Essay by jim80University, Bachelor'sA, November 2003

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What would the world today be like if we didn't have computers? We wouldn't be typing our work, we would be writing it, not to mention wasting several sheets of pages in the process of producing an errorless piece of work. We would still be communicating with loved ones living across seas via snail mail, and spending days anticipating a response. What would life be without these wondrous machines that have marvelously and radically improved our lives?

The Computer, a complex but invaluable piece of machinery, has been around for 5000 years, and was not invented by just one person alone, but has been the contribution of many over the course of several years based on availability of technology to construct it and existence of adequate problems to engage it. The first "modern" computer was invented during World War II, in 1941 by a German engineer named Konrad Zuse. The computer was called the Z1 and was used to help design German airplanes and missiles.

Few years later, in 1943, the Allied forces developed a computer called Colossus to help decode German messages. Since the Z1 was developed by the side that lost the war and Colossus stayed a military secret for many years, these computers didn't really contribute significantly to the emergence of this superior machine. These first generation computers were primarily used by the military for calculation purposes. Their computer occupied an entire room. Followed by these first generation computers came the second league- world's first electronic-digital computers between 1939 and1942. This was just the beginning of what would ultimately change our lives forever. The initial set of computers processed data very slowly, and to solve the issue came the use of vacuum tubes that would help speed up calculations. Although these vacuums increased the rate at which...