In 1945 mathematician John von Neumann contributed a new understanding of how practical fast computers should be organized and built, the ideas are referred to as the stored program technique. As a result of these techniques computing and programming became faster, more flexible, and more efficient. The advantages of this technique were clear and it quickly became standard practice. In 1947 the first generation of modern programmed computers took advantage of John von Neumann’ s improvements.
In the 1950’s a transistor was invented which replaced the vacuum tube that had been previously used in computers, radios, and other electricals. The replacement of the vacuum tube resulted in complex circuitry, which was prone to complications. This problem was solved by the invention of a microchip, which is a collection of tiny transistors. This improved the computer by creating more space, increasing the machines speed, and making the electronics of the computer simpler.
The first microprocessor was released by Intel in 1971. The microprocessor was a specialized integrated circuit. Computers up to this point had been only available to the military, universities, and large cooperation’s .The first home computer (Altair) retailed around $400, which was affordable for the thousands of hackers inspired to own the their own computer. The machine was not as simple as today’s computers, the Altair was not designed for novices and required assembly by owner. It was also necessary to write software for the machine.
Two young hackers found a software called BASIC (Beginners All purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). The BASIC code was original developed by a mathematician in 1964. However. The code developed to run on the Altiar was presented by two hackers who later went on to run Microsoft. They produced Basic and operating systems for various machines. One of the hackers, Bill Gates, controls the leading computer company Microsoft.
BASIC was not the only programming language available, throughout the fifties programming languages continued to be developed. The development of the program languages allowed computers to be accessible by novices. Even today, further develop of computer software enables individuals with limited experience of programming to operate them. The future of the computer programmer is a uncertain one, the question is not how important our computer programmers are today, it is how important will they be in the future.
Following the Altair was the Apple II. This was created by Steve jobs and Steve Wozniak, it boasted colour graphics, and data could be stored on an every day audiocassette. The Apple was a success and went on to become a well established company which continues to produce computers today. Also introduced around the same time as the Apple II was the TRS-80. The TRS-80 was a home computer manufactured by the company Tandy, at this time the TRS-80 and the Apple II were the only computers which had disk drives to store data. The personel computer applications took-off as a result as the introduction of the floppy disc. The floppy disk was a most convenient publishing medium for distributing software.
IBM up until this time had been producing mainframes and minicomputers for medium to large sized businesses. IBM created their first computer for home market, the Acorn, which latter became IBM PC. The IMB PC came with a typewriter, and connection for type cassette player. The next step was in 1984 when Apple released the first generation Macintosh, which came with graphical interface and a mouse. The graphical user interface made it easier to use and ensured its success. IBM was hot on Apple’s tail and produced applications like word, which quickly became a favorite for business.
Computers today have become part of everybody’s life. They aid us at work, in our schools, and with our shopping. They provide us with masses of information and make the world more accessible. Computer growth is rapid and change is inevitable. Throughout the development of the computer our lives have changed and will continue to change. The early computers resulted in technophbia as do today’s computers. The computing world is a very flexible making every day life more convenient.
Without the aid of my computer, writing this essay would probably take double the time. At the moment I am using my laptop computer, which fits, in my lap. The machine is ready to use after pressing only one button, and waiting a few minuets. The tasks I can perform include a spell check, which constantly monitors my spelling and grammar. The information I am typing is stored automatically every ten minuets on to a disk, which fits in to my pocket. The software I am using is called Microsoft word and is very flexible, allowing me access many tools and actions.
The World Wide Web is another tool, a new form of communication, which is accessible through my computer. The web enables me access to millions of web sites packed with information on every subject thinkable. This tool aided my essay by providing me with endless amounts of information. The communicational aspect of the computer, through the web and Email, has become part of the world providing friends and family means of communication. It also provides business with avenues of marketing, distribution and sales. It is not uncommon for a business to run strictly over the Internet.
The speed of computer development is that fast who knows what the future holds for the world of computing. Developments at the moment include wireless (blue tooth). The wireless is simply a computer without wires. The wireless computer has increased speed as it doesn’t need time to pass through the electrics, it also requires less space. Another important development in the computer world is primary speech interface, which enable the user to use speech to navigate the computer. Primary speech interface will enable the user to speak to the computer and control an all applications. The computers ability to respond verbally in a human voice.
Technology is moving so quickly that it is inevitable it is soon to overtake us humans. Some scientists thinks that it is important to modify human DNA in order to keep up with the computer. The real danger is that the computer intelligence will develop and overtake the world. The manipulation of the human gene in order for us to remain superior to electronic brains seems bizarre. Another suggestion is to ensure the development of a direct link between the humans brain and the computer. This will ensure artificial intelligence contributes human intelligence rather than the opposite.
The computers history started with mans desire to calculate and compute information. It seems that the desire of man has brought us a long way, and will carry on pushing the boundaries. The future of the computing world is uncertain, but due of the rate that technology is currently advancing we can expect this will continue. Computers and telecommunication already give us access to large amounts of information, which is increasing our brainpower. As the computers grow more powerful they will become more intelligent. The computer purpose should be clearly defined, if the limits are endless they should be pushed but not abused. The computers ability to reproduce and evolve could leave humans behind. The development of the computer brain should be inline with the human brain. After all the computers development relies on the creativity of the human mind thus its advances will be a result of the evolution or our human brain.
We should not be modified to accommodate the computers advances, the computer should be modified to accommodate the advances in the human brain. This could be accomplished be ensuring the computers main function is aid the human brain not be a substitute it.