Have you ever thought about what the word computer means? Computers are defined as something or someone who computes. Once, it was a person known as a computer, but today, it is a device that can compute information and give us results within a few seconds.
The truth is the computer has developed a lot in the last 20 years. Could you really live without a computer or any technology device that uses the internet?
Let’s learn a little more about a device that has influenced our lives in so many ways.
The First Computers
The first computers emerged from 1940 to 1955 and were powered by vacuum tubes. They used magnetic drums to store data and memory. These machines were huge, filling an entire room, and they were used for government processes and data.
The ENIAC was the first computer. It contained 17,500 vacuum tubes, more than 70,000 resistors, 10,000 capacitors, and a bunch of other high-end tech stuff that no longer exists today. It was so big that they needed 1800 square feet of floor space to put the computer. But the ENIAC could work out 5,000 editions, 357 multiplications, and 38 divisions, but the machine required 24-hour maintenance and used 160 kilowatts of electrical power.
Today, computers continued to develop, and in 1956 we had the second generation computer. In this computer, we used transistors to make the computer smaller, about the size of a closet. Still nowhere near the shoebox-sized or palm-sized computers, we have today.
In the 1970s, we developed the microprocessor, which allowed us to create today’s computers. It started with the Intel 4004 chip, and now we have microprocessors made by Intel, AMD, Apple, and many others.
Microprocessors have integrated circuits on a small chip. These thousands of integrated circuits contain memory and input and output controls. But what is more amazing is that it is all contained on a chip that is the size of the palm of your hand. So what once was the size of an entire warehouse is now only one to two inches long by two inches wide.
No one back in the ’70s could have ever imagined that today processors would be so accessible or that public companies that make processors would be sought after by investors worldwide. Who could have imagined that these microprocessor companies would have stock reaching astronomical figures like the current AMD price target of more than $70 per share?
Technology Development Into the ’80s
As computers began to compute information more rapidly, people started using them for many different applications. In fact, the computer led to the invention of the internet and operating systems like Windows.
If we take even a few minutes to look at how the computer has developed and gone from a machine that occupies a large room to a small, fast computer we can hold in the palm of our hands (the smartphone), it is truly amazing. Technology has changed the way we work and communicate with each other.
Computers and technology have had an important role in our lives. Technology influences how we think, the things we do, our work, and even our health. Now, we can work faster and more efficiently because of the way technology has developed and changed.
Computer Science Benefits Society
Today computer science meets every need imaginable. If a business or government entity needs a program to do something, they immediately contract a computer science specialist to find a way to get it done. Programs exist for every imaginable need. For example, IT solutions now help medical professionals keep track of research, learn about diseases, and find solutions much faster than ever before. The same holds in every other industry, from manufacturing to insurance sales.
Another amazing benefit is that technology can be distributed to everyone. It has empowered people to build financial systems, solve business issues, and develop in areas unthought of before.
It’s Changing Fast
Technology develops and changes at an outstanding rate. The possibilities are endless, and our imagination only limits our growth. The invention of the computer and consequently of programs, applications, and the internet make everything possible.