Essay Example on Computer Technology Evolution

Published: 2017-08-17
Essay Example on Computer Technology Evolution
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Engineering Computer science Technology
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1701 words
15 min read

Computer Advancements since the 1950s

The first computer to be invented in the 1950s was the giant ENIAC machine by Presper Eckert and John Mauchly at Pennsylvania University. The Electric Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC) was a large computer that used 10 decimal digits word instead of binary letters. It was a pioneer machine in the 1950s that used approximately 2000 vacuum tubes. It incorporated executable instructions that composed a program embodied in different units of ENIAC. They were plugged together to enhance a routine via the machine facilitate the flow of computations. Users of ENIAC machine had to check to ensure that the connections were redone to fix every problem that incorporated preset of switches and function tables. This was the first computer that had an advantageous high speed from the 1950s to 1955 (Wolff, 45).

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Progression of Computer Hardware

In 1950s, two devices were invented to upgrade the computer field and to enhance a motion of the computer revolution. The transistor was one of the devices that were fated to oust the days of vacuum tubes in computers. During this era, the vacuum tube operated with the help of large electricity amounts. This would heat a filament inside the tube until it turned cherry red. As a result of heating the filament, there was the release of electrons in a tube that was also controlled by other elements. In 1950s, vacuum tubes used in computers were highly inefficient in that they needed a huge space and to be often replaced.

Additionally, the 1950s computers operated with 18,000 tubes whereby cooling of the rooms and housing of all the tubes was expensive (Cassidy, 69). These issues were solved the transistor but at times it had faults whereby its electronic components were required to be soldered together. This implies that the more complex the circuit became, the more it became complicated for the transistor to operate. This is because the transistor had many connections that increased the chances of faulty wiring.

It wasnt until 1958 when Jack from Texas Instruments decided to solve this problem. He started by producing the first integrated chip or circuit. A chip involved a collection of tiny transistors that were fixed together when the transistor was manufactured. Practically, the need to solder together huge numbers of transistors was nullified. Only connections were required to enhance the operation of other electronic components. This was advantageous because it saved space and increased the speed of the machine creating a diminished distance that acted as the path of electrons.

Mainframes to Personal Computers PCs

In 1960, there was an enormous mainframe of computers which became common in huge industries with the space program and US military. This was also the era when IBM became the unquestioned leaders in the market when it indulged in a business that sold expensive, error prone and large machines that were difficult to use. In early 1970s, there was a veritable explosion of personal computers that exhibited first Apple II in San Francisco. The Apple II incorporated a boasted and well constructed basic programming with graphics, language, and color.

Furthermore, this personal computer also included 4100 character memory that was sold at $ 1298. Data and program that was used in these computers were stored each day on an audio-cassette recorder. In 1977, other computer advancements were the TRS-80. It was a home computer that was produced by Tandy, Radio Shack. During its second incarnation, TRS 80 Model II was improved when it was manufactured with 64,000 character memory (Beekman, 115). It incorporated a disk drive that kept data and programs. In 1970s, only TRS and Apple machines had disk drives. At the same time, the disk drive was invented whereby particular applications in the computer were put into operation. This happened because the floppy disk served as a convenient publishing medium that distributed the software.

International Business Machines (IBM) has been active to today when it produced minicomputers and mainframes that benefited both medium and large scale firms. These companies decided to be part of the act when they began working on the Acorn that was to be named later as IBM PC. This was the first personal computer to be designed for home market to feature a modular design that allowed pieces to be added quickly to the architecture. The majority of the components came outside of IBM because constructing it with IBM parts would be expensive for the home computer market. The introduced IBM PC incorporated a memory of 16,000 characters. It also had a link to cassette tape player that came with a cost of $1265 and a keyboard from an IBM electric typewriter.

By 1984, computers had incurred advancements that led to the innovation of new models that were Apple and IBM. Apple advanced when they released the first generation of Macintosh, which was a pioneer computer to have a mouse and a graphical user interface (GUI). These new models of computers that had GUI were simple to use and more attractive to home computer users. As a result, the sale of Macintosh computers increased which made IBM compete with Apple by releasing 286-AT. The upgrade of the new model, 286-AT came with applications such as; spreadsheet, Lotus 1-2-3, and Microsoft Word (Wolff, 174). This progress in computer industry became preferable and improved the business of concerns since 1950s. Currently, it is evident that people own workstations, personal graphics, and powerful home computers. This implies that an average computer that an individual owns at home is very powerful. It is because it has several orders of magnitude as compared to machines that were invented initially, such as ENIAC.

In general, computer advancement has emerged as the quickest technology in the history of a man. The current society defines a computer as a machine that accepts processes and stores data. Since the 1950s, this revolution has improved from the vacuum tube to transistor and then to a microchip. In this modem era, a computer as a machine serves various purposes. This includes the exchange of photos and audio files sharing and watching movies in a digital environment.

Analyzing the major technological improvement in computers, dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is a chip that has vastly increased the memory capacity of computers at a lesser price. As a result, a set of technological and robust products have been created for the market at an affordable price. The memory chip provides tremendous gains for the firms by ensuring that they integrate and embrace operation scale on top of computing power. DRAM is an accessory that has increased access to computing power because it allows firms to be more efficient, powerful and effective.

To accelerate the revolution, there is need to involve many people to participate actively in the process of computing and basic programming language since it is designed to enable its users get acquitted with the most current computing configuration which is vital to the society. This technology that was applied in computers allowed users to communicate directly with the computer. This was via teletype printers and terminal keyboards that were displayed on the screen. During this period, language was taught and designed in a surrounding that upgraded the culture of computing.

The emergence of Internet

This is one of the advancements in a computer industry that initially involved the ARPANET that is also referred to as the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. It started as a military computer system in 1969 (Beekman, 216). The network project experimented in the U.S.A under the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects (DARPA). It is also clear that during the upgrade of computers, various universities and government agencies created internal networks that were related to the ARPANET model. Currently, the National Science Foundation (NSF) serves as a catalyst of the manner in which the computer interacts with the Internet. The NSF started a chain of connections that incorporated various institutions that were linked to a central computer. This was extended to global networks of computers which permitted numerous machines to communicate with one another globally.

This system allowed sharing of information that was available in various computer servers. In 1986, the scientists managed to come up with five supercomputer centers that granted universities opportunity to be the first to access the Internet. As computers advanced in 1992, the Internet was used primarily by academics and researchers. By1995, the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) had become the largest commercial suppliers of the internet. For instance, Internet providers such as AOL started giving services to a vast number of clients. Today, the Internet is part of computer advancement that links approximately thousands of networks that reach all users around the globe.

It is clear that the Internet traffic that become heavy and that some academic and scientific institutions upgraded to a modern global network that is also known as Internet 2. This came in to solve issues of the Internet traffic that became so cumbersome for users of the first Internet. Internet 2 is the fastest that operates on the fiber-optic cable that was used officially for businesses around 1999. Through the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), computer users have identified advancement of capabilities and functionality of the Internet.

The Birth of WWW in Computer Advancement

Originally, WWW was conceived and upgraded for high energy physics; and collaborations. This required current details to be shared between physicists operating in various institutes and universities across the world. Currently, WWW is useful to all individuals- worldwide when its services reach both children and adults (Cassidy, 92). The World Wide Web is used for commercial, personal and academic purposes. The use of the World Wide Web has made it simple for individuals to connect with one another thus has made communication more effective and efficient. The WWW networking has significantly contributed to advancement in the computer industry by spawning various cyber cultures and virtual societies. Today, WWW is a convenient approach that buys and sells goods and services. Indeed, computer technology has improved since the 1950s to the present, and it has touched every part of human life.

Works Cited

Wolff, Thomas F. Computer Advancement since 1950s: A Critical Review. Ft. Belvoir: Technical Information Center, 2002. Print.

Cassedy, Patrice. Computer Technology. Lucent Books, 2004, Print.

Beekman, George. Computer convergence: exploring tomorrow's technology. Prentice Hall, 2001, Print

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