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Information Communication Technology

Introduction to Computers

Do you know there was a time when owning computers was considered a luxury? But nowadays, they have become a necessity and are being used everywhere like in schools, industries, homes, sports and for defence and agricultural purposes, etc. A computer is a very unique device, which can perform several functions at the same time. Computer can be defined as an electronic device by which we can add, process and store the data, and get the result in the desired form.  In computers, a set of instructions is called a programme and a set of programmes is known as a software. Do you know who was the person behind this great discovery? Charles Babbage, a mathematician, was the person who designed the first computer. Hence, he is also known as the ‘father of computers’. He conducted a lot of research in this field. Let us study a little more about Charles Babbage.  

Charles Babbage (1791-1871) He was born on December 26, 1791 in London. He studied in Trinity college, Cambridge university and was the top mathematician. He disliked errors and unprecision in  calculations. In his time, rate of error in mathematical calculations was really high. Due to this, he decided to make a mechanical machine that can reduced human error factor to the minimum. For the invention of an engine for calculating mathematical and astronomical table, he won the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical society in 1842. He died on October 18, 1871.


Earlier, computers did not have electrical circuits, monitors or storing capacity. ABACUS was the first ancient numerical device which is used for mathematical calculations. It was composed of a rectangular frame, containing parallel bars along which several beads could move.

Generations of computers: Generations of computer technology refers to the changes made in the computer technology, over the time. Earlier, computer used to be a big machine with a lot of heavy wiring, whereas nowadays,  a computer can be carried in hands. Initially, the changes made were limited to those made in hardware technology. However, now it includes both hardware and software developments.The table given below shows the five generations of computers:

Generation Year Technology First 1946-1959 Vacuum tube based Examples: UNIVAC and ENIAC Second 1959-1965 Transistor based These are not in use. Third 1965-1971 Integrated circuit based These are not in use. Fourth 1971-19…

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