Evolution of Computers
Increasing need for numerical calculations, storage of data and information etc. with minimum of mental and manual efforts led to invention of computers.
·ABACUS, used for calculations, was the earliest devise that qualifies as a computer widely used 6000 years ago. The ABACUS was built using the idea of place values.
·John Napier developed Logarithm, a tabular system of numbers through which many arithmetical calculations were simplified, in 1617.
·Blaise Pascal, a Frenchman, invented a mechanical unit in 1642 that could add and subtract, using a set of toothed wheels. This ‘calculator’ was the first digital machine.
·Pascal’s machine was further improved by a German mathematician Gottfried that could add, subtract, multiply, divide and extract roots.
·In 1822, Charles Babbage built the ‘Difference Engine’. This could do only one kind of calculations.
·In 1833, Charles Babbage designed and worked on Analytical Engine. It was a general-purpose computer designed to solve almost any type of problem. It contained most of the elements we find in modern digital computer systems. Hence, Charles Babbage is considered as Father of modern computer.
·Joseph Jacquard invented punch cards in 1801. Punch card had holes punched in it. These were used by him to produce weaving pattern on the cloths.
·In 1880, Dr.Herman Hollerith used punched cards for data processing by building a tabulating machine that could punch holes in cards and read them as well. This machine worked on electricity and had mechanical parts and could handle 50 to 75 cards per minute.
·In 1944, Howard Alken built MARK1, the first digital computer, at Harvard University. It lacked speed but had the ability to continuously perform complex arithmetic functions without frequent human intervention. It was partly electronic and partly mechanical machine.
·In 1936, Alan Turing from Cambridge University submitted his brilliant logical analysis on ‘artificial intelligence’. His contribution on the development of electronic computers remains the single biggest contribution ever made to the science.
·In 1930, Germans developed a mechanical machine called as ‘ENIGMA’ for coding military messages.
·In 1939, Britain initiated to build machines that could decipher Enigma’s codes.
·In 1942, USA started to develop an electronic computer. In 1946, it could put to operation ‘ENIAC’ (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator), made in University of Pennsylvania. John Mauchly and J.Presper Eckert were the two people involved in its development. This computer was made of 18,000 vacuum tubes. ENIAC could process the data at great speeds (though not comparable to today’s computers).
·UNIVAC-1 was the first business-oriented computer developed in 1952 used by US Bureau of Census.
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- Claude Elwood Shannon was an American mathematician, electrical engineer, and cryptographer known as "the father of information theory". Shannon is famous for having founded information theory with a landmark paper that he published in 1948.
- Claude E. Shannon first used the word bit in his seminal 1948 paper A Mathematical Theory of Communication. He attributed its origin to John W. Tukey, who had written a Bell Labs memo on 9 January 1947 in which he contracted "binary digit" to simply "bit".
Related Questions in IT
1. Who coined the term ‘Computer Virus’?
a) Frederick Cohen
b) William Gibson
c) John Von Neumann
d) Charles Babbage
Answer: ( a)
· Frederick Cohen is an American Computer Scientist and best known as inventor of computer virus defense techniques.
· The term VIRUS stands for Vital Information Resource Under Siege.
· A computer virus is a malware that, when executed, replicates by inserting copies of itself into other computer programs, data files, or the boot sector of the hard drive.
· William Gibson coined the term ‘ Cyber Space’ in his novel ‘ Neuromancer ‘ published in 1984.
· John Von Neumann formulated the ‘ Stored program concept ‘.
· Charles Babbage, the Father of Computer who invented Analytical Engine and Difference Engine
2. Operating system is a type of
a) Application software
b) Utility software
c) System software
d) None of these
· Operating System is System Software.
· Operating system acts as an interface between user and hardware.
· System software is a type of computer program that is designed to run a computer’s hardware and application program.
3. What is the expansion of the term ASCII
a) American security code for information Interchange
b) American scientific code for information Interchange
c) American Standard Code for Interchange information
d) American Standard Code for Information Interchange
· ASCII Stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange.
· ASCII is a character-encoding scheme used in a Computer.
· ASCII uses 7 bits or 8 bits to represent character.
· ASCII-7 can represent 128 characters and ASCII-8 can represent 256 characters.
4. Attempt to acquire sensitive information such as passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity.
d) None of these
· Phishing is an attempt to acquire sensitive information such as passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity.
· Phishing is a cybercrime carried out by email spoofing.
· Spoofing is a cyber crime mostly used for concealing the identity of the sender impersonating another computer system.
· Hacking is the practice of modifying the features of a system, in order to accomplish a goal outside of the creator's original purpose.
· The person who is consistently engaging in hacking activities, and has accepted hacking as a lifestyle and philosophy of their choice, is called a hacker.
5. Process of ‘knowledge discovery in databases' is
a) Data tuning
b) Data Diddling
c) Data Fragmentation
d) Data Mining
· Data mining is the extraction of patterns and knowledge from large amount of data.
· Database Tuning is the activity of making a database application run more quickly.
· Changing data before or during entry in to computer system is called Data Diddling
· Data Fragmentation means in some operating system's file systems, a data file over a certain size is stored in several fragments rather than in a single contiguous sequence of bits in one place on the storage medium.
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