Today computers are an indispensable part of the lives of human beings but at one point of time there were no computers. Knowing the history of computers and how much progress has been made can aid us in understanding just how complicated the invention of the computer really is. Unlike other devices, the computer is the one invention that does not have any one specific inventor. Throughout the development of the computer, various people have made contributions to making a computer work. Some of these inventions were those of complete computers or other additions that helped revolutionize the computer that existed at that time. One such invention was the Integrated Circuit.
The single most important year in the history of computers is 1936. It was in 1936 that the very first computer was created by Konrad Zuse who called it the Z1 Computer. This was the first system that was fully programmable. Even though there had been devices that had come and gone before this but they didnt match upto it because of its superior computing power. Till 1942 no business saw profits and opportunities in computers. The first computer company was called ABC computers and was owned and operated by Clifford Berry and John Atanasoff. Two years later in 1942 came the Harvard Mark I computer which furthered the science of computing even more.
The age of computers saw its biggest change ever in 1953 with the introduction of International Business Machines known today as IBM. The company has always been a key player in the development of new systems. This was the first real competition to bee seen in the world of computing and helped to encourage faster development of better computers. The first contribution of IBM was the IBM 701 EDPM Computer. A year after this the first high level programming language was brought to the centre stage. This was a programming language that had not been written in ‘assembly’ or binary languages and was called FORTRAN which was written to enable more people to be able to program computers. In the year 1955 Bank of America, Stanford Research Institute and General Electric joined hands to introduce the very first computer for use in banks.
After that the evolution was quick. Computers like Apple I and II, The Scelbi, Mark-8 Altair, TRS-80, the Commodore Pet computers and IBM 5100 were the leaders of the sector of home computing. The micro processor was like the heart of the computer and began with the Intel 4004. from then it has evolved into todays Pentium IV, Dual core and Core 2 Duo processors. Along with the evolution in Hardware came the evolution in software which went from assembly languages to todays languages like C++, Java and PHP. There is more to come in this field and that more will surely be AI or Artificial Intelligence. The term was coined by John McCarthy and is today a major field of study.