This article will focus on Computer Technologies (hereinafter simply referred to as CT) of the past, present, and future. But for starters, with your permission, I will make a small digression from what this COMPUTER is all about.
The word computer comes from the English word “computer” which means a computer. And this means that a computer is nothing more than a machine for performing calculations. However, at present, it is believed that the main functions of computers are the processing and management of information. With the help of these very calculations, the computer processes the information according to a predetermined algorithm. Most computers can save information and carry out any actions with it, for example, output it (information) to various types of devices designed to display information (monitor, printer, etc.)
The most widespread among computers are the so-called “electronic computers”, computers. Actually, for the vast majority of people, the words “electronic computers” and “computers” have become synonymous words, although in reality this is not so. The most common type of computer is an electronic personal computer.
Nowadays, CTs are developing at a tremendous speed. But until recently, a computer was a bulky machine occupying a huge space. Although let’s look at this in more detail.
From the past to the present and further to a brighter future
And so let’s see how it all began
The history of digital devices should begin with accounts. A similar tool was known among all nations. The ancient Greek abacus (plaque or “Salamis plaque” by the name of the island of Salamis in the Aegean Sea) was a plate sprinkled with sea sand. Grooves passed on the sand, on which numbers were indicated with pebbles. One groove corresponded to units, the other to dozens, etc. If more than 10 pebbles were accumulated in a groove during the counting, they were removed and one pebble was added in the next category. The Romans perfected the abacus by moving from wooden planks, sand and pebbles to marble planks with machined grooves and marble balls.
In Russia, for a long time, they counted in bones, laid out in heaps. Around the 15th century, the “board bill” was introduced, apparently brought in by Western merchants along with blubber and textiles. The “finished bill” was almost no different from ordinary accounts and was a frame with reinforced horizontal ropes on which drilled plum or cherry bones were strung.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) created a 13-bit totalizer with ten-toothed rings. The description of the machine is based on rods on which two gear wheels are mounted, the larger on one side of the rod and the smaller on the other. These rods should be positioned so that the smaller wheel on one rod engages with the larger wheel on the other rod. In this case, the smaller wheel of the second shaft engaged with the large wheel of the third, etc. Ten revolutions of the first wheel, according to the author, were supposed to lead to one full revolution of the second, and ten revolutions of the second – one revolution of the third, etc. The entire system, consisting of 13 rods with gears, was to be set in motion by a set of weights.
In 1700, Charles Perrault published the “Collection of a large number of machines of Claude Perrault’s own invention,” which, among the inventions of Claude Perrault (Charles Perrault’s brother), is a summing machine in which gear racks are used instead of gears. The car was called “Rabdological abacus.” This device is named so because the ancients called the abacus a small board on which the numbers are written, and Rabdology – the science of performing arithmetic operations using small sticks with numbers.
Well, now let’s move on to the present. Development of CT in the present is divided into several generations. First generation of computers
The first generation (1945-1954) – computers with electronic tubes (like those that were in old TVs). These are prehistoric times, the era of the emergence of computer technology. Most of the machines of the first generation were experimental devices and were built in order to verify certain theoretical principles. The weight and size of these computer dinosaurs, which often required separate buildings for themselves, has long become a legend.
Claude Shannon – the creator of the theory of information, Alan Turing – the mathematician who developed the theory of programs and algorithms, and John von Neumann – the author of the design of computing devices, which still underlies most computers, are considered to be the founders of computer science. In the same years, another new science related to computer science appeared – cybernetics, the science of management as one of the main information processes. The founder of cybernetics is the American mathematician Norbert Wiener. At one time, the word “cybernetics” was used to mean the whole of computer science, and especially those areas that were considered the most promising in the 60s.