Early Computing Machines and Their Inventors Points : early computing machines and their inventors, define the early computing machines and their inventors, abacus pascal’s calculator, babbage difference engine, babbage analytical engine, dr. herman hollerith punch curd machine, mark i, enivac, edvac, univac-i Abacus Abacus is a wooden rack holding two horizontal wires with beads strung on them when these beads are moved around, according to programming rules memorized by the user, all regular arithmetic problems can be done. Pascal’s Calculator Braise Pascal, a French Mathematician and Philosopher, invented the first mechanical digital calculator, which could perform addition and subtraction on whole numbers. Pascaline developed around 1642. It was cheaper to have human labor perform the calculations, workers feared losing their jobs, and only Pascal could repair the machine. A programming language Pascal was later named to honour his contribution. Babbage Difference Engine In 1812 Charles Babbage a mathematics professor realized that many long calculations especially those needed to make mathematical tables were really a series of predictable actions that were constantly repeated from this he suspected that it should be possible to do these automatically. He began to design an automatic mechanical calculating machine, which he called a difference engine. Babbage started fabrication of a difference engine in 1823. It was intended to be fully automatic, including the printing of the resulting labels, and commanded by a fixed instruction program. Babbage Analytical Engine The difference engine, although having limited adoptability, was really a great advance. Babbage continued to work on it for the next 10 years, but in 1833 he had lost interest because he thought he had a better idea, the construction of what would now be called a general purpose, fully program controlled, automatic mechanical digital computer. Babbage called this idea an Analytical Engine. Babbage’s computer were never finished various reasons are used for his failure. Most used is the lack of precision machining techniques at the time. Dr. Herman Hollerith Punch Curd Machine The middle ages of data processing are said to have begun when Dr. Herman Hollerith, a statistician with the US Bureau of census using three inch by five inch punched cards to record the data he constructed a box to sort the data and a manually fed, electromagnetic counting machine to tabulate the data. The 1890 census was processed in one-fourth the time for the 1880 census. Hollerith left the census bureau to built and sell his own tabulating machines. His company was the forerunner of IBM corporation. His successor at the census Bureau, Dr. James Powers also left to form his own company and in 1908 developed a 20-column punching machine. In the same year Hollerith developed a vertical sorting machine which processed almost 200 cards per minute. Mark I In 1944 Howard Aiken completed the first automatic sequence controlled calculator Mark I. It calculated with electromechanical relays and used electricity rather than muscles. The mark-I was 51 feet long and 8 feet high and contained over 750, 000 part strung with 500 miles of wires. It used paper tape input and punched card output. Calculation of 23 digit numbers took only 3 seconds with the Mark-i, six months of manual calculations could be completed in one day. ENIVAC The first large scale vacuum tube computer, the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical integrator and Calculator) was completed in 1946 by John Mauchly and their associates at Moore school of electrical engineering at the university of Pennsylvania.
At 80 feet long and 18 feet high the ENIAC was twice as big as the Mark I. Instead of gears or mechanical relays the 30-ton device contained over 100, 000 electronic components including 17, 468 vacuum tubes. The ENIAC operated on the decimal system, which allowed the punched card output to be read easily by humans. However changing program or operations was extremely difficult because the instructions had to be wired into the circuitry manually. Since it could take the operators as long as two days to manually re-plug the hundreds of wires involved when changing from one operation to another, ENIAC was not a particularly efficient general purpose computers. EDVAC The ENIAC was obsolete almost before it was completed and Mauchly and Eckert planned a successor machine called the EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer) completed in 1949, EDVAC stored its instruction coding and Input. The EDVAC was one of the first two stored program computers. Its consist of five units.
ii. Central Control
Improvements over the ENIAC included reduction of the number of tubes Increased memory and increased ease of use, including an easier and faster way to set up new problems. UNIVAC-I In 1951, Mauchly and Eckert formed their own company to create a commercially usable general purpose computer, the UNIVAC I(Universal Automatic Computer) was the first general purpose computer designed specifically for business data processing applications. U.S Census Bureau immediately installed UNIVAC-I using it for over 12 years.