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					A Brief History of Computers
By

Bernard John Poole, MSIS
Associate Professor of Education and Instructional Technology University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Johnstown, PA 15904

Pre-Mechanical Computing:
From Counting on fingers to pebbles to hash marks on walls to hash marks on bone to hash marks in sand
Interesting thought: Do any species, other than homo sapiens, count?

Mechanical computers
From The Abacus c. 4000 BCE to Charles Babbage and his Difference Engine (1812)

Mechanical computers: The Abacus (c. 3000 BCE)

Napier‟s Bones and Logarithms (1617)

Picture courtesy IBM

Oughtred‟s (1621) and Schickard„s (1623] slide rule

Blaise Pascal‟s Pascaline (1645)

Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz‟s Stepped Reckoner (1674)

Joseph-Marie Jacquard and his punched card controlled looms (1804)

Preparing the cards with the pattern for the cloth to be woven

Charles Babbage (1791-1871) The Father of Computers

Charles Babbage‟s Difference Engine

Charles Babbage‟s Analytical Engine

Lady Augusta Ada Countess of Lovelace
Read Lady Augusta Ada’s translation of Menabrea’s Sketch of the Analytical Engine

Electro-mechanical computers
From Herman Hollerith’s 1890 Census Counting Machine to Howard Aiken and the Harvard Mark I (1944)

Herman Hollerith and his Census Tabulating Machine (1884)

A closer look at the Census Tabulating Machine

The Harvard Mark I (1944) aka IBM‟s Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC)

The first computer bug
Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Murray Hopper

Electronic digital computers
From John Vincent Atanasoff’s 1939 Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC) to the present day

Alan Turing 1912-1954
The Turing Machine Aka The Universal Machine 1936

John Vincent Atanasoff (1903-1995)
Physics Prof At Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Clifford Berry (1918-1963)
PhD student of Dr. Atanasoff’s

1939 The Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC)

The ABC was the first electronic digital computer, invented by John Vincent Atanasoff

1943 Bletchley Park‟s Colossus

The Enigma Machine

1946 The ENIAC
John Presper Eckert (1919-1995) and John Mauchly (1907-1980) of the University of Pennsylvania Moore School of Engineering

The ENIAC: Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer

ENIAC‟s Wiring!

Programming the ENIAC

1951 Univac
Typical 1968 prices—EX-cluding maintenance & support!

“What hath God wrought!”
(first telegraph message sent by Samuel Morse, 1844)

Electronic and computing technology quickly progressed—at an ever-accelerating pace— from vacuum tubes (Lee de Forrest, the audion, 1907) to transistors (William Shockley et al. 1947) to semiconductors (Jack Kilby & Robert Noyce, 1958) to microprocessors (M.E. “Ted” Hoff, 1971) to networking and the Internet (Vinton Cerf & Robert Kahn, 1982] to the World Wide Web (Tim Berners-Lee, 1991) and beyond…

Whatever next?…

Acknowledgements (continued on next slide)
For one of the best written books on the history of computers, check out Engines of the Mind : The Evolution of the Computer from Mainframes to Microprocessors -- by Joel N. Shurkin (Paperback)

A movingly beautiful book on Alan Turing is Alan Turing: the Enigma, by Andrew Hodges
An excellent, readable book on Cryptography is Simon Singh‟s THE CODE BOOK. The Secret History of

Codes and Code-Breaking
Tutorials on the encryption software PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) can be found at http://www.pitt.edu/~poole/PGPintro.htm
All pictures and some of the information were obtained from various sites on the World Wide Web. Complete list follows: Abacus: http://qi-journal.com/action.lasso?-Token.SearchID=Abacus&-Response=culture.asp Napier: http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Napier.html http://www.maxmon.com/1600ad.htm Slide Rules: http://www.hpmuseum.org/sliderul.htm Pascal‟s Pascaline: http://www.thocp.net/hardware/pascaline.htm Leibnitz Stepped Reckoner: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepped_Reckoner Jacquard looms: http://history.acusd.edu/gen/recording/jacquard1.html http://www.deutsches-museum.de/ausstell/meister/e_web.htm

Acknowledgements (continued)
Charles Babbage: http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/Babbage.html http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/on-line/babbage/index.asp Lady Augusta Ada, Countess of Lovelace: http://www.well.com/user/adatoole/bio.htm http://www.fourmilab.ch/babbage/sketch.html Electricity: http://www.mediaeng.com/historyelect.html (beautifully written pocket history of electricity & magnetism) Herman Hollerith: http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Hollerith.html Howard Aiken & The Harvard Mark I: http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Aiken.html Alan Turing: http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Turing.html John Vincent Atanasoff: http://www.cs.iastate.edu/jva/books/mollenhoff/overview.shtml Biographies of Atanasoff and Clifford Berry: http://www.scl.ameslab.gov/ABC/Biographies.html J. Presper Eckert: http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Eckert_John.html John Mauchly: http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Mauchly.html The patent controversy: http://www.library.upenn.edu/special/gallery/mauchly/jwm7.html ARPANet: http://www.dei.isep.ipp.pt/docs/arpa.html Thanks to the following EDTECH listserv colleagues and friends who have reviewed the presentation and provided amendments and additional material for inclusion on the slides and in the notes.

Nancy Head, online instructor, Michigan Virtual High School (MVHS), U.S.A., on the web at www.mivhs.org
Mandi Axmann, Instructional Designer, Open Universities Australia


				
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