Follow up- Vacume Tubes
The computers of today are the previous generations of trial and error. The godfather of computers of today would be the vacume tube. The vacume tube is a switch, A small voltage at one pole switches a larger voltage at the other pole on or off. Because information in A computer is repersented as binary *1's and 0's), switches are ideal they too have only two positions, 1 and 0. The first electronic computer contained cabinets full of vacume tubes. There were several problems with this. First, the tubes utilized a heating element in order to facilitate the flow of electrons between the poles. These heating elements have to be "warmed-up" in order to function properly, because they had to be warmed up it took serveral minutes to turn the computer on. Also because of how many vacume tubes in a cabinet, the elements created a lot of heat. Heat shortens the ligh of electronic components so each computer usually had a entire room full of air conditioning equipment for keeping the tubes cool. Even with the ac the adverage tempture inside these computers was over 100 degrees. 2. Vacume tubes were bulky, computers like the first one the "ENIAC" took enough cabinets to fill the whole floor of a building. With the computer in one room and the air conditioning in the other one next to it.
See ya in a few days
The seccond generation of computers was made up of a whole lot of sepperate transistors..
The number of transistors got so big that they started useing intergrated cirquits.. ic's.. they are just a collection of transistors, condensators and resistors on one plate of silicium...
thx for the post, Malignant..
Here is a tut I was writing for an old site I was involved it, anyway the project ended suddenly so did this tut but well rather than never letting it see the light of day I'll stick it here. There may be mistakes Im not sure and its far from up to date but remember I never finished it!
History of Computers
The following is a brief text on some computer history, it ends suddenly as you will see to leave way for a follow-up.
The computer is essential in modern day society but Im guessing you know this or you wouldnt be reading this. Well anybody really into computers will need a fairly good knowledge of past exploits and just general history.
Two important aspects of computing that are considered very important are Arithmetic and the stored program.
Back when people first used the abacus, the first seeds of the computer were born. Many ancient civilizations had some form of calcuting 'machines' or 'instruments'.
Think of Stonehenge in England or Newgrange in Ireland, there are many examples such as logarithims designed by Scottish mathematican John Napier.
And my maths teachers favourite 'genius' Blaise Pascal who invented possibly the first mechanical calculating machine. Ok you get the jist so we'll move on to modern day when calculators became pc's.....
Well lets jump to 1822 when Englishman Charles Babbage bagan work on his Difference Engine. It prepared mathematical tables. The project was later abandoned , he went on however to create a better version called the Analytical Engine, I wont get into its finer workings but it has spawned the legacy of what many to believe is the first programmer, Lady Lovelace who understood how to operate the machinary.
In the US, punch cards were being used to help compile the census of 1890, the system used was designed by Herman Hollerith. In 1896 Hollerith formed his own company which in 1924 adopted the name the International Business Machines Corporation [IBM]. Many pioneers worked hard in the US and the first well-known electromechanical computer was Mark 1.
The very first electronic computer was made at Iowa State University by John Atanasoff with help from Clifford Berry.
Now lets skip to the modern computer this is not a history lesson in a sense but too much detail is for school to teach ya, Im just trying to get a general timeline formed in your head.
Lets take first generation computers, the best examples being ENIAC [Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer] and the UNIVAC [Universal Automatic Computer] these are the type which used vacuum tubes [or thermionic valves] and were massive.
1948-Manchester University Mark 1
1951 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 'Whirlwind'
It took until 1958 when the lads at IBM launched the IBM 7090 the first second-generation computer. They no longer relied on vacuum tubes but instead utilized transistors. The next, yes thats third generation of computers introduced multiprogramming and so on. Todays computers are known as fourth-generation.
Popular pc's of this generation include the Apple || made by Steven Jobs and Steve Wozniak at 21 and 26 years old respectively [named after Steven's fave fruit] which they built in a garage at home and then formed their company.
Lets delve back to the introduction of microcomputers, they appeared in the 1970's as a result of advances in the integrated circuit [silicon chip], in 1971 INTEL produced the first single-chop CPU pr microprocessor with 45 elementary instructions. Two years later in 1973 Intel introduced a more popular 8-bit microprocessor called the 8080.
So if you wanna finish work away!
back then computers could only stay on an average of 10 minutes before one of the vac tubes went out and had to be replaced
Not to mention how they were programmed........hard wiring...what a bitch! Then along came the punchcards.
I remember when I was a kid my father worked in Univac, they were really big back in 70s and 80s. I used to play Space Invaders and Pac-Man at my fathers work, and sometimes I got to go with him to the big computer room down in the basements. Those were huge mainframes with large tapes to save data to. Kida like old movies, big square machines, 5 feet tall but not the blinking lights. And the tapes like two big eyes on the front. That's how I rember them anyway. And the smell of the room, very clean but dusty. And extremely dry. They didn't want to get any water into those half a million machines. It's funny, my Pentium probably has more computerpower than that whole room full of mainframes.