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In 1671 Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz invented a computer that was built in 1694 It could add and after changing some things around multiply While Thomas of Colmar was developing the desktop calculator a series of very interesting developments in computers was started in Cambridge England by Charles Babbage left of which the computer store Babbages is named a mathematics professor With financial help from the British government Babbage started fabrication of a difference engine in 1823 It was intended to be steam powered and fully automatic including the printing of the resulting tables and commanded by a fixed instruction program Babbage continued to work on it for the next 10 years but in 1833 he lost interest because he thought he had a better idea -- the construction of what would now be called a general purpose fully program-controlled automatic mechanical digital computer Babbage called this idea an Analytical Engine The plans for this engine required an identical decimal computer operating on numbers of 50 decimal digits or words and having a storage capacity memory of 1000 such digits The machine was supposed to operate automatically by steam power and require only one person there Babbages computers were never finished After Babbage there was a temporary loss of interest in automatic digital computers A strong need thus developed for a machine that could rapidly perform many repetitive calculations ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Use of Punched Cards by Hollerith pictureA step towards automated computing was the development of punched cards which were first successfully used with computers in 1890 by Herman Hollerith left and James Powers who worked for the US Census Bureau They developed devices that could read the information that had been punched into the cards automatically without human help Because of this reading errors were reduced dramatically work flow increased and most importantly stacks of punched cards could be used as easily accessible memory of
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