Fundamental of Computer: Evolution of Computer

Posted in on February 13, 2017

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Evolution of Computer took place over thousands of years and finally we reached the modern age computers. The evolution process is significantly characterized by the following developments.


It is the first mathematical device developed for arithmetic computations. It was invented by Chinese in 450 BC. It consists of a set of wires with mounted beads. This was used for addition and subtraction operations.


Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician born on 19th June 1623 at Clermont-Ferrand. Auvergue. In 1642, when he was only 19 years old, he invented a calculating machine called Pascaline. It was the first mechanical digital calculator that can perform addition and subtraction on whole numbers. It had a system of interlocking rotating cog wheels. Each wheel had ten segments like in a mileometer. When one wheel completes a rotation, the next wheel moves by one segment. Numbers 0 to 9 are there on the circumference of the wheel. Pascal patented this machine in 1647, and produced it on a mass scale.


Analog computers are fundamentally different in principle from the modern digital computers. In analog devices, different quantities are represented in various physical ways such as by position of a rotating wheel, the distances between pounts in a surface or by different voltages. In 19th century, the early days of computing, almost all computers used analog devices. Analog computers use simple devices, even they are mechanically complicated. It worked on a decimal decade system usinf rows of 10 position wheels. Each wheel rotated one position fo;r each complete revelution to the right like ibn a mileometer. Wheels reverse for substraction and the mechanical linkages allowed multiplucation and division.


French inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752-1834) introduced a new weaving loom in 1805. This loom used series of cards with holes punched in different positions to produce different desired patterns in weaving. This loom was widely used in the whole world.


In 1947,computers entered a second generation by the introduction of transistors. Transistors were tiny with lower power requirement, as it does not require a heated element. In transistor, a single power supply is needed where valves needed two and is more reliable and efficient than Thermionic Valves. It was developed by the American physicist William Shockley.


  • IBM developed FORmula Translation Language (FORTRAN) in 1957.
  • Jack Kilby and Noyce developed and perfected the integrated circuit in 1959, used in later computers.
  • Hopper developed Common Business Oriented Language(COBOL), programming language in 1959
  • In 1960’s Gene Amdahal designed IBM system 360 series of mainframe computers, the first general purpose digital computer using integrated circuits.
  • In 1963 Olsen with Digital Equipment Corporation produced the PDP-1(Program Data Processor), the first mini computer.
  • iin 1965, Dr. John Kemeny, a mathematics professor at Dartmouth with his colleagues, Dr. Thomas Kurtz developed the computer language, Beginners All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code simply known as BASIC.
  • In 19701, Intel created memory chip having storage capacity of 1 KB.
  • Ted Hoff (Intel) compressed 12 chips with different arithmetic logic functions into four, called microprocessors. Hoff’s microprocessor was calle Intel 4004(“FORTY oh FOUR).
  • In 1975 H.Edward Roberts, an electrical engineer designed the first Micro Computer.  Now he is known as the Father Of Micro Computer.
  • In 1980’s and 1990’s chips and microcomputers developed rapidly by increasing in power and dropping in Price.

Excerpts from Fundamental of Computer, Published By: Indumatee Media, Odisha

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