Computers: Where this World-changing Device Originated


Computers have been around for a long time and they have changed the way people gain access to information and organize their daily lives which made everything a lot easier and faster. It is usually defined as a device that is capable of processing or computing a set of data.  It is basically anything capable of executing computations which ranges from the smallest of calculators to the largest processing units for as long as they solve equations and understand algorithms, they are computers. 

With this variety of functional capacities that exist because of this device, it becomes fairly difficult to trace back where computers actually started. 

History of Computers

Coining Computers

The use of the term “computer” started in the year 1613. It was supposedly used to address an individual who is capable of executing computations and solving mathematical equations. In this period of time it was exclusively used to coin human beings.

The First Mechanical Computer

The word “computer” initially started out as a reference to people until the year 1822 when Charles Babbage managed to put up a mechanical device called an analytical engine. This device was capable of quickly processing logarithms of logic units. And this is considered as the first mechanical computer to have existed. 

Many controversies as to which mechanical computer really came first due to the existence of other computing devices from other ancestors such as the abacus and ancient dials, but currently, the analytical engine was given favor to have this title.

The Personal Computer

Henry Edward Roberts introduced on the 19th of December, 1974 a computer with a built-in 256 bytes worth of memory, an Intel 8080 processor, and a memory board with a 1024 word memory. 

This device was first called the “PE-8” but was then changed to a more unique name Altair 8800. The word “Altair” was said to be suggested by Robert’s daughter and was derived from an area in the movie Star Trek.

In 1975, Edward Roberts introduced a new terminology to describe Altair 8080, and he called it a “Personal Computer”, at the status quo, this term is still fully applied.

The Pioneer of PCs

Henry Edward Roberts is a businessman, a medical doctor and an engineer. He was the inventor of the first personal computer and is regarded as the father of personal computers. 

Henry Roberts was also the first successful entrepreneur to commercialize personal computers.