A Brief History on Computers

It is said that a computer doesn’t necessarily have to be the usual devices we know, accompanied by a mouse or a trackpad and a keyboard. A computer generally is any electronic device capable of creating data, retaining data and transmitting data. In this regard, a smart phone is a computer! A calculator is a computer!

The first computers date back to 2400BC when the abacus, the first known calculator, was invented in Babylonia. Yes, Jesus is younger than computers! In 300BC, Pingala invented the binary system.


Later on, in 60AD, Hezron of Alexandria invented the machines which follow a series of instructions. In 1492, Da Vinci depicted flying machines, the first mechanical calculators and one of the first programmable robots. In 1642, Blaise Pascal invented the “Pascaline”, a mechanical adding machine.

In 1822, the Analytical Engine was invented by Charles Babbage. Most institutions teach that Babbage was the father of computers, but clearly, he was just a grandchild in regards to the founding fathers of computers. 17 years later, Samuel Morse invented the Morse Code. Later on in the century, Alexander Graham Bell invented the Photophone, a telephone. 15 years later, Guglielmo Marconi invented radio signals.

20th Century Development:

The 20th century became the century where almost every matter relating to computers developed fully. For starters, IBM was formed on June 15th 1911. The next year, Alan Turing was born on June 23rd 1912. John Logie Baird invented the electromagnetic television system in 1924. In 1937, the 25-year old Alan Turing, developed the concept of a theoretical computing machine. hp_logo_2012-svg_In 1939, William Hewlett and David Packard started the Hewlett Packard computer line.

The now 31-year old Alan Turing developed the code-breaking machine Colossus in 1943. In 1949, Claude Shannon built the first machine that plays chess. Guess he was tired of ‘playing around’! Come 1950, the first electronic computer was created in Japan by Hideo Yamachito. In 1953, the IBM 701 became available and a total of 19 were sold to the scientific community. In 1961, General Motors (GM) put the first industrial robot, Unimate, to work in a factory in New Jersey. IBM later introduced the first word processor in 1964.

The Colossus Computer

Intel introduced the world’s first available dynamic RAM chip and the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004 in 1970. The next year, Ray Tomlinson invented the email. A year after in 1972, Atari released Pong, the first commercial video game. The next two years were probably the most instrumental in the computer world as in 1975, Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, whereas in 1976, the Apple computers were introduced by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. In 1977, the Apple II was demonstrated. This was the first personal computer with color graphics.

By 1979, over half a million computers were in use in the United States. In 1982, The Commodore 64 became the best-selling computer of all time. The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) made its debut in 1985. On August 6th 1991, the World Wide Web was launched to the public. In 1998, Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded

Come 2002, approximately 1 billion pcs had already been sold. Facebook was launched in 2004 while Twitter launched in 2006. Apple launched the first iPad in 2010 and by 2012, Google Chrome had 28% worldwide usage share of web browsers.

So, what next?

Post Author: Mũigai Mũya

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