The history and functions of computers

Time magazine named the personal computer its "Man of the Year. Postwar Innovations ENIAC and other early computers proved to many universities and corporations that the machines were worth the tremendous investment of money, space and manpower they demanded. At the same time, new technologies were making it possible to build computers that were smaller and more streamlined. InBell Labs introduced the transistor, an electronic device that carried and amplified electrical current but was much smaller than the cumbersome vacuum tube.

The history and functions of computers

Time magazine named the personal computer its "Man of the Year. Postwar Innovations ENIAC and other early computers proved to many universities and corporations that the machines were worth the tremendous investment of money, space and manpower they demanded.

At the same time, new technologies were making it possible to build computers that were smaller and more streamlined. InBell Labs introduced the transistor, an electronic device that carried and amplified electrical current but was much smaller than the cumbersome vacuum tube.

But one of the most significant of the inventions that paved the way for the PC revolution was the microprocessor.

The history and functions of computers

Before microprocessors were invented, computers needed a separate integrated-circuit chip for each one of their functions. This was one reason the machines were still so large. Microprocessors were the size of a thumbnail, and they could do things the integrated-circuit chips could not: The first microprocessor on the market was developed in by an engineer at Intel named Ted Hoff.

The Invention of the PC These innovations made it cheaper and easier to manufacture computers than ever before. Compared to earlier microcomputers, the Altair was a huge success: However, it really did not do much. It had no keyboard and no screen, and its output was just a bank of flashing lights.

Invention of the PC - HISTORY

Users input data by flipping toggle switches. The software made the computer easier to use, and it was a hit. This computer, called the Apple I, was more sophisticated than the Altair: It had more memory, a cheaper microprocessor and a monitor with a screen. Also, users could store their data on an external cassette tape.

Apple soon swapped those tapes for floppy disks.

For example, a spreadsheet program called VisiCalc made the Apple a practical tool for all kinds of people and businesses —not just hobbyists. Soon companies like Xerox, Tandy, Commodore and IBM had entered the market, and computers became ubiquitous in offices and eventually homes.

Today, laptops, smart phones and tablet computers allow us to have a PC with us wherever we go.Historically, computers were human clerks who calculated in accordance with effective methods. These human computers did the sorts of calculation nowadays carried out by electronic computers, and many thousands of them were employed in commerce, government, and research establishments.

The basic function of computer memory is essentially to store data. Depending on the type of data it stores and the role it plays in computer operation, however, memory performs several different functions.

Although all of these functions involve data storage, RAM, . Throughout human history, the closest thing to a computer was the abacus, which is actually considered a calculator since it required a human operator. Computers, on the other hand, perform calculations automatically by following a series of built-in commands called software.

May 11,  · Watch video · Today, hundreds of companies sell personal computers, accessories and sophisticated software and games, and PCs are used for a wide range of functions from basic word processing to editing photos. The input computer function accepts data from input devices and sends it to the computer processor, while the output function communicates the results of processing.

A class of hardware devices known as peripherals are used to perform these functions. The main functions of a computer are to receive, manipulate, display and store data. These basic functions are performed by commands that the computer receives either by a program or a human user. The commands that the computer receives are known as raw data.

The history and functions of computers
The Modern History of Computing (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)