We could argue that the first computer was the abacus or its descendant, the slide rule, invented by William Oughtred in 1622. But the first computer resembling today's modern machines was the Analytical Engine, a device conceived and designed by British mathematician Charles Babbage between 1833 and 1871. Before Babbage came along, a "computer" was a person, someone who literally sat around all day, adding and subtracting numbers and entering the results into tables. The tables then appeared in books, so other people could use them to complete tasks, such as launching artillery shells accurately or calculating taxes.
Today's computer has been developed in many stages starting with the abacus. So the definition of the first computer is different based on what the questioner is thinking about.
1642 Pascal Mechanical add and subtract.
1670's Leibniz Mechanical add, subtract, divide and multiply.
1942 First electronic computer ENIAC using vacuum tubes.
1822 Babbage difference engine.
1890 Hollerith punch card Census Tabulator
1937 The first digital computer Atanasoff-Berry Computer - not programmable.
1949 First stored programed computer, EDSAC.
1956 First transistorized computer TX-O from MIT.
1960 first "mini' computer from DEC, please note, that mini in 1960 meant that the computer did not fill up an entire building or floor.
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.
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.
Broad question deserves a broad answer, and both answers that have been offered by JThomp42 and ptosis are quite on point. The bottom line is that it wasn't something that was invented by a single person or company. It was a progression of inventions dating as far as the 1600s, that were continually improved on by many, until reaching what we have now.
by blbhhdcn7 years ago
who first invented the computer?
by Billie Kelpin2 years ago
What would you be doing THIS very day, if computers had never been invented?This morning I woke up and immediately went to my computer to work on an online project. My husband, who is retired, did the exact same...
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