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Somewhere around 3000BC the first mechanical counting device created was the abacus The abacus is still used today and amazingly to me with great speed and accuracy In 1642 another mechanical device was created called the Pascaline after Blaise Pascal a famous French mathematician The Pascaline used gears and wheels counting-wheels to perform the calculations The interesting thing to note is that the counting-wheel design was used in calculators until the 1960sThe next major breakthrough in computer history revolves around Charles Babbage and his Difference Engine and Analytical Engine The machines that Charles designed in the early 1800s were not electronic computers as we know them now but they were general-purpose computational devices that were designed to be driven by steam Charles is credited with being the Father of Computing due to the fact that his designs were WAY ahead of his time He laid the foundation for the modern computerAnother computer development spurred by the war was the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer ENIAC produced by a partnership between the US government and the University of Pennsylvania Consisting of 18000 vacuum tubes 70000 resistors and 5 million soldered joints the computer was such a massive piece of machinery that it consumed 160 kilowatts of electrical power enough energy to dim the lights in an entire section of Philadelphia Developed by John Presper Eckert 1919-1995 and John W Mauchly 1907-1980 ENIAC unlike the Colossus and Mark I was a general-purpose computer that computed at speeds 1000 times faster than Mark IThese first computers were extremely large slow and inefficient Many things happened between the creation of the ENIAC and now Among the most interesting and pertinent to us in this course is the development of the microcomputer The major development of the microcomputer took place in the 1970s during a time when most of us were alive to witness it firsthand During this time we have seen the creation of huge and very profitable corporations
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