Development and Types of Computers

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What are the different types of computers, Development of computers, How many types of computers are there.

There are many computers that followed each other and were creating new pieces of brilliance from B.C. to this generation. Different people created different types of computers and here are the list of typical old computer names:


Abacus B.C.
Slide rule 1620
Pascal’s computer 1642
Leibnitz’s computer 1690
Jacquards Loom 1801
Difference engine 1822
Analytical engine 1833

1. Abacus:

This was one of the earliest counting devices. It was developed between 1000 and 300 B.C. and used a combination of beads strung on 20 rods to aid counting. Even though the device is very old, it is capable of giving quick results when used by experts.

2. Slide Rule:

In 1620, William oughtred invented a calculating device based on the principle of logarithms introduced by Napier know as slide rule. The rule is made up of two scales which when joined together make it possible to obtain results through addition, subtraction, division etc. The results can be obtained by merely scanning the scales.

3. Pascal Calculator:

The famous French mathematician Blaise Pascal invented it in 1642. Dialing numbered wheels did input of numbers, which was transferred to a result dialed by toothed wheels. Only straight addition and subtraction could be performed. Only repeated addition and subtraction could perform multiplication and division.

4. Leibnitz Calculator:

It was in 1690 that the German mathematician Gottfried Leibnitz invented a machine which was based on Pascal’s calculator but was an improvement over it. It was capable of doing, straight multiplication and division , part of addition and subtraction.

5. Jacquards Loom:

Joseph Jacquard developed in 1801 an automatic weaving loom which used punched cards instructions for controlling the weaving patten of the cloth. The punched cards were held together by a continuous strip and were fed into weaving machine automatically.

6. Difference engine:

Charles Babbage developed his Difference Engine around 1822. It was a mechanical device and was used for making numerical tables. He used the method of constant differences to calculate the successive values of the table.

7. Analytical Engine:

Babbage brought out in 1833 the plans for analytical engine. Its design was much more superior to the difference engine, and had the capability of solving any mathematical problem. But the deigns he prepared are widely appreciated even today, as they are similar to our modern day computers. Lady Ada Auguste who documented all his work, assisted him. Lady Ada was the world first programmer and today we have the “Ada” language ,which is named after her.

Types of computers:

1. Analog computers:

They were used for processing data that vary continuously. The data is given in continuous form. It is useful in engineering designs and continuous calculations as required in integration and differentiation in mathematics. It is incapable of taking decisions. It is used in measuring humidity, speed, the amount of current flowing etc.

2. Digital computers:They are much more accurate than analog and perform calculations by counting.The digital computers are of two types:

  • General purpose:  Classifications depending upon speed and the power of computer.
  • Special purpose:  It is made for carrying out specific tasks and is designed keeping these taks in mind.

They are widely used in airports to monitor arrivals and departures and also been widely used for army, banks and government organizations.

3. Hybrid Computers:

They incorporate the best features of both analog and digital computers. They can be used in all such problem areas where continuous and digital processing is required.For example, the weather monitoring where it takes the continuous information and then converted into numbers and supplied to digital component and then the monitor can be used to monitor weather and predict cyclones etc.


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