Computer

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A computer, is a machine that is designed to perform multiple different tasks set depending on the program it has stored in its memory. These could be solving mathematical problem, or controlling robotic arms. Computers manipulate data in the form of binary code, which is base 2. This means that there can only be a 1 or a 0 in any place value.

Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine.

Prior to the advent of computing machines, the definition for computer was a human being who performed complex mathematical calculations. This was accomplished with the aid of a manual counting device, such as an abacus or a slide rule, and was mainly used by traders and early bankers to keep a reliable record of funds

Charles Babbage, a British scientist who lived in the 19th century, has been credited as the designer of the first digital computer, the Difference Engine, a machine set to do calculations reliably up to six decimal places. It was entirely mechanical. However, the Engine was never constructed, being deemed as "had derived no emolument whatsoever from the government" by a member of parliament. He also designed an even more sophisticated "Analytical Engine", that would actually have been a programmable computer in the modern sense; it, too was mechanical. Though it was never built, Augusta Ada wrote some programs for it (to compute Bernoulli polynomials), making her the world's first computer programmer. A small version of the Difference Engine, was built after his death by his son.[1]

Babbage later designed an even more clever "Difference Engine Number 2", that was also not completed in his lifetime. But in 1991, the bicentennial of Babbage's birth, this computer was built in the British Science Museum, from Babbage's original plans. It operates flawlessly, though a few billion times more slowly than modern electronic computers. It is operated by turning a crank.

The Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine is considered the world's first stored-program computer, 1948.

The first computer comparable to the modern day computer, an electronic calculation machine, was the ENIAC. Built as a artillery support machine, it was unveiled in early 1946.[2]

Contents

Prescient Quotes on Computer Surveillance

See Also



Thanks to Computers we have:


Contrast with:



External Links

References

  1. http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/Babbage.html
  2. http://ftp.arl.army.mil/~mike/comphist/
  3. "Help make mass surveillance of entire populations uneconomical! We all have an unalienable right to privacy, which you can exercise today by encrypting your communications and ending your reliance on proprietary products and services."
  4. "Help make mass surveillance of entire populations uneconomical. We all have a right to privacy, which you can exercise today by encrypting your communications and ending your reliance on proprietary services."
  5. "Organization formed in 1990 to maintain and enhance intellectual freedom, privacy, and other values of civil liberties and democracy in networked communications. Publishes newsletters, Internet Guidebooks and other documents, provides mailing lists and other online forums, and hosts a large electronic document archive. Contact: info@eff.org. 454 Shotwell Street, San Francisco, CA 94110-1914. Tel: (415) 436-9333. Fax: (415) 436-9993. Executive Director: Sheryl Steele."
  6. "EPIC was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging privacy issues relating to the National Information Infrastructure, such as the Clipper Chip, the Digital Telephony proposal, medical records privacy and the sale of consumer data. EPIC conducts litigation, sponsors conferences, produces reports, publishes the EPIC Alert and leads campaigns on privacy issues. For more information email: epic-info@epic.org, or contact EPIC, 1718 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009. Tel: (202) 483-1140. Executive Director: Marc Rotenberg."
  7. "CAUCE is an all volunteer, entirely web-based organization, created by Netizens to advocate for a legislative solution to the problem of UCE (spam). CAUCE began as a discussion group called SPAM-LAW, formed of members who felt that legislation was necessary to stop spam from choking the life out of the Internet. In 1997 CAUCE proposed an amendment to the Federal statute which outlaws junk "faxes" (47 USC 227) to also prohibit junk e-mail, and since then has remained a pre-eminent voice in the anti-spam community. Email: comments@cauce.org. President: Edward Cherlin."
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