Essay by sarana520Middle School, 6th gradeA+, October 2005

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What could we do with a computer? Computers help us with many kinds of things which we can't do alone or hard to do without materials. We could use computers to communicate with our friends far away or to research information which we don't know about. Computers were invented a long time ago. From past till now, computers keep on changing day by day and their functions are still improving today. Computers change our daily life. Imagine if computers didn't exist, what kind of life it would be! What's your imagination about the computer in the future?

In 1936, Konrad Zuse made a mechanical calculator called the Z1, the first binary computer with high-capacity memory for calculating. Until 1946, John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert invented the ENIAC (Electrical Numerical Integrator And Calculator). This research was sponsored by the U.S. military for setting different weapons under variety of conditions for targeting accuracy.

The ENIAC used vacuum tubes to speed up calculations, it covered 1800 square feet of floor space, weighed 30 tons, and consumed 160 kilowatts of electrical power. The ENIAC was reformed and incorporated into a new company resulted the UNIVAC (UNIVersal Automatic Computer), an important forerunner of today's computers.

The computer era can be divided into four generations. During the period of 1943 to 1959, the computers' first generation was used vacuum tubes as the central processing units and magnetic drums to be the memory parts. The cards and punched tapes were the inputs-outputs devices. As for the second generation of computers, which were built from 1959 to 1964, was based on transistors and printed circuits. They weren't only much smaller than the first generation computers but also much quicker and more powerful to handle complex computer program like the FORTRAN (it's for the science use) or COBOL...