Learn about the history of computers and how they evolved throughout time, from the first calculators to the modern iPhones. This article also shows the contributions of different people in the evolution of computers. Some of the famous scienctists talked about are: Alan Turing, Joseph Jacquard,Howard Aiken,Herman Hollerith,Grace Hopper,Abacus,Lady Lovelace,John Von Neumann,George Boole,Augusta Ada,Blaise Pascal,Robert Bissaker,Steven Jobs,Bill Gates,John Napier, and Douglas Engelbart.
Individual Name |
Year |
Contribution |
Charles Babbage |
1849 |
- Designed the first automatic computing engines. |
Herman Hollerith |
1881 |
- Invented the punch-card tabulation machine |
Grace Hopper |
1952 |
- Invented the first computer ‘compiler.’ - Developed a language with which computers could communicate called Common Business-Oriented Language. |
Abacus |
2600 B.C. |
- The first manual calculator invented by the Chinese. |
Lady Lovelace |
1842 |
- She helped Charles Babbage with his analytical machine. |
John Von Neumann |
1926, 1947 |
- He recorded and advanced the theories of quantum mechanics. - Pushed the development of computers. |
Alan Turing |
1936 |
- Invented the Turing Machine. - Philosopher, physicist and a codebreaker. |
Howard Aiken |
1944 |
- He built the world’s first program-controlled calculator. |
Joseph Jacquard |
1801 |
- Invented an improved textile loom that used punch cards. |
Vannevar Bush |
1931, 1945 |
- Completed a machine that solved differential equations. - Published an article called “As We May Think,” which is very similar to the modern hypertext. |
George Boole |
1847 |
- Represented logical expressions in mathematical form called Boolean Algebra. |
Augusta Ada |
1842 |
- She helped Charles Babbage with his analytical machine. |
Blaise Pascal |
1636, 1641 |
- Proved the 32-nd proposition of Euclid. - Invented one of the first mechanical calculators, The Pascaline. |
Robert Bissaker |
1654 |
- Invented the inner sliding rule in mathematics. |
Steven Jobs |
1988 |
- Introduced the NeXT Computer System. This is a graphical-based computer with 256 megabytes optical storage disk and 8 megabytes of RAM. |
Bill Gates |
1975, 1980 |
- Founder of Microsoft, which is currently the best known computer-related company in the world. - Developed MS-DOS operating system. |
John Napier |
1614, 1617 |
- Developed what we now call logarithms. Logarithms is a mathematical concept that makes multiplication and division much easier by using exponents. - Invented the Napier’s Rods, rods that could be used for multiplication, getting square roots and cube roots. This rod was one of the most important contributions to mathematics an his time. |
Generation |
Significant Facts |
First (1951-1959) - During this time, computer was used mainly by large businesses and they were barely more then a large calculator. |
- 1951: John Presper Eckert & John W. Mauchly introduces the first commercial computers. - 1953: IBM (International Business Machines) enters the history of computers. - 1954: FORTRAN, developed by John Backus and IBM, was the first successful high level programming language. - 1958: Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce introduced ‘The Integrated Circuit.’ |
Second (1959-1963) - Banks and industries began to use computer more in their daily activities. Computrers begin to shrink in size. |
- 1959: The first bank industry computer for reading checks. - 1962: Steve Russell and MIT introduces the first computer game called ‘Spacewar Computer Game.’ |
Third (1964-1971) - Computers were being used largely by businesses and it made their lives much easier. But, it was still very time-consuming to work on the computer. Computrers begin to shrink in size. |
- 1964: Douglas Engelbart named the ‘mouse’ because the tail came out the end. - 1969: The original Internet was in use (ARPAnet). - 1970: Intel 1103 Computer Memory became the first available dynamic RAM chip. |
Fourth (1971-1990) - Computers were finally being used by the public (mainly rich people). They were very expensive and the development of operating systems made it much easier to use the computer. |
- 1971: Intel 4004 Computer Microprocessor became the first microprocessor. - 1971: Alan Shugart and IBM named the ‘floppy’ because it was very flexible. - 1973: Robert Metcalfe and Xerox introduced the Ethernet Computer Networking. - 1974-1977: The first consumer computers introduced by companies, such as: IBM, Macintosh, etc. - 1978: Dan Bricklin & Bob Frankston introduced the VisiCalc Spreadsheet Software. - 1979: Seymour Rubenstein & Rob Barnaby introduced the WordStar Software. (word processing software). - 1981: Microsoft introduces the MS-DOS computer operating system. - 1983: Apple Lisa becomes the first computer with a graphical computer interface. - 1985: Microsoft introduces Windows operating system. |
Fifth (present) - Every household now has at least one computer. Practically everything is operated by computers. Newer technologies are also being developed based on the computer. |
- Microsoft introduces Windows 7 in 2010. - Apple creates the iPhone, which works very much like a computer and is portable. - Touchscreen computers are developed. - HD graphics provide excellent video quality. - External hard drive and flash drives work like a floppy disk, but has up to 2 TB of memory. (floppy disks usually have 256 MB of memory). - Everything is developing rapidly and a new computer gets outdated in a month. - Handheld devices are capable of doing almost everything a computer can do. |