History of Computer

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Earliest Computer

  • Originally calculations were computed by humans, whose job title was computers.
  • These human computers were typically engaged in the calculation of a mathematical expression.
  • The calculations of this period were specialized and expensive, requiring years of training in mathematics.
  • The first use of the word "computer" was recorded in 1613, referring to a person who carried out calculations, or computations, and the word continued to be used in that sense until the middle of the 20th century


Tally Sticks:

  • A tally stick was an ancient memory aid device to record and document numbers, quantities, or even messages.

Abacus  An abacus is a mechanical device used to aid an individual in performing mathematical calculations.

  • The abacus was invented in Babylonia in 2400 B.C.
  • The abacus in the form we are most familiar with was first used in China in around 500 B.C.
  • It used to perform basic arithmetic operations.

Napier’s Bones

  • Invented by John Napier in 1614.
  • Allowed the operator to multiply, divide and calculate square and cube roots by moving the rods around and placing them in specially constructed boards

Slide Rule

  • Invented by William Oughtred in 1622.
  •  Is based on Napier's ideas about logarithms.
  •  Used primarily for
  1.  Division
  2.  Roots
  3.  Logarithms
  4.  Trigonometry
  5.  Multiplication
  • Not normally used for addition or subtraction. William Oughtred Slide Rule CSCA0101 Computing.

Stepped Reckoner

  •  Invented by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in 1672.
  •  The machine that can add, subtract, multiply and divide automatically.


  • A mechanical calculator invented by Thomas de Colmar in 1820,
  • The first reliable, useful and commercially successful calculating machine.
  •  The machine could perform the four basic mathematic functions.
  • The first mass-produced calculating machine.

Difference Engine and Analytical Engine

  • It an automatic, mechanical calculator designed to tabulate polynomial functions.
  • Invented by Charles Babbage in 1822 and 1834
  • It is the first mechanical computer.

First Computer Programmer

  • In 1840, Augusta Ada Byron suggests to Babbage that he use the binary system.
  • She writes programs for the Analytical Engine.

Scheutzian Calculation Engine

  • Invented by Per Georg Scheutz in 1843.
  • Based on Charles Babbage's difference engine.
  • The first printing calculator.

Tabulating Machine

  •  Invented by Herman Hollerith in 1890.
  • To assist in summarizing information and accounting.

Havard Mark 1

  • Also known as IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC).
  • Invented by Howard H. Aiken in 1943 • The first electro-mechanical computer.


  • The first programmable computer.
  • Created by Konrad Zuse in Germany from 1936 to 1938.
  • To program the Z1 required that the user insert punch tape into a punch tape reader and all output was also generated through punch tape.

Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC)

  • It was the first electronic digital computing device.
  • Invented by Professor John Atanasoff and graduate student Clifford Berry at Iowa State University between 1939 and 1942


  • The UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer 1) was the first commercial computer.
  • Designed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly.

The First Portable Computer

  • Osborne 1 – the first portable computer.
  • Released in 1981 by the Osborne Computer Corporation

The First Computer Company

  • The first computer company was the Electronic Controls Company.
  • Founded in 1949 by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly.


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