Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > General History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

General History General History Forum - General history questions and discussions


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old August 9th, 2007, 08:32 AM   #1

JerseyPerson14's Avatar
Lecturer
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 400
The start of the computer age


When did the computer age start, and how did it start?

I remember when in the early to mid 1990's there were lots and lots of people that did not have a home computer, and also there were lots of small businesses that did not use one either.

When did all the large corporations start using them?
JerseyPerson14 is offline  
Remove Ads
Old August 9th, 2007, 10:05 AM   #2

Belisarius's Avatar
Dominus Historiae
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: U.K.
Posts: 9,687
Re: The start of the computer age


Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyPerson14 View Post
When did the computer age start, and how did it start?

I remember when in the early to mid 1990's there were lots and lots of people that did not have a home computer, and also there were lots of small businesses that did not use one either.

When did all the large corporations start using them?
Did this as part of My IT training. The first commercial computer to be used by a corporation was the LEO1 in 1951. Strangely, it was developed by Lyons Tea Rooms [LEO stands for Lyons Electronic Office]. The first PC was produced by IBM in 1981.
Belisarius is offline  
Old August 9th, 2007, 10:34 AM   #3

PADDYBOY's Avatar
PADDYDONIAN
 
Joined: Jan 2007
From: Scotland
Posts: 6,309
Re: The start of the computer age


I would imagine the computer technology used to send Neil Armstrong to the moon in 1969 would have been very basic by todays standards SCAREE!
PADDYBOY is offline  
Old August 9th, 2007, 11:00 AM   #4

Belisarius's Avatar
Dominus Historiae
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: U.K.
Posts: 9,687
Re: The start of the computer age


Quote:
Originally Posted by PADDYBOY View Post
I would imagine the computer technology used to send Neil Armstrong to the moon in 1969 would have been very basic by todays standards SCAREE!
Yeah, but they didn't play games on them in those days!
Belisarius is offline  
Old August 9th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #5

PADDYBOY's Avatar
PADDYDONIAN
 
Joined: Jan 2007
From: Scotland
Posts: 6,309
Re: The start of the computer age


Quote:
Originally Posted by Belisarius View Post
Yeah, but they didn't play games on them in those days!

The first computer game Iever saw was in a pub in Glasgow and it was the size of a wardrobe, that must have been around 1975ish
It was a little white square that bounced from one side of the monitor to the other, a sort of tennis idea, me and my friends stared at it for five minutes or so, totaly bemused , we just could not figure out how it worked Probably a bit like native Americans when they first saw European gadgets.
PADDYBOY is offline  
Old August 9th, 2007, 01:37 PM   #6

Sir Rich's Avatar
Citizen
 
Joined: Jun 2007
From: Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Posts: 17
Re: The start of the computer age


Quote:
Originally Posted by PADDYBOY View Post
The first computer game Iever saw was in a pub in Glasgow and it was the size of a wardrobe, that must have been around 1975ish
It was a little white square that bounced from one side of the monitor to the other, a sort of tennis idea, me and my friends stared at it for five minutes or so, totaly bemused , we just could not figure out how it worked Probably a bit like native Americans when they first saw European gadgets.
Hahaha I remember that and the high pitched noise it used to make. We were even lucky enough to have one of our own which plugged in the back of the 'telly'. Can't remember what they called the game but the brand name I do remember - Binatone!
Sir Rich is offline  
Old August 10th, 2007, 03:08 AM   #7

Melisende's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2007
From: Australia
Posts: 1,437
Re: The start of the computer age


Ada Lovelace was the founder of scientific computing back in the 1830s.
Melisende is offline  
Old September 3rd, 2007, 06:58 PM   #8

southernlady's Avatar
Academician
 
Joined: Sep 2007
From: NC
Posts: 77
Re: The start of the computer age


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timelin...ting_1950-1979
1951 was a landmark year. Liz
southernlady is offline  
Old September 3rd, 2007, 08:08 PM   #9
Citizen
 
Joined: Sep 2007
From: Mexico City, Mexico
Posts: 34
Re: The start of the computer age


It depends on your definition of "computer". There's an ancient Greek device made up of some interlocking gears that seems to be some sort of adding machine. And Blas Paschal (or Pascal) did invent an adding machine himself. Thomas Edison invented an electric voting machine for Congress (didn't work out), and the first electronic computer ever was built for the U.S. Census Bureau.

The first practical computers, nevertheless, appeared in the U.S. during World War II, and were mainly used to make complicated ballistic calculations. They continued evolving over the years, and there were some important milestones, like Univac I (1951). Their computing power was very limited, indeed; their internal memory could be measured in kilobytes, and they had to be re-wired each time they changed their program. Besides, they burned a lot of energy - using vacuum tubes they were humongous machines that needed constant cares and generated a lot of heat. They were not very practical by today's standards, but they did have an advantage: their computing power was many times faster and accurate than that of their human creators. They were capable of performing basic math operations very quickly, and thus they were very useful for calculating-intensive applications like trajectory planning or ballistics or other engineering purposes.

When NASA put the Gemini rockets on orbit, and then during the Apollo program, they had to develop some really breathtaking advances. For starters, they were the first applications of telecomunications: both the lunar module and the control vehicle had a "portable" computer, capable of calculating the trajectory of the ship and controlling the rockets that gave it direction. Those computers were connected ("uplinked") to another, bigger machine on Earth by means of radio frequency. It was necessary to have two control rooms: one in Florida, and one in Hawaii, because the rotation of Earth caused the radio signal from the rockets to diminish and disappear as the day passed.

For comparisson purposes, let's just say that the computing power in those big, impressive machines was by no means bigger than that in one of today's electronic wristwatches. But then again, those computers were mission-specific, and were built for a very clear purpose.

During the 1970s computers evolved more and more, and finally made it en masse to the business world. They were used to balance budgets, control inventories, process sales and calculate taxes and payrolls. They were still huge, but the main advance was that now they were able to store programs and data on different media; first, the old-fashioned punched cards, then magnetic tapes, floppy disks, and hard drives.

Then, during the 1980s we saw the birth of personal computing and the origins of the technologies we use today. There were many different brands of PCs, not only IBM; Commodore Business Machines, Apple Computer, Tandy / Radio Shack, Osborne... all of them had their own advantages and disadvantages, but in the end the industry defined standards for open architectures capable of running different operating systems, capable of being updated both in software and hardware, and still being compatible with previous versions of the programs and data: the birth of the Microsoft empire.
Mike2000 is offline  
Old September 16th, 2007, 03:36 PM   #10

Edgewaters's Avatar
Contrarian
 
Joined: Jul 2007
From: Canada
Posts: 8,472
Re: The start of the computer age


Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyPerson14 View Post
When did all the large corporations start using them?
Errr ... like the 1960s. By the 70s every major business had a mainframe. PCs by the late 80s.

Home computers were around in the early 80s (and before). We had one (a Vic-20), our neighbours had one (a TSR-80) etc. Not everyone had one, but not everyone had a colour TV either. When I was 6 or 7 (late 70s) I even remember a babysitter who had one of some sort in her home. I used to try to pretend I was playing Space Invaders by filling the top of the screen with characters and then using arrow keys and the delete button to move the cursor around like I was shooting the aliens.

What we didn't have was a microwave (not until the mid-80s). Nobody really thought computers were all that amazing in the early 80s, because those ones weren't. You could play a few games, and write a program that made a big coloured circle or did some math ... nothing really useful or interesting. You got a book with alot of these machines showing how you could write a program in Basic to keep track of your bills or plan meals or whatever - but this was not practical in any way at all. Kitchen-size microwaves in the home, however, were amazing! We thought that was The Future. If you had a microwave in 1982, your kitchen was Futuristic. If you had a TRS-80 you were basically just an updated HAM radio amateur, just a hobby that did nothing useful.

Computers weren't very interesting until the X86 IBM machines started to be cloned, beginning in the late 80s. XTs, 286s and 386s were all fairly common by the early 90s, there were alot more people interested, and alot more people understood their machines and could build them or replace parts. BBSes also played a huge role in popularizing the computer; the Internet before the Internet.

The "computer age" in the sense you refer to it; it would more accurately be termed the Internet Age. Internet is really the thing that spurred the ubiquitousness of the PC, and I'd say that by '95, it was really underway.

Last edited by Edgewaters; September 16th, 2007 at 03:42 PM.
Edgewaters is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > General History

Tags
start


Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Where did the history of Catholics start? nazone Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology 26 July 10th, 2009 07:46 PM
When did WWII start? Commander War and Military History 25 February 10th, 2007 09:50 AM
top candidate for the start of the renaissance tedkaw Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology 7 November 2nd, 2006 03:44 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.