The history of the computer
What is a computer? At first glance the question seems superfluous.
However, today, almost every child knows what a computer is. And you are most likely sitting in front of one while reading this. But did you know that the term was used until the 40′s not on machines but on people?
They were mathematically educated people – mostly women – in the design offices in the U.S. and Britain performing calculations by means of tables.
In complete mechanical construction, no relays or tubes, Konrad Zuse developed from 1936 to 1938 the first freely programmable machine.
It was programmed by paper tape (35mm) and already used the Dual System and dominated floating point computation. The number of input and output were binary.
It was not fully operational due to mechanical deficiencies. Because of its forward-logical concept, the Z1 is often considered to be the first very simple computer. 1949 Edmund C. Berkeley and Simon presented the first digital programmable machine for home use.
It consisted of 50 relays and was distributed in the form of construction plans of which were sold over 400 copies in the first ten years.
The first “PC”
In 1968, the Hewlett-Packard Company brought the HP-9100A a programmable computing device on the market, which was to acquire for twice the average gross annual salary.
It is noteworthy that this work was performed without the use of integrated circuits.
In an advertisement for the first time in literature, the machine was described as a PC, although it was neither price nor technically equivalent with today’s understanding of a PC.