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Evolution of Computers - Essay Example

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Summary
Computer technology has seen a remarkable change in the last century. Futurist Raymond Kurzweil aptly stated that “if the automobile industry had made as much progress in the past fifty years, a car today would cost a hundredth of a cent and go faster than the speed of light." (1999, pp. 21, 25). …
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Evolution of Computers

Download file to see previous pages... Considering that the slide rule was still in vogue in the last century and that the electronic calculators were considered a huge sign of progress as recently as in the early ‘70s, Kurzweil’s statement does not seem too far off the mark. From the room sized computers in the ‘60s and ‘70s to the net books of today which the user can carry anywhere in a small carry case and use it to connect to vast amounts of information and computing power, the pace of change has been tremendous. However, it is reassuring that these developments have been geared towards more power, ease and human friendliness by hiding the complexities of newer technologies.
Early developments and first generation
Humans have always been endeavouring to create aids to help them make calculations of various types. Also a critical part of human development has been the desire to automate and carry out complex tasks. The abacus is widely considered as one of the earliest computing, or calculating, devices.
The invention of the abacus is attributed to the ancient Babylonian times in the period around 2700 BC but the earliest recorded written evidence of the device came from the Chinese in approximately 2nd century BC (Ifrah, 2001: pp. 11, 14). The abacus was capable of performing simple arithmetic functions. Scottish mathematician John Napier presented logarithms in 1614 allowing multiplications and divisions to be performed using addition and subtraction. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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