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Evolution of Computer Technology, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1005

Essay

It is extremely rare when innovative technology is created that changes every individual’s life in various forms. Although, computers were invented hundreds of years ago, technology has greatly improved and become much more advanced recently. Rarely is an invention created that changes the way society manage, work, play and live on a daily basis.  Computers is now a form of technology that is used in every business worldwide, helping every individual manage their daily tasks in a more efficient way.  Americans have been using computer technology for several years now, and each year computer progress to assist individuals of all aspects within their lives.  The progression of computers has changed a great deal, thanks to many inventors throughout the years.

In the early 1940s, the first generations of computers were invented, which began with one of the first computers invented in World War II.  This computer was invented by a German engineer, KonradZuse, and was known as the Z3 computer.  The Z3 helped to create missiles and airplanes for the German army.

This computer, since it was operational in 1941, is believed to have been the world’s first general purpose program-controlled computer.  However the proposals that Schreyer and Zuse made to the German government for a 1500 valve electronic computer were rejected, and although a small electronic arithmetic unit was built this work was discontinued in 1942 (Randal 160).

However, a few years after the Z3 was created, the computer known as Colossus was created.  This computer was created to decipher and translate German messages.  However, the Z3 and the Colossus was created strictly for war usage, therefore the Colossus stayed a military secret for several years.

Some of its features have been disclosed, including the fact that it had prodigiously fast paper tape inputs, electronic counting circuits, binary arithmetic and Boolean logic operations, “electronic counting circuits, binary arithmetic and Boolean logic operations,” “conditional (branching) logic”, “logic functions pre-set by patch panels or witches, or conditionally selected by telephone relays”, and typewriter output (Randell 349).

Also, if the German empire realized that the Colossus computer technology was cracking significant information from the German army, than the Germans would be forced to discover new technology. “The first computers were powered by large vacuum tubes. Vacuum tubes are large—about the size of an adult thumb—and a single computer required thousands of them (Marshall Cavendish Corporation 345).”  Vacuum tubes pass information through technology, which control the information that is being absorbed to and from the computer. Vacuum tubes help the computer to understand which information is significant and which information is irrelevant in programming the computer.

Later, computers were created for several other purposes than war usage, which was the beginning of the second-generation computers.  Computers such as EDVAC, which was created in 1945 and UNIVAC I, which was created in 1951, were used for specific scientific reasons. Both the EDVAC and the UNIVAC took up entire floors of actual buildings. These computers were different from previous computers, however the thing they had in common was that both computers were created for specific reasons and couldn’t be used for anything other than that.

However, the modern computer age began in 1946 when John Mauchly created the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator), which was the fully electronically powered computer, which used almost 18,000 vacuum tubes. “The ENIAC was an astonishing feat of engineering, the 17,469 vacuum tube switches was enough electrical power “to stretch from New York City to Detroit, and around five million hand-soldered electrical connections  (Marshall Cavendish Corporation 321).”  However, the ENIAC is approximately one million times slower than a PC that is used in modern day, but a thousand times more expensive. “The ENIAC is “often described as the world’s first fully electronic, general-purpose computer, because in theory it could be programmed to do different jobs (Marshall Cavendish Corporation 321).”

Later, the third generations of computers were created, which improved greatly from the first and second generation.

The third generation of computers were even smaller due to the invention of the integrated circuit, which could fit thousands of transistors on one small silicon chip. This led to the invention of a computer that was small enough to fit on a desk (Marshall Cavendish Corporation 345).”

All purpose computers, known as transistors were created, which were computers that were created to store memory and run technology programs. “In the 1980s, when the arrival of standardized PCs made connecting computers into networks easier, businesses, schools, universities and home users found they could use networked computers to share information more easily than ever before (Marshall Cavendish Corporation 345).” After finally created an all-purpose computer, the new focus was on research of finding ways to make the screens smaller and easily accessible for individuals.

As of today, computers have progressed into innovative and unique ideas, which has benefited the world in numerous ways. Computers have become a significant segment within people’s lifestyle. Nowadays, computer technologygadgets are used everywhere and has been equipped for various new gadgets for individuals. Computer technology has progressed from smaller computers, computers with no modems, computer technology inside handheld devices, etc. Also, when computers were first created, they were used for mainly work and research. However, computer technology has progressed so greatly that the computer is used for several objectives, not only work benefits.

In essence, computer technology has grown and improved significantly throughout the years and have become a substantial factor in today’s society.  Computer technology is increasing day by day, causing other technologies to become less popular and less used by individuals. Though computers have progressed a significant amount through the years, several inventions are beginning to make computer technology more advanced for the future.  Presently, computer technology is extremely advanced, which is due to the inventors within the past that acknowledged the beneficial technology. Though, the technology was invented for war benefits, computer technology have progressed into one of the world’s most popular technology inventions as of today.

Works Cited

Marshall Cavendish Corporation.  Inventors and Inventions, Volume 2.  Library of Congress; New York. 2008.

Randell, Brian.  The Origins of Digital Computers: Selected Papers.  Springer-Verlag Berlin; Germany. 1973.

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