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History of Computing

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Where did it start?

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Abucus 500 B.C. The abacus was first used by the Babylonians as an aid to simple arithmetic at sometime around this date. The abacus in the form we are most familiar with was first used in China in around 1300 A.D.

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Quipu

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Napier's bones

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Logarithm 1614 Scotsman John Napier (1550-1617) published a paper outlining his discovery of the logarithm. Napier also invented an ingenious system of moveable rods (referred to as Napier's Rods or Napier's bones). These allowed the operator to multiply, divide and calculate square and calculate cube roots by moving the rods around and placing them in specially constructed boards. http://trillian.randomstuff.org.uk/~stephen/history/timeline.html

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Leibniz Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716), German mathematician and philosopher.

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'Stepped Reckoner'

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Joseph-Marie Jacquard

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Loom Designed during the 1830s Parts remarkably similar to modern-day computers. – The "store" – The "mill" – Punch cards. Punch card idea picked up by Babbage from Joseph Marie Jacquard's (1752-1834) loom. – Introduced in 1801. – Binary logic – Fixed program that would operate in real time.

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Augusta Ada Lovelace (née Byron), 1815-1852 "I never am really satisfied that I understand anything; because, understand it well as I may, my comprehension can only be an infinitesimal fraction of all I want to understand."

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The Analytical Engine weaves algebraic patterns, just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.

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Charles Babbage

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Charles Babbage (1792-1871) designed his first mechanical computer, the first prototype for the difference engine. Babbage invented 2 machines the Analytical Engine (a general purpose mathematical device, see 1834) and the Difference Engine (a re- invention of Mueller's 1786 machine for solving polynomials), both machines were too complicated to be built (although attempt was made in 1832) - but the theories worked. The analytical engine (outlined in 1833) involved many processes similar to the early electronic computers - notably the use of punched cards for input.

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The Analytical Engine.

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The Electromechanical Age: 1840 - 1940.

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Alan M. Turing (1912-1954)

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The First Generation (1951-1958)

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The Second Generation (1959-1963)

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The Third Generation (1964-1979).

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The Fourth Generation (1979- Present).

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