It is important to remember that technology has been around since prehistoric times, when stone tools were first used.
The most recognizable type of technology today are computers. In fact, computers have become so portable that you can wear it on your wrist. Smartwatches, smartphones, and laptops, are some of the most common personal computers to date.
Of course, computers were not always like this. If you are curious to find out about the first computer, read on as we take a look at the history of technology.
A Brief Timeline of Computers
In tracing the history of technology, it is important to take a look at a brief timeline of these iconic machines.
A Series of Calculators
Technology has not always consisted of the digital machines we know today. In fact, calculation devices are considered to be the predecessor of modern computers.
This includes the abacus, the slide rule, and the Jacquard Loom.
Years later, the Complex Number Calculator (CNC) and the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC) were invented in the early 1940s. This is where the concept of modern computers emerged.
ENIAC and UNIVAC
It was Alan Turing who presented the idea of a universal machine that can compute anything that can be computed. This concept is called the Turing Machine, which is why many consider him to be the father of computers.
Using this concept, scientists and inventors worked hard to create such machines. This led to the invention of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC) in 1944. It is colossal in size and fits a 20 ft by 40 ft room.
Two years later, the UNIVAC was invented. This is considered to be the first commercial computer. It was used for both business and government processing.
After the ENIAC and the UNIVAC, several developments were made including the invention of the first computer language, an integrated circuit, and even the prototype of the modern computer.
Through these inventions, researchers were able to make significant leaps in the development of computers. One of the most notable developments is IBM’s Special Computer CPL Machine Portable (SCAMP), which was created in 1973.
With a small monitor and a keyboard, SCAMP was used to create IBM’s first personal computers in the 1980s.
Other developments that notably launched the desktop computer include Laboratories’ Wang 2200, the Xerox PARC Alto, Apple’s Apple I, II, Lisa, and Macintosh.
Some of the most popular brands today include IBM and Apple. Their 1970s and 1980s releases are basically the grandfathers of today’s desktop computers.
However, the Macintosh Portable (1989) is the closest thing to modern laptops. The VDM prototype (1975) was the ancestor of modern gaming consoles, and Apple’s Newton (1993) was the very first handheld computer.
Today, we have micro laptops such as the GPD Win 1 and 2, smartphones and tablets, and a wide variety of powerful computers.
So, What Was the First Computer?
While this timeline does not show the complete history of computers, it definitely gives you an idea of how they began. The ENIAC, which was invented in 1944, is considered to be the very first computer despite its limited capabilities.
This is because it sparked the digital solutions research that led to the technology we know and love today.
Technology has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. In fact, we tend to rely on our computers, laptops, and smartphones to get us through the day.
With such a complicated history, computers have definitely gone a long way. Starting as big machines, computers now come in a variety of shapes and sizes.