A Journey And Genåerations | In the previous article we talked about the attempts of developing communications between humans and how it works; which was followed by a new curve: as man started trying to invent a device that could perform the mathematical and logical operations of the human mind.
“During that journey and generations of computer development; cell phones and internet networks emerged, and humans reached high techniques in communications.” A Journey And Generations ~ Beautiful Egypt #352 by Bishop Anba Ermia
Some scholars mentioned that the advent of the computer dates back to the 18th century when Joseph Marie Jacquard, who was a French weaver and a merchant (1752-1834) made the earliest programmable loom to weave clothes: (the “Jacquard loom“), which in turn played an important role in the development of other programmable machines such as the computer.
Later on the world witnessed a new development with Charles Babbage (1791-1871), who was a British mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer, the inventor of the mechanical computer, who designed the first computer in the world in 1822; and called it the “Difference Engine”, which has an identical copy at the Science Museum in London. But it wasn’t used as it was just an idea that he made to invent the computer; at that time the arithmetic operations were calculated in large computational tables made by specialists for helping people to perform complicated arithmetic operations.
Babbage thought that those people who prepare these tables are just humans, who are exposed to error, while a machine can be accurate if he could make it perform the arithmetic operations. That’s how he started his journey; he spent approximately ten years in building his machine that he named “the First Mechanical Computer” but he didn’t reach operating it. Instead, Babbage decided to build a new machine better than the calculator, to invent the meaning of the first computer, capable of programming and named it: the “Analytical Engine”. It was multifunction and resembled computers in usage, he put the designs of the “Second Mechanical Computer”, but the work on was never completed as the required fundings wasn’t enough.
A team from the Science Museum in London made an identical copy of Babbage’s designs and they succeeded in operating it in 1991, for celebrating two centuries of his birth.
The first generation of computers appeared in the mid of the last century (1942-1954), which was characterized by using the vacuum tubes as a basic component, inefficiency, and supporting the Machine Language only, along with high cost, generating high temperature, huge consumers of electricity, slowness, heavyweight and large size. The computer of the United States Digital Bureau was considered the first commercial computer. Also one of the prototypes of that generation was “IBM-701”.
As for the second generation (1952-1964), it witnessed a huge development which by its turn led to a revolution in building computers through using transistors; its devices were characterized by being more efficient than the devices of the first generation. It generates less temperature, less electrical power, supports the machine language and the Assembly language. Moreover, it uses some of the high levels of software languages, lightweight and size, and accelerated speed, but it remained expensive. One of the prototypes of that generation was “IBM 1620”.
Then came the third generation (1964-1972), which was characterized by using the “Integrated Circuits”, which were invented by Jack Kilby; an American electrical engineer in 1958, generating less heat, reducing the size of the computer, more efficiency and speed in the required operations, with less consumption of electricity, and supporting a high level of software language. The computer needed an air conditioner and used remote processors, with a multi-program operating system; but yet it remained expensive. IBM-360 series were considered one of the prototypes of that generation.
The fourth generation (1972-1990), was characterized by using [Very Large Scale Integrated Circuits (VLSI)], which gave the ability to get lightweight, compact and portable computers with accelerated high speed and reasonable prices! That led to the spread of personal computers.
Also introduction of the concept of using “Internet” networks and the distributing operating system were added to that generation than its predecessor. In addition to supporting high levels of all languages, database, equipped software, usage of sound, image and human languages, and a huge development in the networks field, all that led devices to be easily available. “Star 1000” is considered one of the prototypes of that generation.
As for the fifth generation (1990-till now), it used the ULSI technique (Ultra Large Scale Integration), it depended on the accurate microprocessors, the characteristics of the artificial intelligence (an emerging computer science discipline that explains how devices have become thinking like humans), and using high levels of languages of the supreme software. This generation includes “Robots” and gaming devices, with specialized systems for making decisions in real-life situations, as well as understanding and breeding natural languages. The portable computer is one of the prototypes of that generation.
During that journey of computers development; cell phones and internet networks emerged, and humans reached high techniques in communications.
Stories about Beautiful Egypt never end!
H.G. Anba Ermia
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center
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