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					The Computer




        An article by:
       Caroline Jernæs,
       Mariama Ndure,
      Iben Rak Haugen,
   Julie Grønneberg Bech.
Index


What is a computer? .................................................................................................................3

History of The Computer .........................................................................................................3

How a computer works ............................................................................................................7

Advantages and Disadvantages ...............................................................................................8

Sources: ...................................................................................................................................10
What is a computer?

       A computer is a programmable device.The first computers were made in the mid

20th century. Computers today are has developed extremely since then. in our

informative age, computers play a very big role in the society today. A computer is a the

definition for many things such as digital cameras, consumer, electronics, kitchen and

other domestic appliance, hi fi components, cars and other vehicles , medical devices

such as hearing aids, mobile phones and children´s toys.

       What is the history of the computer , how do computers work and what are the

benefits and disadvantage of the computer ?

       The computer is a big advantage in the working marked today, and is at big help

for companies all around the world. The computer has become our way of

communicating, we use it in the school system, at home and at work.




History of The Computer

       The history of the computer we are well known with today, takes us back to year

2400 BC. The abacus was invented at this point in Babylonia. An abacus is a mechanical

simple aid used for counting and mathematical computations.

       500 years BC, the meaning of zero was established in India.
       It was first in year 600 that the place-value numeral system was described by an

Indian Mathematician, called Brahmagupta. The Arabic system of numbers and the

concepts of zero, tens, hundreds, thousands etc., were introduced in the eight and ninth

century.

       1492 Leonardo da Vinci drew a machine designed to calculate. Leonardo da Vinci

drew a model of a device, which has been interpreted as a mechanical calculator.

       In 1617, the logarithms was invented by a Scotsman named John Napier. A

logarithm is defined as any of a series of numbers set out in lists which make it possible

to work out problems by adding and subtracting instead of multiplying and dividing.

Napier invented a technology that allowed multiplication to be performed via addition.

       In the 1642, Blaise Pascal invented a hand powered mechanical calculator, a

mechanical adding machine. It was mainly invented as an aid for his father who was a tax

collector. Pascal later on invented the probability theory, the hydraulic press, and the

syringe.

       In the 1670s, shortly before the American Revolution, German Gottfried Liebniz

invented a multiplying calculator. This machine could add, subtract, multiply and divide.

Liebniz called this calculator a stepped reckoner. Some years later, Liebniz was the first

to use the binary number system which is fundamental to the operation of modern

computers.
       In 1801 Joseph-Marie Jacquard invented a loom. This loom had a weave based

upon a pattern, that could be read from punched wooden cards. Its design became an

important precursor to the development of computer programming.

       In 1820 the first mass produced calculator was produced, made by Thomas de

Colmar from the Philippines.

       The first mechanical computer was invented in 1822, designed by Charles

Baggage. Baggage called it a “Difference Engine”, it was a steam driven calculating

machine. This machine computed tables of numbers, such as logarithm tables.

Unfortunately Baggage’s machine became an expensive device, and was never finished.

       Well-known as the “Father of Computer Science”, was George Boole, a British

Mathematician. In 1848 he developed binary algebra or Boolean algebra.

       In 1890 Herman Hollerith established “The Hollerith Tabulating Company”, this

Tabulating Macine Company is what we today call the IBM. Hollerith used the

mechanical computer Baggage had invented ahead of him.

       After the 1920s a computer was considered a machine that performed the work of

a human mind.
       After the 1940s the term “computer” became common, instead of “computer

machine”. The first programmable electronic computers came at this point. in 1944 the

first programmable digital computer was made in the U.S., built as a partnership between

Harvard and IBM. Konrad Zuse, a German Construction Engineer, invented a

programmable electronic device, called a “Z machine”. This was the worlds first

operational computer. It contained binary arithmetic and programmability.

       The microelectronics revolution allowed the hand crafted wiring to be mass

produced as integrated circuits.

       During the 1980s IBM earned more than $100 billion on the IBM 360 which was

introduced in 1964. It was a standard institutional mainframe computer.

       Bill Gates took part of the computers history in 1971. He started selling computer

traffic analysis systems. The next year, Intel introduced the first microprocessor. In 1975

Microcoft is born. Paul Allen and Bill Gates developed “Basic” for the Altair 8800.

       By 1980 Apple captured 50% of the computer market. But during the same year

Microsoft was acepted by IBM, and the released the IBM PC in 1981. “Basic” was

developed to the personal computer project. Apple Macintosh was released in 1984.

       One invention led to another, and as we can see the inventors took advantage of

each others discoveries. Each discovery has together contributed to the computer

programmes we are familiar with in our time. But, the history of the computer never

seems to end.
 How a computer works
         For a computer to work it needs the combination of hardware, software and input.

In layman terms the hardware consists of the monitor, the keyboard, printer, mouse and

speakers. Inside the computer you will also find the motherboard where you find the main

processing chip (a small device of electric circuits that can store million bits of

information) that make up the central processing unit, CPU which you can also refer to as

the brain of the computer.

         The software is programs you install on your computer so you can perform

different types activities, such as games or itunes. The hardware processes the commands it

receives from the software.




         Input is when you type a command on the computer, for instance when you turn

the computer on.
         Together these devices make the computer work, to make it easier to understand

we can go through a process where we use the terms:

-First you turn on the computer, this is an input. When the computer starts, the software

programs tell the CPU to start up certain programs and turn on some hardware devices so

you can provide more inputs. This whole process is called booting up.

-When the computer has booted up you are ready for your next input and choose a

software, in layman’s term you choose an icon/program and click on it with the mouse. For

instance you can choose to browse the internet, when you have chosen an internet address

(provided an input) the computer will find the internet address for you using the browser

software. If you would like to print the web page you press the printer icon, again

providing an input, and the computer will use the printer, which is a hardware device, to

print the page.




 Advantages and Disadvantages

         Computers can make man’s every day life easier than it has ever been. It can help

 us complete our jobs, with no errors and in half the time we would have completed it by

 our self.

         It also gives us a great deal of knowledge. In the old days, people used big books

 full of information, if they wanted information. Today you can do a search on Google,

 and you will most likely find exactly the information you were looking for. Trough the

 ages of time one can see the computers is being made smaller and smaller. There are

 always promotions about a new tiny computer on the marked, with super storage so that
people can put a lot of information in very little space. This is another benefit about the

computer, loads of information~ in a minimum of storage.

       With the computers one does not even have to leave the house. This helps

children who have to stay home from school to still be able to finish their homework.

This means that sickness does not necessarily have to mean less learnig. Shopping online

is very normal, and paying your bills from your living room is a luxury in many

households. This saves time and money, when one does not even have to stand in line for

the bank or at the mall.




       With advantages follows disadvantages. The case of the computer is not an

exception. With the new generations growing up research shows that youth spends so

many hours a day in front of the computer that parents are concerned. Interaction with

other kids is becoming a smaller part of kids’ routine every day. Computer games are the

youth’s first priority are computers which means their spare time is being used to sit in

front of computers instead of exercising and working with a creative mind.
        The fact that children are so young when surfing online is something adult

perverts on net can take advantage of. Sexual offenders can not only talk sex with

children, but can also gradually find information about how they look, and where they

live. Another factor that has made people worrying is that the computer works so well.

When the computer can do the man’s job so easily, will the working marked no longer

have the need for human beings? When one needs help with technical equipment, and

dials the number to ask for help, one does not want to speak to another computer. People

want to speak to a human being.

Despite the computers disadvantages, the computer to day seems more popular than ever.

This helpful equipment’s advantages overtop its disadvantages. Let us just hope for the

future, that this fact will not change




Sources:

The Oxford Dictionary


       What is a Computer

www.wikipedia.org

       History of the computer

http://www.computersciencelab.com/ComputerHistory/History.htm

http://www.goldenink.com/computersandnetworks.shtml

http://www.pbs.org/nerds/timeline/


       How the computer works:

http://www.cs.uri.edu/    29/09/07
       The computer: advantages and disadvantages

Copyright@indianchild.com 04.09.07

http://hagar.up.ac.za/catts/learner/andres/telemat3.htm 04.09.07

				
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