Historical Development of Computers: Early Counting Devices

Complexity: Standard

<h1><strong>HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF COMPUTERS: EARLY COUNTING DEVICES</strong></h1> CONTENT <ol> <li>Definition and Examples of Early Counting Devices</li> <li>Limitations to the Early Counting Devices</li> </ol>   <h2><strong>Definition and Examples of Early Counting Devices </strong></h2> Early counting devices are devices that were used in the early days to perform arithmetic operations such as addition of numbers, subtraction and multiplication. These devices were used for the usual barter trade of the early days. Examples of early counting devices are fingers, toes, stones, sticks, pebbles, cowries among others. The history and development of computer can be traced back to the studies of Mathematics which started with counting. The history of Mathematics is the history of civilization. These has led to various computing inventions in search for a tool that could enable man meet his computational and data processing needs until we have the computer today. It was in the process of finding solutions to the problem of counting that early counting devices emerged. Examples of fingers and toes method of calculation are seen below;

Importance of the Computer as a Tool for Data Processing

Complexity: Standard

<h1><strong>IMPORTANCE OF THE COMPUTER AS A TOOL FOR DATA PROCESSING</strong></h1> CONTENT <ol> <li>The Importance of the Computer as a Tool for Data Processing</li> </ol>   <h2><strong>The Importance of the Computer as a Tool for Data Processing</strong></h2> The computer is a very unique electronic device and has certain features and characteristics that distinguish it from other machines. These include: 1.<strong> Speed:</strong> Computers are very fast; they can perform tens of millions of operations per second. This is necessary for predicting weather forecasts, performing scientific research and even producing thousands of bills for utility companies. 2.<strong> Accuracy:</strong> Computers are very accurate. Errors only occur if there is an error in hardware, software or data. When errors occur it is usually because of some human error, since computers can only do what they are programmed to do. 3.<strong> Storing large amounts of information in a small space:</strong> There are many storage media that can be used to store large volumes of data and information. For example, a single CD-ROM disk can save the equivalent of a shelf of books in the library.

Mechanical Counting and Calculating Devices

Complexity: Standard

<h1><strong>MECHANICAL COUNTING AND CALCULATING DEVICES</strong></h1> CONTENT <ol> <li>Mechanical Counting and Calculating Devices</li> </ol>   <h2><strong>Mechanical Counting and Calculating Devices</strong></h2> As a result of the disadvantages of the early counting devices, more advanced mechanical counting and calculating devices were invented. Some of these devices are; <ol> <li>Abacus (Chinese)</li> <li>Napier’s Bone (John Napier)</li> <li>Slide Rule (William Oughtred)</li> </ol>   <h3><strong>THE ABACUS </strong></h3> The Abacus is made up of beads threaded on iron rods. The iron rods are fixed to a rectangular wooden frame. It is used for addition and subtraction only. It could not carry out complex mathematics. The Abacus was early used for arithmetic tasks, it was developed in China about 5000 years ago. It was successful that its use spread from china to many other countries. <img class="size-full wp-image-15138 aligncenter" src="https://classhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/computing-devices-the-abacus.jpg" alt="historical development of computers - Early counting and calculating devices - Abacus" width="452" height="166" />

Electro-mechanical Counting Devices

Complexity: Standard

<h1><strong>HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF COMPUTERS</strong></h1> CONTENT <ol> <li>Electro-mechanical Counting Devices</li> </ol>   <h2><strong>Electro-mechanical Counting Devices</strong></h2> These are counting devices that could be operated both electrically and mechanically. Electro-mechanical devices include the following: <ol> <li>Speeding Clock</li> <li>Blaise Pascal machine</li> <li>Gottfried Leibniz Machine</li> </ol>   <h2><strong>SPEEDING CLOCK OR CALCULATING CLOCK</strong></h2> In 1623 and 1624, reported his design and construction of what he referred to as an arithmetical instrument that he has invented but which would later be described as a (calculating clock). The machine was designed to assist in all the four basic functions of arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). Amongst its uses, Schickard suggested it would help in the laborious task of calculating astronomical tables. <strong>The machine could add and subtract six-digit numbers, and indicated an overflow of this capacity by ringing a bell. </strong>The adding machine in the base was primarily provided to assist in the difficult task of adding or multiplying two multi-digit numbers. To this end an ingenious arrangement of rotatable Napier's bones were mounted on it. It even had an additional "memory register" to record intermediate calculations. Schickard’s machine was not programmable. <img class="size-full wp-image-20075 aligncenter" src="https://classhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/historical-development-of-computer-early-counting-devices-speeding-clock-or-calculating-clock.jpg" alt="Historical development of the computer - Electro-mechanical counting devices - speeding clock or calculating clock" width="219" height="192" />

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