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The computer has become a mainstay in many people’s lives. But did you know about these interesting facts before?
Computers have become essential parts of our modern life. We use them for work, school, shopping, entertainment, and just about everything else.
But where did it all start for these innovative devices and what does the future hold? This is how the computer has changed over time.
The first automatic computing engine did not look like you expected
The first automatic computer engines were invented in the 19th century and were called the Babbage Differential Engine. However, it was conceptualized in advance by Johann Helfrich von Müller.
Müller was a German engineer who outlined a proposed structure for this computer on paper in the late 18th century. However, unfortunately for him, the technology had not yet reached the point where he could build the device himself.
Babbage’s difference engine was huge, weighing about five tons. It was designed to solve complex mathematical problems that took a long time to solve manually.
Some argue that the Computer and Electronic Numerical Integrator (ENIAC) was the first real computer. More than a century after the invention of Babbage’s difference machine, John Mauchly invented this device. He quickly applied for a patent, which allowed him to take credit for the first computer.
The first computer monitor was created in 1973
Neither the Babbage Machine nor the ENIAC are anything like the computers we use today. The first computer with a monitor was invented in 1973 and was called the Xerox Alto.
The Xerox Alto was developed by PARC, an American company, as a research system. Its easy-to-use features added to its innovative position in the electronics industry. Even a child could operate this computer, which was practically impossible for the Babbage Difference Engine or ENIAC.
Alto paved the way for modern graphical user interfaces (GUIs) with its easy-to-use graphics software. The Alto’s display used a bitmap display, a rudimentary computer output device, but quite impressive for the 1970s. It even had its own mouse, although it looked quite different than the ones we use today.
The first publicly available laptop came just nine years after the first monitor
It doesn’t really look much like a laptop, does it?
This device is called Osborne 1 and it was the first laptop to be made available to the public. It was created by Adam Osborne, a British author and software publisher, in 1981. This laptop had its own screen monitor, like the Xerox Alto, but it was only five inches wide. It had a 64K random access memory (RAM), a 4K read-only memory (ROM), and two floppy drives.
While this laptop certainly caused a lot of discussion in the industry after its release, it wasn’t exactly suitable as a laptop. Initially, the Osborne 1 had no battery. Therefore, you must plug it into a power outlet at all times during use. A few years after its initial release, developers began to include a battery in the laptop. However, this only provided one hour of wireless use.
Not many people could afford the Osborne 1 when it was first released. The original price for the Osborne 1 in 1981 was $ 1,795. This is a surprisingly high price, given that today’s standard laptops can cost anywhere from $ 800 to $ 2,000 and have several more features. But considering that the Osborne 1 was the first laptop to buy, can we really get mad at the price?
Modern computers have exceeded limits we could never have imagined
The computer has come an incredibly long road in the 21st century. We’ve seen drastic improvements in image quality, memory storage, and battery life, in addition to several other items. But what does the future hold for computers?
There are many things people want to see in the computers of the future: battery that lasts all day, even faster processing speeds, and even better graphics. Well, technology companies are already looking to improve these aspects. Lenovo has already released a laptop with a dual screen feature. Meanwhile, some computers that are now on the market, like the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Specter x360, have amazing 4K displays.
But more than anything, the quantum computer is now taking the stage as the future of computing. Quantum computers are quite different than what you will find in a store. These machines use the properties of quantum physics to perform operations. The key difference between traditional and quantum computers is the way they store data. Conventional computers use bits, while quantum computers use quantum bits, or “qubits.”
Therefore, quantum computers can generate solutions to big problems with the help of complex learning algorithms. They can also consider and process multiple results and combinations simultaneously, making them super fast to operate. The exciting part about this technology is that, in ten years, these computers could even provide solutions to substantial global crises, similar to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Such capabilities would potentially make quantum computers save lives, which would be a huge technological leap for humanity.
It is not known what computers could end up doing, but it is amazing to think about it
With technology advancing so massively from decade to decade, one can only imagine what our computers will be capable of in 30 or 40 years.
With the current capabilities of our home computers and the promising possibilities of quantum computers, we can only assume that computers will continue to change the world even more than they already have.
From the news www.makeuseof.com
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