Historical Development Of Computing Devices

Historical Development of Computing Devices 2: From Pre-Computer Age to the 19th Century Jacquard’s Loom: Features, Components, and Applications Invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1801, the Jacquard loom revolutionized textile manufacturing, particularly for intricate patterns like brocade and damask. Utilizing punched cards with holes corresponding to design rows, this mechanical loom simplified the production […]

Historical Development of Computing Devices 2: From Pre-Computer Age to the 19th Century

Jacquard’s Loom: Features, Components, and Applications

Invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1801, the Jacquard loom revolutionized textile manufacturing, particularly for intricate patterns like brocade and damask. Utilizing punched cards with holes corresponding to design rows, this mechanical loom simplified the production process. Multiple rows of punched holes on each card were strung together to compose the textile design.

 

Charles Babbage

Born on December 26, 1791, Charles Babbage, a London banker’s son, proposed a machine capable of 60 calculations per second, laying the foundation for modern computing. Celebrating his 200th birth anniversary on November 1, 1991, scientists and engineers constructed the Difference Engine No. 2 in his honor. Babbage’s analytical engine featured sequential control of arithmetic operations, punched cards for programming, a memory of 1000 words, arithmetic unit, input, and output.

 

Analytical Engine: Components, Features, and Applications

Charles Babbage’s analytical engine, a pioneering mechanical computer, handled complex calculations, including multiplication and division. Resembling modern computers, it featured a CPU, Mill, and memory called the “store.” The device had a reader for input instructions and a printer to record results on paper, foreshadowing today’s inkjet and laser printers.

 

Hollerith Census Machine

Herman Hollerith’s tabulator, used for processing census data, employed electrically operated components to read holes on paper punch cards. Its key components included a pantograph for transferring census information, a card reader, and a sorting table to organize punch card data.

 

Burrough’s Machines

In 1884, William Burroughs created the first experimental model of an adding machine with printed output. Featuring a distinctive high-sloping keyboard, beveled glass front, and a hidden printing mechanism at the rear, the machine focused on additions, lacking provisions for subtraction. Notable components included two large keys for totals and subtotals and three smaller keys for non-additional functions.

 

In the 20th century, the evolution of computing devices marked significant milestones. During these computer generations, the earliest machines utilized vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory, occupying entire rooms. These machines were costly, generated substantial heat, often leading to damage.

 

ENIAC:

ENIAC, the Electronic Numeric Integrator and Computer, stands as the world’s first general-purpose electronic digital computer. Invented by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert, it employed vacuum tubes for electronic operations.

 

Features of ENIAC:

  1. ENIAC operated at remarkable speed, executing 5000 addition cycles per second.
  2. It demonstrated the ability for digit discrimination and branch loop.
  3. ENIAC lacked electronic program storage; programs had to be hardwired before initiation.

 

Components of ENIAC:

Vacuum tubes, crystal diodes, relays, resistors, capacitors, and hand-soldered joints were integral. Input came from a 1Bm, and output utilized a card punch.

 

Uses of ENIAC:

ENIAC could perform 5,000 simple addition and subtraction operations.

 

EDVAC:

Electronic Discreet Variable Automatic Computer (EDVAC) was an early electronic computer developed by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert.

 

Features of EDVAC:

  1. Magnetic tape reader recorder.
  2. Control unit with an oscilloscope.
  3. Dispatcher unit for instruction handling.
  4. Computational unit for arithmetic operations.
  5. Timer.
  6. Three temporary tanks, each holding a single word.

 

Components of EDVAC:

The computer incorporated vacuum tubes, diodes, and consumed 56kw of power.

 

Uses of EDVAC:

EDVAC was utilized for addition, subtraction, multiplication, programmed division, and automatic checking with ultrasonic serial memory.

 

UNIVAC:

Universal Automatic Computer (UNIVAC), the first commercial computer in the U.S., was also created by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert.

 

Features of UNIVAC:

  1. The first computer equipped with a magnetic tape unit and buffer memory.
  2. A sizable machine, measuring 25 feet by 50 feet.

 

Components of UNIVAC:

Contained tubes, crystal diodes, and relays.

 

Uses of UNIVAC:

UNIVAC performed arithmetic functions, multiplication, division, and handled various business calculations like payrolls and sales records.

 

Desktop and Personal Computers:

A desktop computer, also known as a PC, is stationary and differs from mobile devices like laptops.

 

Features of a Personal Computer:

Motherboard, CPU, RAM, power pack, monitor, system software, application software, keyboard, carcass, screen, and mouse.

 

Components:

Diode, chips, capacitor, resistor, coil, integrated circuit.

 

Uses:

Word processing, spreadsheet applications, browsing, internet, digital messaging, multimedia playback, computer games, etc.

 

Laptop and Notebook Computers:

Laptops, or notebooks, are portable computers designed for mobile use.

 

Features of Laptop & Notebook Computers:

Webcam, wireless connection, fingerprint recognition, Bluetooth, audio jack, card reader, etc.

 

Components and Uses:

Similar to desktop components.

 

Palmtop:

Palmtops are handheld portable computers with an operating system compatible with desktops.

 

Features:

Color screen, expansion slot, wireless capability, voice recorder.

 

Components and Uses:

Same as those of a laptop, but palmtops are typically powered by off-sheet batteries such as A-cells.

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