Invented the Computer,3 Amazing Facts

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Charles Babbage was an important figure in the history of computing.

The calculating machine of English mathematician Charles Babbage (1791-1871) is one of the most famous icons in the history of prehistoric arithmetic. 

The International Charles Babbage Society is the name of this organisation (later the Charles Babbage Institute) adopted his name to honour his intellectual contributions and their relationship to modern computing.


Mathematician, philosopher, engineer and inventor Charles Babbage focused all his energy on developing an analytical engine, which was even more ambitious because it could perform more complex calculations by performing multiplication and division operations. 

Again, Babbage never got beyond the design stage.

 Still, these designs that he started in 1837 may not make him the father of computing, but they make him a seer of the future.

Babbage died before many of his creations (including his Difference Engine and Analytical Engine) were fully developed, but he remains a luminary in the field of computational thinking.

 Part of Babbage’s incomplete mechanism is on display at the Science Museum in London.

  •  In 1991, Babbage’s original plans allowed the creation of a Difference Engine that was fully functional.
  • The success of finished engines built to tolerances achievable in the 19th century showed that Babbage’s machine could work.
  • Charles Babbage is credited with developing the first automatic machine.

Charles Babbage is generally credited with developing the first automatic digital computers. 

In the mid-1830s, Babbage developed plans for the Analytical Engine.

 Although never completed, the Analytical Engine would have most of the basic elements of today’s computers.

In 1837, Charles Babbage introduced the first general-purpose mechanical computer, the Analytical Engine. 

The Analytical Engine has an ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit), basic flow control, punched cards (inspired by Jacquard looms), and onboard memory. 

The first general computing concept can be used to avoid navigation and construction errors. 

Around this time, it is not just one specific computation. 

He developed the design for the first computer, the Difference Engine.

 Unfortunately, for economic reasons, these computers were never built in Charles Babbage’s lifetime.

 The vision of Babbage

  • In 1910, Charles Babbage’s youngest son, Henry Babbage, could complete parts of the machine and perform basic calculations.
  • Charles Babbage was a major player in the early days of computing.
  • British scientist Charles Babbage, the father of computing, thought so too. His first effort was the “Difference Engine”, which he began building in 1822.

Because of this vision, Babbage is often referred to as the “father of computing,” and for a good reason, but through his efforts, this vision has yet to come to fruition. 

His initial endeavour was known as the Difference Engine.

 He started constructing in 1822—based on the finite-difference principle, which performed complex mathematical calculations through a series of simple additions and subtractions, avoiding multiplication and division.

  • He even built a small calculator to demonstrate that his method worked. Still, he needed help to make a differentiating machine to fill those coveted tables of logarithms and trigonometric functions with accurate data. 

Ida Lovelace’s mother, Lady Byron, claimed to have seen a working prototype – albeit of limited complexity and precision – in 1833. Still, by then, Babbage had run out of funding from the British government.

Charles Babbage is considered the father of computer science

  • Charles Babbage is considered the father of computing and made significant contributions to the field of computing.
  • He is credited with being the first scientist to design an electronic device that could compute. Listed are some publications by the father of computing.
  • Charles Babbage (1791-1871), His work influenced other thinkers such as John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx. His pioneering work in the field of computers is what brought him the most fame in modern times.
The old computer
The old dusty, functioning computer

A computer

  • A computer is a digital machine capable of performing mathematical, arithmetic and logical calculations. 
  • It can also run a variety of programs, from simple to complex. The first year after its invention, Charles Babbage built the first computer. 
  • The concept of the electronic computer is said to have originated with the British mathematician Charles Babbage.

 However, physical data processors were developed in 1991. The term “father” of modern computers is often used to refer to him. and technology and it was the pioneers who brought the idea of computers into people’s everyday lives for the first time.

 In 1945, during World War II, he built the first modern computer. He called him “The Colossus”. He built a computer the size of a room in his house.

And for this, Charles Babbage, a mathematician and inventor from the United Kingdom, is given credit for the invention. 

With designing the first automatic digital computer.

 In the mid-1830s, Babbage developed plans for an analytical engine. Although never finished, the analysis engine will have most of the basic elements of today’s computers.

The evolution and history of the computer

The first fifty years of the 20th century were marked by analogue computers that used direct mechanical or electrical models of matter as a basis for calculations and were used to perform various computational tasks. 

During this time, these computers became more and more advanced. 

On the other hand, those old computers lacked the flexibility and accuracy of modern computers and the ability to program or perform current digital calculations.

Computer LearningMole
Businessman jumping from old computer to new laptop

 Sir William Thomson built the first modern computer in less than a year. It happened in 1872. In 1876, James Thomson invented the differential analyser. 

A differential analyser was a mechanical information processing system that used a wheel and disc mechanism to solve differential equations. 

He was the elder brother and uncle of Sir William Thomson. A differential analyser developed by MIT H.L. Hazen and Bush in 1927 is the pinnacle of analogue computer concepts. James Thomson and H. V. Niemann. 

About a dozen of these devices were built before they were known to become obsolete. The widespread use of digital electronic calculators in the 1950s effectively ended the use of many analogue calculators.

 In 1938, the United States developed a small electromechanical electronic computer that could be carried on a submarine. 

The Torpedo Data Computers solved the problem of successfully firing a torpedo at a moving target using advanced mathematical concepts such as trigonometry. During World War II, other countries developed very similar devices.

Electronic circuit computers quickly replaced mechanical and electromechanical computers, and analogue computing gradually disappeared in favour of digital computing. 

In the 1930s, Tommy Flowers began to explore the potential of using electronics for telephone exchanges. 

An experimental device he installed in 1934 and put into operation five years later transformed part of a telephone switching network using thousands of vacuum tubes into an electronic processing system. 

1942 Researchers at Iowa State University, John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford E. Berry, USA, built and tested the Atanasoff-Berry computer, considered the first automatic electronic computer. The design was also fully electronic, using approximately 300 vacuum tubes. Memory consists of capacitors mechanically attached to a rotating drum.

During World War II, codebreakers working for the British government at Bletchley Park could crack encrypted German military communications using a device known as the ENIGMA machine. 

The first attack on the German Enigma cypher machine was an electromechanical bomb. Max Newman and his colleagues assigned flowers to break into an advanced German Lorenz SZ 40/42 apparatus used for advanced communications in the military. 

He worked on the design and construction of the original Colossus for 11 months, beginning in early February 1943. 

The encoder known as Colossus was returned to Bletchley Park in December 1943 after functional tests.

 It arrived on 18 January 1944 and opened its first message on 5 February 1944.

The Colossus computer was the world’s first programmable electronic computer

Despite the fact that it used many valves and paper tape inputs and performed many Boolean operations on data, it needed to be a complete Turing computer. 

The Electronic Digital Integrator and Computer, better known as ENIAC, was the first programmable electronic computer to be produced in the United States. 

It was like Colossus but much faster, more flexible, and able to solve all of Turing’s problems. ENIAC defined a program that differed from later inventions of electromechanics, which used patch cords and programs to store the state of switches. After writing the program, it was necessary to manually reset the plugs and switches to install them mechanically in the car. It took some time.

It combines the ultra-fast processing power of electronics with the ability to program for various demanding tasks. 

It can add or subtract 5,000 times per second, ten times faster than any other device. Multiplication, division and root modules are also included. Memory can only store 20 words at a time at high speed. 

ENIAC was founded in 1943-1945 by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert. 

The massive machine weighed 30 tons and consumed 200 kilowatts of electricity, in addition to more than 18,000 vacuum tubes, 1,500 relays, and tens of thousands of resistors, capacitors, and inductors.

Alan Turing made the first public proposal for what would become the modern computer in 1936.

Big data with the digital globe

 Turing proposed a simple machine called a “Universal Computing machine,” which would later evolve into the concept of universal computing.

 The electronic computer could compute anything that could be computed by running programmes stored on tape, allowing the machine to become programmable

Turing’s central contribution to the design of modern computers is the concept of the stored programme, in which all computing instructions are saved in memory.

 The invention of Turing machines paved the way for the evolution of modern computing. 

Turing completeness requires that modern computers be able to execute algorithms like that of universal data processors.

 The only restriction is that modern computers only have limited storage space.

Personal computers are commonplace in most homes due to technological advancements, and they are the primary driver of global modernisation efforts.

 Modern digital computers link people all over the world; as a result, computers are required on a daily basis by everyone in order to maintain their standard of living. 

Personal computers in the twenty-first century have evolved into portable devices such as laptops, palmtops, and digital portable phones that can be easily transported from one location to another. 

Modern electronics and semiconductors have reduced device size and incorporated extremely large storage capacity into a very small space. 

These advancements have been made possible due to progress in these areas.

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