History of Computers – Different stages of Computer Development

History of Computers – Different stages of Computer Development: Computers have evolved through different stages before reaching their recent state of development. The history of the computer dates back to 3000 BC. Different stages of its development are as follows:

ABACUS – 3,000 BC 1st Computer in the History of Computers

Abacus was the first mechanical device for calculation in the history of computers:

  • It was developed in China and spread all over.
  • It was discovered in the form of bead and wire counting machine which subsequently came to be known as abacus.
  • It was developed to count and calculate fast.
  • It is made up of wooden frame with rods each having beads onto it.
  • The frame is divided into two parts Heaven and Earth.
  • The bar that divides Heaven and Earth is called Divider.
  • Each rod in Heaven has 2 beads and the Earth has 5 beads.
  • Addition and multiplication etc. of numbers is done by using the place value of digits of number.


Napier’s ‘Logs’ and ‘Bones’ (1550 – 1617):

  • John Napier developed the idea of Logarithm.
  • He invented a calculating device called Napier’s bones.
  • He used `logs’ to transform multiplication problem to repeated addition.
  • The set of numbering rods which were called as Napier’s bones were used both for multiplication and division.

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Pascal’s Adding Machine (1642):

  • Blaise Pascal, a French Mathematician invented the first mechanical calculator at the age of 19 in 1642.
  • He developed a machine consisted of grass, wheels and dials.
  • This machine was capable of performing addition and subtraction by rotating the wheels.


Leibnitz’s Calculator (1671):

  • Leibnitz, a German mathematician, improved an adding machine and constructed a new machine in 1671.
  • It could do addition, subtraction and even multiplication, division and find square roots.


Analytic Engine (1833) Latest Computers are based on this engine taken from History of Computers:

  • Charles Babbage, also known as ‘Father of Computers‘ invented the first mechanical computer during the period 1830 to 1835.
  • This machine had five units input device, a storage unit, a output unit, a arithmetic unit, called Mill and a control unit.
  • These units worked similar to modern computers. All the computers used now a days are based on it.


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