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History of Computers For over a thousand years since the Chinese invented the abacus which was a old for of counting not much progress was made to simplify counting and mathematics The Greeks came up with many mathematical formulas and theorems but all of the newly discovered math had to be worked out by hand A mathematician was often a person who sat in the back room of an establishment with several others and they worked on the same problem The redundant personnel working on the same problem were there to ensure the correctness of the answer It could take weeks or months of laborious work by hand to verify the correctness of a proposed theorem Most of the tables of integrals logarithms and trigonometric values were worked out this way their accuracy unchecked until machines could generate the tables in far less time and with more accuracy than a group of mere humans could ever hope to achieve There have been many important individuals in the evolution of computers I will list and describe their contribution to the computer Blaise Pascal a noted mathematician thinker and scientist built the first mechanical adding machine in 1642 based on a design described by Hero of Alexandria 2AD to add up the distance a carriage traveled The basic principle of his calculator is still used today in water meters and modern-day odometers Instead of having a carriage wheel turn the gear he made each ten-teeth wheel accessible to be turned directly by a persons hand later inventors added keys and a crank with the result that when the wheels were turned in the proper sequences a series of numbers was entered and a cumulative sum was obtained The gear train supplied a mechanical answer equal to the answer that is obtained by using arithmetic This first mechanical calculator called the Pascaline had several disadvantages Although it did offer a substantial improvement over manual calculations
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