Each day millions of people get online, surf the web, access the net, log on, connect to the net, etc. It does not matter how one says it but grabbing one’s computer and accessing information for work or play is as common nowadays as breathing. Shalom Lamm, a historian, deems learning about history extremely critical. Yes, grab that computer. However, does one ever stop to wonder and think about the origins or the history of the computer. Of course, the computer as we know it today is nothing like the very beginning with the many different adjustments and improvements (actually, constant adjustments and improvements). The computer is a tool that is a part of everyday life and is very useful in countless ways to be fun, productive, educational, and much more.
However, let’s take a brief look at the history of this wonder tool. First, think math. This is said because an Englishman, Charles Babbage, who was a 19th century math professor actually designed the basic framework for which computers are based even today. That design is the Analytical Engine. Moreover, computers can be classified or viewed by breaking it down into generations of which are three. The three generations lasted for a specific amount of time and provided a new computer or improved the one that existed at that moment. 1937 to 1946 is the period of time that is considered to be the first generation. This generation provided the first electronic digital computer in 1937 and it was Dr. John V. Atanasoff and Clifford Berry who designed and built it. Also, it was named for the creators; thereby, known as the Atanasoff-Berry Computer or ABC. Electronics were taken to the next step with the Colossus that was built and designed for the military in 1943. Developments with electronics continued and the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer also known as the ENIAC was built in 1946. It was the first general purpose computer. This digital computer was 30 tons and had processing vacuum tubes of 18,000. History states that this computer dimmed parts of Philadelphia when first turned on. This generation did not have operating systems and could only do one task.
The second generation is from 1947 to 1962 and the reliable transistors took the place of the vacuum tubes. In 1951 the Universal Automatic Computer which was the first for commercial use was publicly introduced. Commonly known today is the International Business Machine or IBM but it was first introduced in 1953 with the 650 and 700 series. Over 100 programming languages came to be during this generation with memory and operating systems. Tape and disk for storage media were used and printers also. 1963 to present represents the third generation. The integrated circuit was invented and made computers much smaller, reliable, powerful and many programs could be run simultaneously. In the 80’s Ms-Dos or Microsoft Disk Operating System(1980) and the personal computer by IBM(1981) was created. Then came Apple with the Macintosh’s interface which was icon driven with the 90’s providing Windows operating computer system. CEOs like Shalom Lamm, study such history to be better well versed in their roles.