Computers are an integral part of our daily lives, but computers were not around in the past. Understanding the history of computers can help you to understand how complex and innovative computer creation has been.

The computer is unlike most other inventions, which does not have a single inventor. Many people contributed their inventions to the computer’s development. Some inventions were different types of computers. Others were necessary parts that would allow further development of computers.

The Beginning

The year 1936 is perhaps the most important date in the history computers. This year saw the creation of the first computer. Konrad Zuse created it and named it the Z1 Computer. It is the original fully-programmable computer. Although there were other devices before this one, none of them had the computing power that makes it stand out from all others.

Computers were not a business that made money until 1942. Clifford Berry and John Atanasoff owned and operated the first company, ABC computers. The Harvard Mark I computer, which was created two years later, advanced the science of computing.

Innovators around the globe began to study computers and to find ways to improve them over the following years. In the next ten year, we will see the introduction of transistors, which would be a crucial part of the internal workings of computers. Perhaps the most fascinating computer is the ENIAC 1. It required 20,000 vacuum tubes in order to function. It was a huge machine that sparked the revolution in smaller, faster computers.

In 1953, International Business Machines (or IBM) entered the computing industry. This markedly changed the history of computers. Over the course of computer history, this company has been a key player in the development and maintenance of servers and systems for private and public use. This was the beginning of real competition in computing history. It helped spur better and faster development of computers. The IBM 701 EDPM Computer was their first contribution.

A programming language is what you get

One year later, the first high-level programming language was developed. This programming language was not written in binary or ‘assembly,’ which are very low-level languages. FORTRAN was designed to make it easier for people to learn how to program computers.

1955 saw the creation of the first computer for banks by the Bank of America. This was in conjunction with Stanford Research Institute, General Electric and General Electric. The breakthrough in the banking industry was the MICR (or Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) and the actual computer, ERMA. The pair of systems was not actually used in banks until 1959.

The creation of the integrated circuit was one of the greatest breakthroughs in computer history. It happened in 1958. The chip is a basic requirement for modern computer systems. Many chips are found on every card and motherboard in a computer system. They contain information about the cards and boards. These chips are essential for the operation of today’s computer systems.

Gaming, Mice, and the Internet

Many computer users consider games an integral part of their computing experience. 1962 saw the creation and release of the first computer game. It was developed by Steve Russel at MIT.

Douglass Engelbart created the mouse in 1964. It is one of the most fundamental components of modern computers. The “tail” that runs out of the device gave it its name.

In 1969, computers were invented. ARPA net, the first Internet, was what laid the foundation for today’s Internet. This would lead to the development of knowledge and businesses across the globe.

Intel’s first dynamic RAM chip was introduced in 1970. This led to a surge of computer science innovation.

The first microprocessor was created by Intel, and came just a few months after the RAM chip. These two components would be among the core components for modern computers.

One year later, the first floppy disk was invented. Its name derives from its flexibility. This was the first step to allow most people to transfer data between unconnected computers.

1973 saw the creation of the first networking card, which allowed data transfer between computers. It is similar to the Internet but allows computers to connect to each other without the Internet.

The Household PC is Emerging

Computers were extremely important in the next three years. Companies began developing systems for everyday consumers at this time. This was the beginning of the era with the Scelbi and Mark-8 Altair, IBM 5100 and Apple I and II, TRS-80 and the Commodore Pet computer. These machines were expensive but they set the standard for computers in common homes.

The 1978 release of VisiCalc Spreadsheet was one of the biggest breakthroughs in computer software. This program is one of the most popular in computer history, as all development costs were paid within two weeks.

1979 was perhaps the most significant year for home computer users. WordStar, the first word-processing program, was made available to the public in 1979. This dramatically changed the utility of computers for everyday users.

Because it was affordable enough for both home-owners and regular consumers, the IBM Home computer revolutionized the 1981 consumer market. The introduction of the MS-DOS operating software by Microsoft in 1981 was another milestone for the giant corporation. Because it was simple enough to learn, this operating system changed the face of computing.

The Competition Begins: Apple vs. Microsoft

Computers witnessed yet another significant change in 1983. The Apple Lisa computer was first to have a graphical user interface (or a GUI). Modern programs have a GUI that makes them easy to use and pleasant to the eyes. This was the start of the end of text-based programs.

Many changes and alterations have taken place beyond this point in computer history. These include the Apple-Microsoft Wars, the development of microcomputers, and many other computer breakthroughs that have become part of daily life. None of this would be possible without the first steps in computer history.


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