Earliest Computer

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The architecture of the first man made computers

Earliest Computer

  • Originally calculations were computed by humans, whose job title was computers.

  • These human computers were typically engaged in the calculation of a mathematical expression.

  • The calculations of this period were specialized and expensive, requiring years of training in mathematics.

  • The first use of the word "computer" was recorded in 1613, referring to a person who carried out calculations, or computations, and the word continued to be used in that sense until the middle of the 20th century.

Tally Sticks

A tally stick was an ancient memory aid device to record and document numbers, quantities, or even messages.

Tally sticks


  • An abacus is a mechanical device used to aid an individual in performing mathematical calculations.

  • The abacus was invented in Babylonia in 2400 B.C.

  • The abacus in the form we are most familiar with was first used in China in around 500 B.C.

Earlier Abacus Modern Abacus

abacus image

The bead frame form is what most people think of when they hear the word, "abacus". There are 3 main forms of abacus in use today; the Chinese, the Japanese, and the Russian. All are composed of a rectangular frame with beads on vertical wires. The number of wires and beads vary, and there may or may not be a horizontal divider in the frame.

Characteristics of abacus

  • It is constructed as a board that consists of beads that slide on wire.It uses beads as counter to calculate in discrete form

  • it is divided by a wooden bar or rod into two zones

  • It has a beans or stones moved in grooves in tablets of wood or metal

  • It is a non-mechanical device

  • It is divided by a wooden bar or rod into two zone

  • It is used to perform arithmetic operations such as addition and subtraction efficiently.

Napier’s Bones

  • Invented by John Napier in 1614.

  • Allowed the operator to multiply, divide and calculate square and cube roots by moving the rods around and placing them in specially constructed boards.

Slide Rule

  • Invented by William Oughtred in 1622.

  • It was based on Napier's ideas about logarithms. Used primarily for multiplication and division, and also for "scientific" functions such as roots, logarithms and trigonometry, but is not normally used for addition or subtraction


  • Invented by Blaise Pascal in 1642.

  • It was its limitation to addition and subtraction.

  • It is too expensive.

Jacquard Loom

  • The Jacquard loom is a mechanical loom, invented by Joseph-Marie Jacquard in 1881.

  • It an automatic loom controlled by punched cards.


  • A mechanical calculator invented by Thomas de Colmar in 1820,

  • The first reliable, useful and commercially successful calculating machine.

  • The machine could perform the four basic mathematic functions.

  • The first mass-produced calculating machine.

Difference Engine and Analytical Engine

  • It an automatic, mechanical calculator designed to tabulate polynomial functions.

  • Invented by Charles Babbage in 1822 and 1834

  • It is the first mechanical computer.

Difference Engine Analytical Engine

First Computer Programmer

  • In 1840, Augusta Ada Byron suggests to Babbage that he use the binary system. She wrote programs for the Analytical Engine.

Scheutzian Calculation Engine

  • Invented by Per Georg Scheutz in 1843.

  • Based on Charles Babbage's difference engine.

The first printing calculator

Tabulating Machine

  • Invented by Herman Hollerith in 1890.

  • To assist in summarizing information and accounting.

Havard Mark 1

  • Also known as IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC).

  • Invented by Howard H. Aiken in 1943

  • The first electro-mechanical computer.


  • The first programmable computer. Created by Konrad Zuse in Germany from 1936 to 1938.To program the Z1 required that the user insert punch tape into a punch tape reader and all output was also generated through punch tape.

Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC)

  • It was the first electronic digital computing device.

  • Invented by Professor John Atanasoff and graduate student Clifford Berry at Iowa State University between 1939 and 1942.

Prof.John Atanasoff-Berry Computer


  • ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer.

  • It was the first electronic general purpose computer.

  • Completed in 1946.

  • Developed by John Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchl.



  • The UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer 1) was the first commercial computer.

  • Designed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly.



  • EDVAC stands for Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer

  • The First Stored Program Computer

  • Designed by Von Neumann in 1952.

  • It has a memory to hold both a stored program as well as data.

The First Portable Computer

  • Osborne 1 – the first portable computer.

  • Released in 1981 by the Osborne Computer Corporation.

The First Computer Company

The first computer company was the Electronic Controls Company was founded in 1949 by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly

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