A short history of computers

Essay by Philip KJunior High, 8th gradeA, December 1995

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Whether you know it or not you depend on computers for almost every thing you do in modern day life. From the second you get up in the morning to the second you go to sleep computer are tied into what you do and use in some way. It is tied in to you life in the most obvious and obscure ways. Take for example you wake up in the morning usually to a digital alarm clock. You start you car it uses computers the second you turn the key (General Motors is the largest buyers of computer components in the world). You pick up the phone it uses computers. No mater how hard you try you can get away from them you can't. It is inevitable.

Many people think of computers as a new invention, and in reality it is very old. It is about 2000 years old .1

The first computer was the abacus. This invention was constructed of wood, two wires, and beads. It was a wooden rack with the two wires strung across it horizontally and the beads were strung across the wires. This was used for normal arithmetic uses. These type of computers are considered analog computers. Another analog computer was the circular slide rule. This was invented in 1621 by William Oughtred who was an English mathematician. This slid ruler was a mechanical device made of two rules, one sliding inside the other, and marked with many number scales. This slide ruler could do such calculations as division, multiplication, roots, and logarithms.

Soon after came some more advanced computers. In 1642 came Blaise Pascal's computer, the Pascaline. It was considered to be the first automatic calculator. It consisted of gears and interlocking cogs. It was so that you entered the numbers with dials. It...