Brief history of the computer

The word ‘computer’ was coined in 1613. It was used to signify an individual that worked on computations or calculations. The automated computing engine came along in 1822. It was able to calculate sets of numbers and turn out the results in hard copies. The first programmable computer came along in 1943. The Colossus was created to crack the code on encrypted German messages. There are many that believe these code breakers shifted the tide of WWII.

In 1955, MIT introduced the Whirlwind machine. Its distinction was being the first computer with RAM and real time graphics. In 1968, HP marketed the first personal computer, the HP 9100A. Intel produced the microprocessor in 1971. In 1975, IBM brought us the portable computer. It had a five inch screen and weighed 55 pounds. At only 24.5 pounds, the Osborne is still considered by many to be the first true portable computer. Released in 1981, it had 64 bytes of memory and two floppy drives. The first Apple, called the Apple I, was designed by Steven Wozniak in 1976. The first clone is the Compaq Portable, manufactured in 1983.

None of the engineers that worked on these designs could have imagined what their work would inspire. Hand held computers that can contact the other side of the world instantly, that are sliver thin and weight less than a few pounds. We’ve gone from servers that take up entire floors to hand held devices capable of equal storage or more. There are storage systems that function in a ‘cloud,’ a concept that would have stunned our computer forefathers. It’s been one of the most amazing technological curves in history.

Let’s be thankful for the innovation that’s made it all possible.

First computer

World’s first computer