encyclopedia of computers and computer history pdf

Encyclopedia Of Computers And Computer History Pdf

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Computer , device for processing, storing, and displaying information. A computer is a machine that can store and process information. Most computers rely on a binary system that uses two variables, 0 and 1, to complete tasks such as storing data, calculating algorithms, and displaying information.

History of computing hardware

Computer , device for processing, storing, and displaying information. A computer is a machine that can store and process information. Most computers rely on a binary system that uses two variables, 0 and 1, to complete tasks such as storing data, calculating algorithms, and displaying information. Computers come in many different shapes and sizes, from handheld smartphones to supercomputers weighing more than tons.

Many people throughout history are credited with developing early prototypes that led to the modern computer. Presper Eckert, Jr. As of June the most powerful computer in the world is the Japanese supercomputer Fugaku, developed by Riken and Fujitsu. Popular modern programming languages , such as JavaScript and Python, work through multiple forms of programming paradigms.

Functional programming, which uses mathematical functions to give outputs based on data input, is one of the more common ways code is used to provide instructions for a computer. The most powerful computers can perform extremely complex tasks, such as simulating nuclear weapon experiments and predicting the development of climate change. The development of quantum computers , machines that can handle a large number of calculations through quantum parallelism derived from superposition , would be able to do even more complex tasks.

Some argue that consciousness depends on self-awareness and the ability to think, which means that computers are conscious because they recognize their environment and can process data. Others believe that human consciousness can never be replicated by physical processes.

Computer once meant a person who did computations, but now the term almost universally refers to automated electronic machinery. The first section of this article focuses on modern digital electronic computers and their design, constituent parts, and applications. The second section covers the history of computing. For details on computer architecture , software , and theory, see computer science.

The first computers were used primarily for numerical calculations. However, as any information can be numerically encoded, people soon realized that computers are capable of general-purpose information processing. Their capacity to handle large amounts of data has extended the range and accuracy of weather forecasting.

Their speed has allowed them to make decisions about routing telephone connections through a network and to control mechanical systems such as automobiles, nuclear reactors, and robotic surgical tools. These questions might be about DNA sequences in genes, patterns of activity in a consumer market, or all the uses of a word in texts that have been stored in a database. Increasingly, computers can also learn and adapt as they operate. Computers also have limitations, some of which are theoretical.

For example, there are undecidable propositions whose truth cannot be determined within a given set of rules, such as the logical structure of a computer. Other limitations reflect current technology.

Human minds are skilled at recognizing spatial patterns—easily distinguishing among human faces, for instance—but this is a difficult task for computers, which must process information sequentially, rather than grasping details overall at a glance. Another problematic area for computers involves natural language interactions.

Because so much common knowledge and contextual information is assumed in ordinary human communication, researchers have yet to solve the problem of providing relevant information to general-purpose natural language programs.

Analog computers use continuous physical magnitudes to represent quantitative information. At first they represented quantities with mechanical components see differential analyzer and integrator , but after World War II voltages were used; by the s digital computers had largely replaced them. Nonetheless, analog computers, and some hybrid digital-analog systems, continued in use through the s in tasks such as aircraft and spaceflight simulation. One advantage of analog computation is that it may be relatively simple to design and build an analog computer to solve a single problem.

Their main disadvantages are that analog representations are limited in precision—typically a few decimal places but fewer in complex mechanisms—and general-purpose devices are expensive and not easily programmed. In contrast to analog computers, digital computers represent information in discrete form, generally as sequences of 0s and 1s binary digits, or bits.

The modern era of digital computers began in the late s and early s in the United States , Britain, and Germany. The first devices used switches operated by electromagnets relays. Their programs were stored on punched paper tape or cards, and they had limited internal data storage.

For historical developments, see the section Invention of the modern computer. They were used by major corporations and government research laboratories, typically as the sole computer in the organization. These computers came to be called mainframes, though the term did not become common until smaller computers were built. Mainframe computers were characterized by having for their time large storage capabilities, fast components, and powerful computational abilities.

They were highly reliable, and, because they frequently served vital needs in an organization, they were sometimes designed with redundant components that let them survive partial failures. Because they were complex systems, they were operated by a staff of systems programmers, who alone had access to the computer. Such systems remain important today, though they are no longer the sole, or even primary, central computing resource of an organization, which will typically have hundreds or thousands of personal computers PCs.

Mainframes now provide high-capacity data storage for Internet servers, or, through time-sharing techniques, they allow hundreds or thousands of users to run programs simultaneously. Because of their current roles, these computers are now called servers rather than mainframes.

Computer Article Media Additional Info. Article Contents. Table Of Contents. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies.

Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Facebook Twitter. Give Feedback External Websites. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires login. External Websites. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Paul A. See Article History. Top Questions. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content.

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computer encyclopedia pdf

Comment Report abuse. Top reviews from other countries n n n Quite frankly, I was amazed. Suited for kids aged three to ten, this Encyclopedia for Kids contains information about several topics including nature, animals, plants, social life and technology. A digital computer employs physical device-states as symbols, but an analog computer employs them as models. The revised edition of the Facts On File Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology provides overviews and important facts about these and dozens of other applica

The Modern History of Computing

Historically, computers were human clerks who calculated in accordance with effective methods. These human computers did the sorts of calculation nowadays carried out by electronic computers, and many thousands of them were employed in commerce, government, and research establishments. The term computing machine , used increasingly from the s, refers to any machine that does the work of a human computer, i. This entry surveys the history of these machines.

In fact, calculation underlies many activities that are not normally thought of as mathematical. Walking across a room, for instance, requires many complex, albeit subconscious, calculations. Computers, too, have proved capable of solving a vast array of problems, from balancing a checkbook to even—in the form of guidance systems for robots—walking across a room. Before the true power of computing could be realized, therefore, the naive view of calculation had to be overcome.

History of computing

Mathematical Methods Notes Pdf

A computer is a machine that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically via computer programming. Modern computers have the ability to follow generalized sets of operations, called programs. These programs enable computers to perform an extremely wide range of tasks.

Standards for Mathematical Practice Print this page. Using computers. Notes and References.


Computer, a programmable device for processing, storing, and displaying information. Learn more about modern digital electronic computers and their design.


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The history of computing hardware covers the developments from early simple devices to aid calculation to modern day computers.

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