Introduction to the
History of Computing
Mechanical “Computers”
Generation 0
• Abacus
• 1000-500 BC (Babylonians):
mechanical aid used for counting
The Salamis Tablet
(Greek, 300BC)
The Roman Hand Abacus
Abacus (cont.)
Ancient times: 300 B.C. to c500A.D.
Middle Ages 5 A.D to c1400 A.D
Modern: 1200 A.D to present
Da Vinci’s Mechanical Calculator
Notebook sketches c1500
Working model
Napier’s Bones
• Early 1600s
• Multiplication tables inscribed
on strips of wood and bones
Oughtred’s Slide Rule
• Rev. William Oughtred
1621
• Use logs to perform
multiplication and division
by using addition and
subtraction
Pascal’s arithmetic engine
• Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
• Mechanical calculator for addition
and subtraction
Leibnez’s Step Reckoner
• Gottfried von Leibnez
1670
• Add, subtract, multiply,
divide, square roots
Jacquard’s punch card
• Joseph Marie Jacquard
• 1805 punch cards used to
operator loom
• Could reprogram loom by
changing cards
Babbage’s Engines
•Same chair at Cambridge as Newton
and Hawking
•Designed the difference engine and
later, the analytical engine
•Brass gears and strings of punch
cards run by steam
•Analytical Engine never built
Charles Babbage
(1791-1871)
The World’s First Programmer
• Lady Ada Byron, Countess of
Lovelace (1815-1952)
• Understood Babbage’s
Analytical Engine
• saw it as what we would call a
general-purpose computer.
• Her Notes anticipate future
developments, including
computer-generated music.
Hollerith’s Tabulating Machine
• Herman Hollerith (1860-1929)
• Invented a punched card device to
help analyse the 1890 US census
data
• Founded “Tabulating Machine
Company” 1896
• 1924 – Tabulating Machine
Company merges with others to
form IBM
MIT Differential Analyzer
• Purpose: to solve differential
equations
• Mechanical computation with first
use of vacuum tubes for memory
• Programmed by aligning gears on
shafts
• 1930s
Alan Turing (1912-1954)
• Develops theory of computability
and the “Turing Machine” model – a
simple but elegant mathematical
model of a general purpose
computer (~1936)
• Helped crack German codes in
WWII (1939-1945)
Konrad Zuse
• 1936: Z1 first binary computer using
Erector Set parts, keyboard and lights
for output (relay memory)
• 1938: Z2 – using punched tape and
relays
Z1
Vacuum Tubes
Generation 1
• 1939 Atanasoff-Berry
Computer
– First electronic-digital
computer?
– Binary numbers, direct
logic for calculation,
regenerative memory
• Prototype 1939
• 2 years then to build full
scale model
– One op per 15 secs, 300
vacuum tubes, 700 pounds,
mile of wire
ABC Prototype
The first computers (cont.)
• 1943 British Colossus –
first all-electronic
computer? (2,400 vacuum
tubes)
– Decipher enigma coded
messages at 5,000 chars/sec
– At peak, 10 machines ran
24 hours a day
A German enigma coding machine
The first computers (cont.)
• 1943-44 Aiken at Harvard/IBM “Mark 1” – first
electromechanical digital computer (electromagnetic relays –
magnets open and close metal switches) (recreation of
Analytical Engine)
– 8 ft tall, 50 ft long, 1 million parts
– 323 decimal-digit additions per sec
– storage for 72 23-digit numbers.
ENIAC (1946)
• 18,000 tubes, 1500 sq ft
• Programmed by wire plugs into
panels
– 5,000 decimal-digit additions/sec
– 20 10-decimal digit “accumulators”
• 1941 Von Neumann proposes
EDVAC – Electronic Discrete
Variable Computer
• Computer should
Von Neumann and ENIAC
– Use binary
– Have stored programs
– Be function-oriented
UNIVAC-1
• The world’s first commercially available
(non-military) computer
• “I think there is a world market for about
five computers”
– Thomas J. Watson, IBM Chairman
Transistors
Generation 2
• Transistors replace vacuum tubes
• Size and cost decreased, speed increased
• 1960’s IBM sells large mainframe
computers to businesses
• Mainframes run operating systems that
allow many dumb terminals to be attached
• Typical business applications are custom
written and run in batch mode
Integrated Circuits
Generation 3
• Integrated circuits contain many transistors
on one chip
• 1971 Intel produces 4004 chip with all
circuitry for a calculator
VLSI
Generation 4
• Mid 1970s
• Very large scale integration
• 1977 Apple Corporation started by
Steve Jobs sells ersonal computer for
hobbyists
• 1980 IBM creates the PC to sell to
businesses
• The PC is widely cloned and becomes
widely accepted as prices drop
• PCs and clones use a text based
operating system called DOS to
programs
• 1984 Apple releases the MAC with a
graphical user interface
•
Generations on How Webopedia
IBM PC c1982
Programming Language History
• Programming languages instruct computers
what to do
• Charles Babbage's difference engine could
only be made to execute tasks by changing
the gears which executed the calculations
• US Government ENIAC could only be
"programmed" by presetting switches and
rewiring the entire system for each new
"program" or calculation
Programming Language History
Generation 1
• late 40’s / early 50’s:
programmers coded
directly in machine
language
• it allowed the
programmer to write
its statements in 0's
and 1's by hand
01111111010001010100110001000110000000010000001000000001000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000100000
00000000010000000000000000000000000000000010000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001010000100000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000011010000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000001010000000000000001000000000000000000100000000001011100111001101101
00001110011011101000111001001110100011000010110001000000000001011100111010
00110010101111000011101000000000000101110011100100110111101100100011000010
11101000110000100000000001011100111001101111001011011010111010001100001011
00010000000000010111001110011011101000111001001110100011000010110001000000
00000101110011100100110010101101100011000010010111001110100011001010111100
00111010000000000001011100110001101101111011011010110110101100101011011100
11101000000000000000000000000000000000010011101111000111011111110010000000
10011000000000000000000000000100100000001001001100000000000000001010100000
00000000000000000001001001000010010101000000000000001000000000000000000000
00000000000000001000000000000000000000000101000000001000000000000000010001
00100000001000000000000000100000001010100000000000000000000000010010010000
10010101000000000000001000000000000000000000000000000000000010000000000000
00000000000101100000001000000000000000100001000000000000000000000100000000
10000000000000000000000001000000111000111111000000000100010000001111010000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000010010000110010101101100011
01100011011110111011101101111011100100110110001100100001000010000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000100000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001000000000011111111111100010
00000000000000000000000000000010000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000100000000001111111111110001000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000001100000000000000000000001100000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000110000000000000000000000100000000000000000
Programming Language History
Generation 2
• mid 1950’s: assembly
languages replaced numeric
codes with mnemonic names
• an assembler is a program that
translates assembly code into
machine code
• input: assembly language
program
• output: machine language
program
• still low-level & machinespecific, but easier to program
• In 1951, Grace Hopper (US
Rear Admiral) wrote the first
compiler, A-0, which turned
English-like instructions into
0's and 1's
gcc2_compiled.:
.global _Q_qtod
.section ".rodata"
.align 8
.LLC0: .asciz "Hello world!"
.section ".text"
.align 4
.global main
.type main,#function
.proc 04
main: !#PROLOGUE# 0
save %sp,-112,%sp
!#PROLOGUE# 1
sethi %hi(cout),%o1
or %o1,%lo(cout),%o0
sethi %hi(.LLC0),%o2
or %o2,%lo(.LLC0),%o1
call __ls__7ostreamPCc,0
nop
mov %o0,%l0
mov %l0,%o0
sethi %hi(endl__FR7ostream),%
or %o2,%lo(endl__FR7ostream),%
call
__ls__7ostreamPFR7ostream_R7ostream,0
nop
mov 0,%i0
b .LL230
nop
.LL230: ret
restore
.LLfe1: .size main,.LLfe1-main
.ident "GCC: (GNU) 2.7.2"
Programming Language History
Generation 3
• In 1957, IBM creates the first of the major
languages called FORTRAN.
• Its name stands for FORmula TRANslating
system.
• The language was designed for scientific
computing.
• Excellent language for scientific work,
difficult input/output operations
Programming Language History
• In 1958, John McCarthy of MIT created the
LISt Processing (or LISP) language.
• It was designed for Artificial Intelligence
(AI) research.
• Because it was designed for such a highly
specialized field, its syntax has rarely been
seen before or since.
• Still in use today for AI research, offsprings
include Scheme
Programming Language History
• 1959 COBOL was developed for
businesses.
• COBOL statements have a very Englishlike grammar, making it quite easy to learn.
• Much better input/output than FORTRAN
permitting business applications
• Highly successful and used on most IBM
mainframe computers, even today.
Programming Language History
• The BASIC language was developed in 1964 by
John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz.
• BASIC is a very limited language and was
designed for non-computer science people.
• Many versions of BASIC were developed, Bill
Gates and his partner started business by writing a
version of BASIC for a hobby computer
• Bill Gates would later start Microsoft when he
licenses the DOS operating system to IBM
Programming Languages History
• Pascal was begun in 1968 by Niklaus Wirth.
• Its development was mainly out of necessity
for a good teaching tool.
• Pascal was designed in a very orderly
approach, it combined many of the best
features of the languages in use at the time,
COBOL, FORTRAN, and ALGOL.
Programming Language History
• C was developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie while
working at Bell Labs in New Jersey.
• The transition in usage from the first major
languages to the major languages of today
occurred with the transition between Pascal and C.
• C was built to be fast and powerful at the expense
of being hard to read.
• Ritchie developed C for the new Unix system
being created at the same time.
• C is very commonly used to program operating
systems such as Unix, Windows, the MacOS, and
Linux.
Programming Language History
• In the late 1970's and early 1980's, a new
programming method was being developed called
Object Oriented Programming, or OOP.
• Bjarne Stroustroup liked this method and
developed extensions to C known as C++, which
was released in 1983.
• C++ was designed to organize the raw power of C
using OOP, but maintain the speed of C and be
able to run on many different types of computers.
• C++ is most often used in simulations, such as
games.
Programming Language History
• Visual Basic 1 is released by Microsoft in
1991
• It includes a combination of QuickBasic
(Microsoft’s version of BASIC) and a
graphical design tool for creating the User
Interface (originally developed by Alan
Cooper)
• It includes an event-driven programming
paradigm
Programming Language History
• In the early 1990's, interactive TV was the technology of
the future.
• Sun Microsystems decided that interactive TV needed a
special, portable (can run on many types of machines),
language.
• This language eventually became Java.
• In 1994, the Java project team changed their focus to the
web, which was becoming "the cool thing" after interactive
TV failed.
• The next year, Netscape licensed Java for use in their
internet browser, Navigator.
• At this point, Java became the language of the future.
Programming Language History
Generation 4
• Often abbreviated 4GL, fourth-generation
languages are programming languages closer to
human languages than typical 3rd generation
languages.
• In 1969, a language called RAMIS was released
• Most 4GLs are used to access databases and do in
a few lines of code what would require hundreds
of lines of COBOL or C.
• For example, a typical 4GL command is FIND
ALL RECORDS WHERE NAME IS "SMITH"
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CSE1301 Computer Programming: Lect 34 History of …