Computation Devices

Computation Devices in Ancient Days:

  • Abacus: was used by the Babylonians in around 3000 BC.
  • Calculi: also called counting pebbles were used by the Romans.
  • Firsts in Modern Computing
  • Cards with holes (the idea of punched cards) were first used by Joseph Jacquard in 1801 for his programmable loom. Wikipedia: Joseph Marie Jacquard
  • Charles Babbage is considered the Father of Computing, as he proposed the idea in 1812.

  • George Shannon is regarded as the father of Information Theory. He proposed that all information could be reduced to ones and zeroes.
  • John Vincent Atanasoff invented the world's first electronic digital computer in 1942. It was called the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC). It was built by Atanasoff and Clifford Berry at Iowa State University during 1937-42. It incorporated several major innovations in computing including the use of binary arithmetic, regenerative memory, parallel processing, and separation of memory and computing functions. The patent on the ENIAC, developed by Mauchly and Eckert, was invalidated by the US Federal Court in Oct 19, 1973.
  • The first automatic computer was the IBM-Harward Mark I developed under Howard Heiken at the Howard University, Cambridge, Massachussets in 1944,. It was also called the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator.
  • The first electronic computer was the Electronic Numerical and Integrator And Calculator (ENIAC) formally dedicated on 15 February, 1946, at the Moore School of Engineering of the University of Pennysylvania led by John Eckert and John Mauchly.
  • The Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer (EDVAC) was the first computer to adopt the binary equation system. It was proposed in 1944 by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert and began operation in 1951. Wikipedia: EDVAC.
  • Jack Kilby invented the transistor in 1958 at Texas Instruments.
  • The first fully transistorized supercomputer was the CDC 1604, delivered to the US Navy in 1960. Wikipedia:
  • The Mouse: Original design on the mouse dates back to the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and the wooden prototype by Douglas Engelbart in 1963. The first commercially available mouse was for the IBM PC in 1982 by Mouse Systems.
  • In 1969, Honeywell released the H316 Kitchen Computer, the first home computer. The computer could plan menus and take care of other household businesses.
  • Random Access Memory (RAM) was invented by Robert Dennard. Intel's 1103, released in 1970, was the world's first available dynamic RAM chip.
  • The Winchester Drive (1973), and the floppy disk drive (1971) were invented at IBM.
  • Ethernet was invented by Dr. Robert (Bob) Metcalfe and David Boggs at Xerox PARC on May 22, 1973. In 1981, Xerox introduced the Ethernet LAN in the form of Star Ethernet Series. The first Ethernet card was the Etherlink released by 3Com, which Bob founded.
  • The first personal computer was the MITS Altair brought out in 1975. It used the Intel 8080 chip. MITS is short for Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems. The Altair was designed by Ed Roberts.
  • The 1977 Trinity: The 3 companies that came out with ready to run PCs in the year 1977. They were Apple, Tandy (Of RadioShack) and Commodore. # The TRS-80 computer was brought out by Tandy. Wikipedia: TRS-80.
  • VAX minicomputers: The VAX range of minicomputers was released by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) on October 25, 1977. It was the first commercially available 32-bit machine and was intended to replace the older PDP-11 series. The letters VAX stand for Virtual Address eXtension. VAX machines used the VMS (later called OpenVMS) operation system. VAX Links:; VAX History at; VAX History at
  • The IBM PC, which featured the 16-bit Intel 8088 microprocessor, came in 1981.
  • The Xerox Star 8010, developed by Xerox in 1981, featured the mouse and a desktop with icons. This was the first computer with a graphical user interface (GUI). The GUI was first developed by Xerox in 1973 for Alto, an experimental predecessor to the Xerox Star.
  • The first Word Processor for microcomputers was the Electric Pencil released by Michael Shrayer in 1976.
  • The Graphical User Interface (GUI) has its root at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and the Xerox Star computer (1981). Then they found their way into the Apple Macintosh in 1984. Other than the GUI and the ethernet, Xerox is responsible for the invention of the notebook computer and the bit-mapped display.
  • The first Multimedia PC was the Amiga in 1985 by Commodore. Commodore was founded by Jack Tramiel.
  • Lady Ada Lovelace - Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace - (1815-1852), daughter of poet Lord Byron, is considered the world's first programmer. She worked with Charles Babbage on his Analytical Engine.



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