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A Brief History of Computers

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1 A Brief History of Computers

2 3000 B.C. The abacus was invented and used for
quick, manual addition and subtraction calculations.

3 Abacus

4 1645 A.D. A mechanical adding and subtracting
machine called the Pascaline (after its inventor, the French mathematician Blaise Pascal) was invented.

5 Pascaline

6 1830 Charles Babbage, the father of
computers, designed the first electronic computer called the difference engine. Unfortunately, the difference engine was never actually built, but today’s computers are based on it.

7 Difference Engine

8 1890 The 1890 census was predicted to be so
vast that people-power alone could not tabulate it. Therefore, an inventor named Herman Hollerith invented the punch card. Census data was punched onto these cards , and tabulating machines computed the totals.

9 Punch Cards

10 Tabulating Machine

11 1937 An electromechanical calculator was
built with the help of IBM. Although not truly an electronic computer because all its parts were mechanical and moving, the Mark I computer (as it was named) proved the theory of computing machines could be a reality and not just a theory.

12 Mark I computer

13 1939 The first vacuum tube calculating machine was invented.


15 1946 The first true general-purpose vacuum-tube,
first-generation computer, named ENIAC, was invented.


17 1957 FORTRAN, one of the oldest programming languages still in use
today, was developed to aid scientific and mathematical programmers.

18 1959 The second-generation computers came on the scene.

19 1960 COBOL was developed to give business
programmers the language they needed to write programs.

20 1964 The first version of BASIC, the most
important language for start-up programmers was written.

21 1965 The third-generation computers were perfected.

22 1976 BASIC was ported to the early
microcomputers by Microsoft, a company formed and run by two teenagers out of their garage, (one of these guys was Bill Gates)

23 1976 - 1978 Two of the most important
microcomputers that started the true trend of home computing, the Apple computer and Radio Shack’s TRS-80 were invented.

24 1981 The introduction of IBM’s first
microcomputer, the IBM PC, finally added stability to microcomputers.

25 1982 The American National Standards
Institute (ANSI) agreed to a universally accepted standard for the C programming language. C would prove to be the most important language of the 1980’s.

26 1984 The Windows operating system began spurring interest

27 1989 The C++ programming language was
made available for a wide variety of microcomputers, helping to spearhead the object-oriented programming (OOP) movement.

28 1990 Visual Basic began taking shape to
provide Windows programming skills without requiring huge investments in time.

29 1995 Windows 95 and Windows NT became
the dominate operating systems of PC’s and server computers.

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