Computers - How They Work

Jul 7th, 2015
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Ball State University
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You reach for the power button on your computer and press it. A circuit is suddenly completed, and electricity floods across the insides of your PC. Tiny microprocessors embedded in the motherboard suddenly awaken as a stream of data shoots in from the hard drive. Nanoseconds later, a digitalized stream of 1s and 0s are fired through a cable hooked into the motherboard, giving the exact specification of the color each pixel in your monitor should be. A minute later, you're looking at your typical logon screen. Welcome to the wonderful world of computers.

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The History of Computers page and all ( history of computers, computer history ) articles written by Mary Bellis The History of Computers"Who invented the computer?" is not a question with a simple answer. The real answer is that many inventors contributed to the history of computers and that a computer is a complex piece of machinery made up of many parts, each of which can be considered a separate invention.This series covers many of the major milestones in computer history (but not all of them) with a concentration on the history of personal home computers. Computer History Year/EnterComputer History Inventors/InventionsComputer History Description of Event1936Konrad Zuse - Z1 ComputerFirst freely programmable computer.1942John Atanasoff & Clifford Berry ABC ComputerWho was first in the computing biz is not always as easy as ABC.1944Howard Aiken & Grace Hopper Harvard Mark I ComputerThe Harvard Mark 1 computer.1946John Presper Eckert & John W. Mauchly ENIAC 1 Computer20,000 vacuum tubes later...1948Frederic Williams & Tom Kilburn Manchester Baby Computer & The Williams TubeBaby and the Williams Tube turn on the memories.1947/48John Bardeen, Walter Brattain & Wiliam Shockley The TransistorNo, a transistor is not a computer, but this invention greatly affected the history of computers.1951John Presper Eckert & John W. Ma

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