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1.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF COMPUTERS
A computer is an electronic machines which receives data as input processes the data received using set of instruction and produces information as output. This machines also stores the data and information and can retrieve them in future. For centuries, record keeping has been an manual basis and developed thought the age of machine assisted into the present day computer age.
According to Rwade Cole (1982) the development of computer is inextricably tried up with man’s basic urge to count quantity and measure.
The earliest counting device, the “Abacus” was inverted by the Greeks. This developed with the invention of a formal numbering system which is still used today by over half of the world population especially in the far east. It is believed to have been in existence since 3000 BC and was later developed by the Chinese.
Also involved in the evolution of computer were the following men, the first was the scientific Renate evolution of computer were the following men, the first was the scientific renaissance of he seventeenth century which gave use to the world’s first mechanical adding machines built by a young French man Blaise Pascal (1642) . He invented these machines that could add figures automatically to help him ease the computation bad of his father, then a supervisor of taxes. This device is still in use today on paper tape.
Next is a German mathematician, Gottfried Von Leibuitz (1643) who expanded on pascals work and produced a better device that could multiply, divide and extract square roots. Leibnitz was motivated by the urge to get relief from burden some computation.
A French textile manufacturer named Joseph M. Jacquared (1801) inverted a textile room operated from punch card instruction know as “ the automatic weaving loom”. This device helped him in controlling the threads on his weaving loom.
Although this device was not a computer, but it is utilized the punched card principles which later lead to the bedrock of the computer.
Another man, Charles babbage, born in 1792, a professor of mathematics at the Cambridge university conceived the idea of what he called a “difference engine” in 1822. he later abandoned this and produced another machines he called the “analytical engine” in 1833. this machine was made up of two part, the store and the mill and is said to be the first digital computer even known to man (that is, a machine that performs calculation with numbers).
Between 1987 and 1985, George Boole, an English logician devised and perfected an algebraic system now called the – “Boolean algebra”. In 1884, Dr. herman Hollerith, a statistician working with the IVS census blurean with James power invented used the punched card principle and was popularly referred to as “American Hollerith system”. The impact of hollerith’s invention was that the 1890 census of 63 million citizen took only three years to compile.
Also in 1939, a physicist, professor Haward Aihen of Harvard university in conjunction with engineers from IBM introduced the mark 1, the modern machine to use Babbage’s principle of sequential control. In the late 1930’s, Dr. J.V atanasoff, a professor of mathematics and his assistance Clifford Barry, completed electronic digital computer which they called “Atanasoff Berry – computer” or simply “ABC”. In 1946, Drs. J, Prepare Eckert and John Mandily development the “ENIAC” (electronic numerical integrator and computer), the first electronic high speed computer which was developed as a result of the world war 11. it was the first large scale electronic digital computer even built.
John Von Newman, attracted by the work of ENIAC, researched into the design of an electronic computing instrument. Thus, any computer that automatically execute a stored program of instruction selected from a fixed repertoire or vocabulary is called von Newman machine.
Finally, in 1974, mandily and Eckert who built the ENIAC set up a company which later became known as UNIVAC division of sperry rand cooperation (UNIAC – universal automatic computer).
The first UNIVAX was delivered to in 1951 making this the first computer dedicated to business application, as opposed to other which were dedicated to either scientific engineering or military application.
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