Virtual Museum of Computing

The history of computing starts far longer ago in history than computers and hardware— beginning with the representation of numbers even prior to numeration.

Computers are devices that operate according to numbers, or binary code, in which all data is represented as a collection of ones and zeros. None of the early computation devices were actually computers but they led to the development of the computer as modern society recognizes it.

Computers have a long history that can be traced to the development of the difference engine in 1822 by Charles Babbage. This engine served as the basis of computer developments in the modern world, along with the binary system and Boolean logic. In addition, the telegraph supplied some of the computational and transfer technology that early computer systems worked upon.

In 1899 magnetic recording was invented and the foundation for hard disc technology began. Another important component in early computers was the vacuum tube invented in 1906, and soon after, in 1919, a flip flop processor circuit was invented enabling high speed electronic calculations.

Over the next few decades advances made by companies and individuals leads to the development of the foundation for computer principles essentially dealing with computable numbers and binary code.

In 1937, the first demonstration of binary mechanized math is discovered and built into the model k computing device. Many companies demonstrated the concepts by having the computer in one city and the terminal in another, and advancements in the processing power and memory also advanced due to the work of companies such as Hewitt Packard and IBM.

Many companies have contributed to the advancement of computers such as IBM, Apple, Hewitt Packard, and Microsoft.

IBM started in the late 19th Century with the invention of the dial recorder which became a building block for IBM. IBM was incorporated in 1911 in New York and by the 1920s it was producing better machines for its customers. IBM grew in the Great Depression and instituted several training programs for its employees. Over the years IBM has developed new operating systems, algorithms, processing architectures, and programs for the computing industry. IBM remains a world leader in computers.

Apple got its start in 1975 when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniac were working for HP designing video games for Atari. Using store bought components, Steve Wozniac designed a computer terminal and several of them were sold to a small firm for use.

After a few years of designing and waiting for the right chip, Wozniac programmed his first computer and met up again with Jobs at a computer fair and they spoke about selling hobby computers. The Apple I was born. It was then upgraded with money made from the sales. The Apple II was released in 1975 and is credited with creating the first home computer market.

Windows started as an operating environment for MS-DOS systems and has grown into a full fledged operating system today. Microsoft worked with Apple developing soft applications and small programs that later came into play in a court room over usability rights. Later the 286 and 386 models were released and met much success form home and business users alike. Windows allowed better multitasking than with MS-DOS alone and it also provided better software programs like Word and Excel. From this point on in history Microsoft has been at the forefront of computers in business, multimedia and home applications.

LINKS:

Virtual Museum of Computing

Virtual Computer Museum

Qubit: Quantum Computing

Future Computing

Computer of the Future




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