500 BC: ABACUSThe first mechanical-type calculator was devised in Babylon around 500 B.C. This mechanical device called abacus consisted of a system of bars and pulleys with which different types of arithmetic calculations could be carried out.
1622: Oughtred introduces the slide ruleAround 1622, the English mathematician William Oughtred used the newly invented logarithms to make a device that simplified multiplication and division. It consisted of two joined graduated rulers sliding one over the other.
1642: First adding machineThe French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal was 19 years old when he built the world's first adding machine in 1642. He used cogwheel gear as counters. The device carried 1 automatically when reaching the tens and could also be used to subtract.
1834: First programmable digital computerIn 1834 the English scientist and inventor Charles Babbage made the schematics of a device which he called the analytical engine, which was actually a general purpose computer. This machine was programmed by a series of punched cards that contained data or instructions which passed through a reading device, were stored in a memory and the results were reproduced by molds. This machine far exceeded the technology of its time and was never finished.
1850: First keyboard adderThe keyboard appeared on a machine invented in the United States in 1850. A sequence of digits could be added by pressing successive keys. Each key raised a vertical axis to a certain height and the sum was indicated by the total height.
First generation: C. 1940 - 1955Physical endowment
Magnetic tape (near the end of the build)
Computer terminology programs
Assembly language programs (near the end of generation)
Second generation: C. 1955 - 1964Physical endowment
1947 - Converted
1955 - IBM's Transistor Calculator
Printed circuit boards
1956 - FORTRAN
1959 - COBOL
1963 - PDP 8 (1st minicomputer)
Third generation: C. 1964 - 1971Physical endowment
Integrated circuits (c. Developed 1958)
Computer families (1964 - IBM 360)
1970 - Floppy disk
Programs went directly into computers
Higher level languages (1965 - BASIC)
1964 - IBM System 360 Series (1st Family of Computers)
Fourth generation: C. 1971 - PRESENTPhysical endowment
1971 - Microprocessor chip introduced in the US by Intel
Microcomputers (Personal Computers)
Large Scale Integration (LSI)
Very Large Scale Integration (Vlsi)
Windowing systems (graphical user interfaces - GUIs)
1971 - (1st pocket calculator)
1975 - Altaír 8800 (1st PC)
1977 - Apple I (do it yourself kit)
1978 - Apple II (pre-assembled)
1981 - IBM PC
1984 - Waterproof
Future evolutionA constant trend in the development of computers is microminiaturization, an initiative that tends to compress more circuit elements into an increasingly smaller chip space. In addition, the researchers are trying to speed up the operation of circuits by using superconductivity, a phenomenon of decreased electrical resistance that is observed when objects are cooled to very low temperatures.