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History of Computers

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It’s obvious that Information Communication Technology (ICT) affects our lives every day. ICT has transformed the world and the way we used to live and it plays a major role in shaping the future. This is an attempt to explore the timeline of ICT inventions and inventors who changed the world forever. We will also bring a video series so that you can enjoy watching while learning.

Who is the father of the computer?

Charles Babbage
26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871

The computer was not invented in a day or two but evolved at different times with the contributions of different people.

Charles Babbage is considered as the father of the computers because he brought the concept of a programmable computer which laid the framework of the computers we use today.

Pascaline Calculator

Blaise Pascal in 1642, made a significant change in history by developing a calculator called Arithmetic Machine or Pascaline. It is considered as one of the first mechanical adding machines which perform calculations manually. It could handle numbers up to 999,999,999 and used a series of toothed wheels.

Arithmetic Machine or Pascaline

The Difference Engine

Charles Babbage first designed the Difference Engine by 1822, an automatic mechanical calculator designed to tabulate polynomial functions.

i-know-how-it-works-Babbage_Difference_Engine
Difference Engine
The London Science Museum’s difference engine, the first one actually built from Babbage’s design.

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The Analytical Engine

Later he designed the Analytical Engine in 1837 which contained an ALU (arithmetic logic unit), basic flow control, and integrated memory. This was hailed as the first general-purpose computer design.

i-know-how-it-works-AnalyticalMachine_Babbage_London-749px
Analytical Engine
Trial model of a part of the Analytical Engine, built by Babbage, as displayed at the Science Museum (London)

Charles Babbage, an English mechanical engineer, and polymath originated the concept of a programmable computer. Considered the “father of the computer”, he conceptualized and invented the first mechanical computer. It was this design that the basic framework of the computers of today is based on.

Wikipedia.org

Babbage sought ways to build a simplified version of the machine and assembled a small part of it before his death in 1871. Unfortunately, he couldn’t build it during his lifetime due to the various obstacles he faced.

The world’s first programmable computer

Zuse made S2 computing machine, which is considered the first process control computer. Konrad Zuse was successful to achieve the world’s first programmable computer. The first functional program-controlled Turing-complete Z3 became operational in May 1941.

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Zuse Z3 replica on display at Deutsches Museum in Munich

He founded one of the earliest computer businesses in 1941, producing the Z4, which became the world’s first commercial computer.

Contributors to Information Technology

Inventors

Blaise Pascal

[ 19 June 1623 – 19 August 1662]

Blaise Pascal is a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian who developed a calculator called Arithmatique or Pascaline.

Charles Babbage

i_know_how_it_works-Charles_Babbage
[26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871]

An English mechanical engineer and polymath considered as the father of the computers because he brought the concept of a programmable computer.

Conrad Zuse

i_know_how_it_works-conrad-zuse
[June 22, 1910 – December 18, 1995]

A German civil engineer, computer scientist, inventor, Businessman and computer pioneer. His greatest achievement was the world’s first functioning programmable computer. He is often been regarded as the inventor of the modern computer.

To be continued…

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