The Invention Of Vacuum Tube Computer Science Essay

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Computers and computer use have become part of our everyday routines. Aside from writing papers, playing games on the Internet and Instant Messaging your friends, how much do you REALLY know about computers?

This investigation will take you back in time to explore the history of computers. Using the provided links you will learn about the first computer (is it really a computer?), and will learn some key names associated with the development of computers. You will also voyage into the middle of a computer to learn about its parts and their functions. By the end of you investigation you will become more familiar with computers and will be able to apply you newly attained knowledge into daily computer use.   

Computers are an exciting feature of the modern day society and they're not something that new. They've been around before the 70's, but never have they been so dominant in our society as they have in the 21st century.  The history of computers goes back only a few decades, and it's amazing how far the industry has progressed in such a short period of time.  As we move into the future, we tend to forget about the important past.

Computers have become such an integral part of our lives that we take them for granted.  Computers help us work and play.  They have been incorporated into almost everything we own -- our cars, televisions, microwave ovens, medical devices, etc.  Where did these wonderful machines come from?  Who invented them?  What are some of the changes that have taken place over the years?  How did they become so important to us?  Why are they so much a part of our lives today?


"If I were to make a history book of the years from 1981 to 1996, I would put computers on the cover. Computers, you may ask?, Yes computers, because if there were suddenly no computers on the world, there would be total chaos. People could not; communicate, commute, make business transactions, purchase things, or do most things in their daily routine, because power plants use computers to control the production of electricity. 

The way of the computing world is changing at a neck breaking pace. People are looking for computers to be easy to use, and to make life easier for them. The computer manufacturers and software developers have started to tailor computers and programs to fit the needs of the new "Computer age". Graphical Interface Software (GUI) began to make computing easier and people who never dreamed of owning computers began to buy them."

The first computer was conceptualized by a 19th century British mathematician named Charles Babbage (creator of the speedometer ) whose Analytical Engine, a programmable logic center with memory, was never built even though Babbage worked on it for 40 years. During World War II, the British built Colossus I, a computer designed to break Nazi military codes, while at Harvard, IBM's Mark I computer was assembled.


Figure 2 : Charles Babbage

Figure 1 : First Charles Babbage Computer

The invention of vacuum tube:

In 1946, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator), was put to work at the University of Pennsylvania. Designed to perform artillery firing calculations, ENIAC was America's first digital electronic computer. Unlike the Mark I, which used electromechanical relays, ENIAC used vacuum tubes 18,000 of them, in fact and was much faster. The Mark I, Colossus and ENIAC used the binary system, which reduced the counting process to two digits, 0 and 1. This was compatible with the basis of computer operation, combinations of on-off (yes-no) switches called logic gates that responded to electrical charges and produced information called bits. (A cluster of eight bits was called a byte.)


Figure 3 : Vacuum tube computer

The Invention of Transistor:

In 1947, Bell Labs invented the transistor, which replaced the vacuum tube as a faster, smaller conduit of electrical current, and a few years later the Labs produced Leprechaun, the world's first fully transistorized computer.C:\Users\NAPSTER\Desktop\EP\trans1.gif

Figure 4 : First transistor computer

After the invention of transistor the size of the computer has reduced in very large range. But still they need to make the computer smaller for easy use.

The Invention of Microchip:

One of the transistor's inventors, William Shockley, left Bell Labs and started his own firm in Palo Alto, California the center of an area that would soon be known as Silicon Valley. Shockley discovered that any number of interconnected transistors or circuits could be placed on a microchip of silicon. One drawback of the microchip that it was "hard-wired" and thus could perform only the duties for which it was designed was resolved by Intel Corporation's invention of the microprocessor. The microprocessor could program a single chip to perform a variety of tasks. These technological advances made computers smaller, faster and more affordable, paving the way for the advent of the personal computer.

The first personal computer was the Altair 8800, which briefly appeared on the scene in 1975. Two years later, the Apple II was unveiled. According to Time, it was "the machine that made the revolution," and was the offspring of Steven Jobs and Steven Wozniak. The latter was Apple's star designer, while Jobs used uncanny marketing skills to build Apple into a highly profitable concern with stock worth $1.7 billion by 1983. The personal computer did not long remain the private domain of Apple and one or two other upstart companies.C:\Users\NAPSTER\Desktop\EP\altair8800.jpg

Figure 5 : The first personal computer ALTAIR 8800

In 1981, IBM introduced its PC, having previously focused its efforts on manufacturing mainframe business computers. Incorporating the Intel microprocessor, the IBM PC set the standard for quality. That same year, Adam Osborne, a Bangkok-born British columnist, introduced a 24-pound portable computer with detachable keyboard, 64K of memory and a diminutive five-inch screen, which retailed for $1,795.

The invention of the Laptop:

The progenitor of the laptop, the Osborne I was so successful that a host of imitators quickly followed. Even more compact than the Osborne, Clive Sinclair's 12-ounce ZX80, marketed in 1980 (as the Timex Sinclair 1000 in the U.S.) introduced many people to the possibilities of computers, in spite of its limitations, thanks to a $99 list price. One of the most popular and least expensive personal computers of the early Eighties was the $595 Commodore 64.C:\Users\NAPSTER\Desktop\EP\zx80.jpg

Figure 6: The first laptop ZX80

The invention of the Windows:

Since most computers where being make to fit the IBM compatible standards, Microsoft saw the need to replace DOS (Disk Operating System) with something easier to use. That is when they developed Windows, which covered the difficult to use DOS with a new face that made computing easier. The first Windows was a start in the right direction. In an effort to make computing meet the needs of the public, Microsoft developed Windows 95. Windows 95 has the appearance of being a completely user friendly operating system and it pretty much is as far as the average user is concerned.C:\Users\NAPSTER\Desktop\EP\Windows 95.jpg

Figure 7: windows 95

The compatibility with most hardware makes it easy for someone to upgrade their computer. The desktop is designed so the user has point and click access to all their open and closed programs.

Today everyone wants the fastest computer with the best monitor and fastest modem this was an interrupt address nightmare until Windows 95 was developed.

Invention of windows 3.x:

Following times people needs, Fancy big screen monitors and connect to the Internet with high speed modems. They can also want put in faster video cards that use all the nice Windows 95 features, thus making their computing less complicated Windows 95 is set up with novice users in mind.

Windows 3.x, it has boxes that open up with the program inside called windows. These windows are used to make computing more exciting for the user. No one wants to look at a screen with just plain text anymore. Before a window is opened, it is represented by an icon. Double clicking this icon with the mouse pointer will open the application window for the user to work in. Once the window has been opened, all visible functions of the program will be performed within it.


Figure 8 : windows 3.1

Following windows 3.x there was a lot of versions has been released, and 3.x is a good start of the computer evolution. After that windows 98, windows 2000, windows XP, windows vista and lastly windows 7 has been released for a operating system.

The latest invention of the computer:

At first the computers size was a one container. Now the computers are palm size. and there was a lot of models( mini laptop, notebook, supper computer, and ect..) and lot of operating systems( Anroid, linux,ubunthu, and ect …)


Figure 9 : the latest products


The revolution of computers is an interesting topic for all ages.  Exploring how computers and technology have affected our past, are affecting our present.

Every invention of small product leads us to make very big successful invent. Computer is the very important invention in mankind. Let's see, without computer nowadays people can't easily finish anything.