A very brief history of the Computer.

I’m typing this on a computer. I read the news this morning on a computer then I did my banking on it. I could if, I wanted to, do my shopping on it and then send a message to my Aunt in Australia and she would have it instantaneously and be able to read it. It is all down to the power of the computer.  It has changed our lives in ways that we could not have imagined. IT Support Cheltenham companies like https://reformit.co.uk/ provide IT Support in Cheltenham and are probably well aware of the historical advancements of the computer. But what is the history behind these complicated thinking machines?

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The computer has its origins in the great English Mathematician Charles Babbage. Babbage created the Difference and then the Analytical engine. From this large machine all computers basically stem. It was built in 1837 and had an arithmetic logic unit and a memory.  Later additions were to feature what we would recognise as a central processing unit. Babbage could never get adequate funding to develop the machine but if he had it is thought that that the age of computing would have come much sooner to the world.

The use of a machine to compute and organise was then pretty much mothballed. The need for such a device was not of paramount importance until just prior to the Second World War the idea of a thinking machine starts to gain relevance. Whilst Babbage was an analogue machine the use of digital processes were coming. One of the most influentially voices of the first generation of computer creators is that of Alan Turing at Bletchley Park using a computer to break the cypher of the German Wehrmacht and gain access to their secret information.

These First Generation computers ran from 1937 to 1946. They generally took up an entire room and could only manage one function. It is also said that when the first one was turned on in 1937 the lights dimmed in nearby Philadelphia.

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The second generation of computers from 1947 to 1962 saw the introduction of transistors in place of the costly and bulky valves. In the 50’s business and personal use computers were beginning to be available on the market. Companies like International Business Machine, or IBM as they were subsequently known being, and remaining, one of the first. Simple computations were available with memory and records being stored on a tape or disk that was then loaded onto the computer for review. These were slightly smaller in size, about the same as a big wardrobe or cupboard.

The third generation is where we are now from 1963 to the present. Integrated circuits were the floodgate for the smaller and much more powerful computers that we have today. The PC became a staple of household goods with the user friendly operating system of Windows and the AppleMac dominating.

And the fourth generation? That will be down to the development of A.I.