29 November 2010
Computer – Inventions that Revolutionized the world
|Image by Alexander Schaelss|
Computing started when humans started analyzing based on numbers. In earlier times, people used various methods for the purpose of calculation. For example, papyrus helped early man to record languages and numbers. Later Abacus made of beads took charge as an arithmetic processing device. Since then processing units kept evolving. However, a major breakthrough came when zero and binary system was invented by Indians. The world moved from beads to bits.
The first computer was a mechanical computer built at Corinth in 125BC. Though mechanical examples of computers or processing devices have existed through much of recorded human history, the instance that laid the pavement for the modern computers was invention of a difference engine by Charles Babbage regarded as the father of computers in the year 1821.
Computers are programmable devices which accept input, processes data and provide output in an useful format. The computers in earlier times were very huge, almost of the size of a room with complex connections. It was not readily available for public use. Later desktop computers were brought into use. But the limitation with such computers was that, they were not portable. But with the advancement of technology and with the invention of integrated circuits, the size of computers are much reduced and nowadays, they are available in the form of laptops and palmtops which can be easily carried along by the user.
Modern computers based on integrated circuits are million to billion times more capable than the early machines and occupy a fraction of space. Nowadays, computers are employed in each and every field of human applications like entertainment, gaming, medical purposes, defense, transport etc. in various forms. One of the most numerous and advanced application of computers are embedded systems where the computers are designed in such a way to perform specific functions. Examples are air conditioning systems, air bag systems in vehicles, microwave ovens etc.
The earliest patent available on the searchable database of information using keywords computer or processing or computing was filed on 17 January 1803 by James Rhey Mccoed for an application titled “Balance Book”. It is an interesting fact is that it took 99 years for this application to get issued. So far 1076362 applications have been filed for patent related to computers out of which 469637 have already granted patents.
Image from Wikimedia Commons
Authored by Naveen