Summary: Computer: A History Of The Information Machine

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  • 0 Introduction

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  • What was the first form of a computer invented?

    In 1890 the punched-card tabulating system was invented.
  • What happened in 1950?

    A calculator was built at the Harvard University for the US Navy.
  • In what year did the Time report about a personal computer?

    In 1983.
  • The Industrial Revolution (early nineteenth century) caused an increase in population which led to urbanisation in the west. Therefore the scale of business expanded and resulted in an increase of information collection, processing and communication needs. What was the solution?

    Systems were developed for handling this increase in information. The offices where turned in highly effective and organised systems. Later technology came into play. First only for the wealthiest people, but later also for the 'normal' people caused by mass production
  • The first computers were large and were one of a kind. What led to the improvements?

    In the second World War the modern computers were invented, because they had a great drive to improve the speed of the calculations.
  • Why weren't the computers of the 1930s up to the demands of the military of the second World War?

    These had three shortcomings: human intervention was needed, too slow, they were made for only one specific purpose. The military had millions and this resulted in stored-program computers. Unfortunately, the computers were finished too later for the war.
  • Several groups saw the computer not only as a number crunching machine. What else?

    Groups like the ENIAC builders and IBM saw the computer as a data processing, or accounting machine.
  • Who set out the basic functional specifications of the computer?

    In 1945, John von Neumann set out these specifications in a report. These are still largely followed today. 
  • There are two types of innovation that follow the concept of John von Neumann. Which is the first innovation?

    The first is the improvement of the components, which resulted in faster, cheaper and more reliable computers, also with more storage capacity.
  • What is the second innovation that follows the concept of John von Neumann?

    The second innovation is the mode of the operation, which was often designed for academics, but later also possible for the everyday user, through its refinement and incorporation in standard products. There are five notable examples of this kind: high-level  programming languages, real-time computing, time-sharing, networking, and graphically oriented human-computer interfaces.
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