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Early Computers - Research Paper Example

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Name Professor Class 20 April 2012 Early Computers 1. Introduction Computers represent one of the most influential technologies we have developed in centuries. They have taken over computation, data management and information processes. The applications are countless and they are involved in our everyday life…
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Early Computers Research Paper
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"Early Computers"

Download file to see previous pages Conventional desktop and laptops have extreme efficiency and storage. Apart from these they have blended in our vehicles, aircrafts, security systems, houses and industries to name a few. The computers we use today are a result of progress and innovation for almost three quarters of a century. The early developments are discussed in detail; 2. The First Computer Konrad Zuse was a German engineer who made Z1, the first programmed digital computer in 1936 (Copeland 5). The computer used electromechanical process to relay data. His original design was based on Vacuum Tubes, but due to lack to funds he could not implement the technology in his design. Because of the electromechanical processing his computer is not considered by many to be the first fully electronic computer (“Who Invented the Computer” 2). However, Zuse continued work on his computer and in 1941 introduced Z2 and Z3. The machines used telephone relays for sending and receiving data. The breakthrough, however, came from John Atanasoff, who introduced ABC Computer in 1942. According to Null and Lobur, John Atanasoff is credited with the construction of “first completely electronic computer” (19). The computer used vacuum tubes for relaying data. ...
3. Early Developments 3.1 Vacuum Tubes Vacuum Tubes were the most critical development and the major step towards the development of modern computers. These were used to deliver electric current in a vacuumed environment. The current was passed through the tubes and amplified. These were used for electrical signals by varying the amount of current. Vacuum Tubes were used in different devices and varied as per functionality. The tubes were replaced by transistors for use in computers. They were power efficient than the tubes and were responsible for shrinking the size. Furthermore, they significantly improved reliability of these early systems (Rojas and Hashagen 85). 3.2 Storage The Vacuum Tubes were used to relay data. They could not store data and were very unreliable. The first real storage was by F.C. Williams (Lavington 19). It was simply a charged phosphor film that recorded the pulse from the tubes. The pulse was recorded as a binary with the values differing with the strength of electric signal. The pattern of binary was recorded on the film and could be later used for regeneration. The equipment was known as Williams Cathode Ray Tube and was an electrostatic storage technology. 4. Operation Binary Number System was used for calculations. Programs were based on arithmetic and it was interpreted in binary code for the computer to process any calculation (Introduction to Computers 8). The Binary System has only two values that are 1 and 0. The computers interpret electric signals as 1 and dim signals as 0. The Vacuum Tubes were used to relay the signal and the storage films were used to record the information for later use. These components made the computers extremely big and difficult in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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