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Brief History of Computer Science

Updated on July 7, 2019

What was the first computer? Depends on your definiton

What is a computer? And where shall we begin the history thereof? The definition of a computer is a machine for performing calculations automatically. So an abacus is a hand powered computer performed 'automatically' by the cerebellum.

Today's computer has been developed in many stages from the abacus to what sits on your desktop right now. So the definition of the computer that is 'first' is different based on what year, decade the questioner is thinking about.

1642 Pascal Mechanical add and subtract.

1670's Leibniz Mechanical add, subtract, divide and multiply.

1822 Babbage difference engine.

1890 Hollerith punch card Census Tabulator

1937 The first digital computer Atanasoff-Berry Computer - not programmable.

ENIAC
ENIAC

Hey, we don't have to hand crank it no more

1942 First electronic computer ENIAC using vacuum tubes.

1949 First stored programed computer, EDSAC.

1956 First transistorized computer TX-O from MIT.

1960first "mini' computer from DEC, please note, that mini in 1960 meantthat the computer did not fill up an entire building or floor. I saw the magnetic core memoryof this at IBM's computer museum in Endicott-Johnson, New York. Itlooked like a rug woven by a child's hand where at each crossing ofwires there was a very tiny magnetic doughnut.


History of the IBM personal computers

1973 IBM's the SCAMP, a demo prototype.

1975 IBM 5100 'Portable' Computer - it weighed 50 pounds and could cost up to $20,000.

1979 IBM 5520 sported a 130 megabyte hard drive.

1981 IBM 5150  Intel 8088, 4.77 MHz

1984 IBM 5170 had a 6 MHz Intel 80286 microprocessor.



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Computers Hardware Historical General History

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  • Don Fairchild profile image

    Don Fairchild 

    8 years ago from Belgrade, ME

    Oh god, I must be older than dirt! My first computer was an IBM 1130, a second generation computer that replaced a wired programmable IBM, that I can't remember the name.

    I wrote Fortran programs on IBM punch cards, the only output was to a line printer because there wasn't any "User Terminals" just yet.... Sigh, how things have changed.

  • zi.ripon profile image

    zi.ripon 

    8 years ago from Dhaka,Bangladesh

    nice information. thanks.........

  • ptosis profile imageAUTHOR

    ptosis 

    8 years ago from Arizona

    Thanksx Lady_E & Anshuman singh for you comments!

  • profile image

    Anshuman singh 

    8 years ago

    Computer is an electronic machine which provide our thought

    in higher position.But I say about computer system that it's centralization ,celebration ,mobilization for our life . But according to Jonn Jhandu that it is a great source

  • Lady_E profile image

    Elena 

    9 years ago from London, UK

    Good to know. I've learnt quite a lot here. :)

  • ptosis profile imageAUTHOR

    ptosis 

    9 years ago from Arizona

    Hi SteveMc, Thanks - I made this Hubpages to answer a question. I'm still a newbie here and still on a learning curve (forever).

  • SteveoMc profile image

    SteveoMc 

    9 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

    This is fun stuff! My first computer was an apple IIE and I think that the normal speed was 1Mhz. It could be overclocked with an expensive card that would run it at a fast speed of 2Mhz. It came fully loaded with 64k memory and could be expanded to 128k with an expansion card. And it was loads of fun! And I vow to play video games only on rainy days, and I will cut down on my drinking, err excuse me, I will not cut down on my drinking.

  • ptosis profile imageAUTHOR

    ptosis 

    9 years ago from Arizona

    WHEN and WHAT was YOUR first computer? How SLOW was it? How LITTLE memory it had?

    For me it must of been around 1984 because the 'speed' was a whopping 6Mhz. I was about 15 years old and my Dad worked for IBM.

    I remember it was a beautiful Sat. morning and I spent 8 hours straight playing a word game that involved picking up an empty bird cage, put the bird in the cage, release the bird to get around the dragon.

    At 5PM it was getting dark and I vowed that I would never-EVER waste my time on a computer again. Well - that was just about as successful as planning to quit drinking!

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