions that were used for the Burroughs B6500, which was called source code.
Modern Desktop and Laptop Computers: Intel i5 and i7 processors and Microsoft Windows operating systems.
Modern computers are built on the same hardware architectures that were developed during the 1960s. This hardware is usually based on a set of instructions that are read and interpreted by a processor. The processor uses a set of instructions to perform a specific task, such as mathematical calculations. Modern computers also have a set of instructions that tell the computer how to interpret and execute commands and data that are interpreted by a program. One of the most important developments in computer hardware is the introduction of the transistor, which was developed during the 1940s. Transistors replaced vacuum tubes as the semiconductor device of choice for computers. They were smaller, faster, and more reliable than vacuum tubes and could be switched on and off to