Essay on History of Computing

4325 Words 18 Pages
History of Computing

1 General principles 1
2 Etymology (Where the word is from) 2
3 The exponential progress of computer development 2
4 Classification of computers 2
4.1 Classification by intended use 2
4.2 Classification by implementation technology 3
4.3 Classification by design features 3
4.3.1 Digital versus analog 3
4.3.2 Binary versus decimal 4
4.3.3 Programmability 4
4.3.4 Storage 4
4.4 Classification by capability 4
4.4.1 General-purpose computers 4
4.4.2 Special-purpose computers 6
4.4.3 Single-purpose computers 6
4.5 Classification by type of operation 6
5 Computer applications
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Electroniccircuits are then used to represent Boolean operations. Since almost all of mathematics can be reduced to Boolean operations, a sufficiently fast electronic computer is capable of sloving almost any mathematical problems (and the majority of information processing problems that can be translated into mathematical ones). This basic idea, which made modern digital computers possible, was formally identified and explored by Claude E. Shannon.
Computers cannot solve all mathematical problems. Alan Turing identified which problems could and could not be solved by computers, and in doing so founded theoretical computer science.
When the computer is finished calculating the problem, the result must be displayed to the user as output through output devices like light bulbs, LEDs, monitors, beamers and printers.
Novice users, especially children, often have difficulty understanding the important idea that the computer is only a machine, and cannot "think" or "understand" the words it displays. The computer is simply performing a mechanical lookup on preprogrammed tables of lines and colors, which are then translated into arbitrary patterns of light by the output device. It is the human brain which recognizes that those patterns form letters and numbers, and attaches meaning to them. All that existing computers do is manipulate electrons that are logically equivalent to ones and zeroes; there are no known ways to
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