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  • Jimena Schoemann de Miguel

The History of Computers

Charles Babbage was the first to discover computers and thus is known as ”the father of computers.” The first digital computer was actually discovered in 1945. Charles Babbage designed the first mechanical computer in 1822. It was called the ABC, and it is the basis for what we now know as the modern computer. The ABC weighed over 700 pounds and used vacuum tubes, had a rotating drum a little bigger than a paint can, and a small capacitor. The inventor of the ABC, Charles Babbage, was born on December 26th in London, England. He passed away in 1871 on October 18th.  


According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the C64 is the best-selling single computer model of all time with astonishing sales of about 30 million units between 1980 and 1993. The least powerful type of computer is microcomputer.  


There are three main types of computers: analogue computers, digital computers and hybrid computers. Analogue computers have several advantages over digital computers. For example, they have fast processing of complex equations, continuous and precise presentation, and real-time and complex simulation abilities. However, they have limited accuracy of results in upgrades and modifications, and they are expensive to maintain. Compared to digital computers, analogue computers are slow in the computation. Digital computers have large memory and thus can store large amounts of data. The limitation of a digital computer is in the calculations per second.  

Hybrid computers are also extremely useful, as they have tremendous speed and provide precise, detailed results. They have high data real-time results that are made available immediately, but they use way more energy to complete the same tasks as other computers, and they are expensive because they are more complex than analogue and digital computers.  


Over time, computers got more portable and went from 700 pounds, which is roughly 317 kilograms, to 20-30 pounds or 9-13 kilograms. They are sleeker and smaller and have a minimalistic look. They do a very important job in the work industry and many workers depend on them. Computers were one of the first steps in the technological industry. 


 Fun facts about computers:

Once a 15-year-old hijacked NASA’s computers which resulted in NASA having to halt for 21 days.

The Russians developed a computer that operated on water.

Out of the top 500 supercomputers, only as little as two of them are Windows-based whilst the other 485 are Linux-based.

Every month over 5,000 new computer viruses are released.  

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