Written By Sankalp Nadiger (Grade 12)
An invention that changed the world is the one that marked a kind of revolution in its initial times as well as in progress now in the market. Many people tried to improve it in various ways and they were successful and today it is essential for everyone during this pandemic situation. It’s nothing but a computer, yes! The computer is the most essential tool on which almost all people in various fields work now. Studying has also become digital now.
The topic computer has 2 subtopics which is software and hardware. Its development has also been through these 2 divisions. Software has seen a great development in the years and it has been a leading industry in recent years. Hardware was mainly developed in the 90s. Now the hardware of the computers that the engineers are developing is becoming sleek and small which is way easier to handle and portable. Software is just reaching its peak, there are several engineers working on it, making it sophisticated and easy to handle.
The computer is basically a calculating tool which evolved from Abacus at 2500BC, Napier’s bones at 1614AD, Slide Rule at 1633AD, Adding Machine-Pascaline, Leibniz calculator, Jacquard’s Loom, The Difference Engine of Charles Babbage at 1822 who is regarded as the “Father of Computers” as his device became the basic principles for the development of modern computer and the Hollerith Tabulating Machine. The evolution of electronic computers, over a period of time, was traced effectively by diving it into 5 generations until the present depending upon the memory, input, output, the language they operated with and the processors. The ones which would occupy almost a whole big room are now being held in our hands, which would generate a huge amount of heat, now are being used for hours together by a child listening to an online class or watching movies, and a person working from home keeping the device in their hands, lap or a small space. The computers have evolved to such an extent that they are capable of working on behalf of us too which are robots, such is the evolution of computers, indeed a remarkable one!
Coming to the hardware point, as already stated, it has seen a huge amount of development. Input which was based on punched cards and paper tapes in the first generation has now turned into a mouse, keyboard and the most fascinating one, voice, wow! That’s spectacular. Listening to this feels like a lot of hard work and intelligence, absolutely, it will be there forever in any field as such. The output which was obtained as printouts in the initial stage is now through a monitor, display whose quality has several new dimensions now. Thus, it has indeed been a great development in the field of hardware where various types of input devices and output devices are developed which can be used in various fields of work comfortably.
Coming to the software point, the products now are just amazing, the user interface is so good, so secure, just amazing! The first programmer was Lady Ada Lovelace. The operating systems are so compact and user friendly now. The first person who formed a base for internetworking which is a hotspot of all age groups now was John Neumann who introduced ‘software packages’ in his device EDVAC. The coding has become much easier with IDEs. It’s just a miracle. It takes an entire lifetime to study all the different underlays of software. Without the software, no one can create a worthy computer or any device.
Networking is another interesting field to touch upon as we are discussing computers. It has seen a great development too. Though the internet existed as a basic version earlier, in 1981, a computer programmer in Switzerland named Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web: an internet that was not simply a way to send files from one place to another but was itself a “web” of information that anyone on the Internet could retrieve. Berners-Lee created the Internet that we know today. The Internet has been a great boon for everyone in this world if we use it for good purposes as we may stay connected digitally and has various more advantages. The computer has been a great deal of help for us, it takes input automatically through our voice, operates upon our commands, helps us in our job and much more things thereby reducing our work and saving our energy. It is faster than a human brain several times, does calculations faster than the most intelligent man on Earth. Such is the capacity of computers!! It stores our data, helps connect almost everyone in the world, and helps to share files and folders with whom we wish to. Its speed, memory, storage, accuracy, versatility, automation, diligence and cost-effectiveness attracts people to buy it and thus, it has been a great invention in the world. It is helping people fend for themselves as it has opened up various doors for choosing and several opportunities to Start-up on or join a company.
The computers are classified on their principles of operation, size, speed of doing computation and storage capacity as analogue, digital, hybrid, special and general-purpose, micro, mini, mainframe and supercomputers. We can find applications of computers in these: schools and colleges for the creation of ID cards, marks cards, attendance, learning through AV and fees collection. In banks for creation of an account, transactions, online banking, ATM. In offices for documentation, stock control in business firms, research and developing, entertainment and NEWS, hospitals for diagnosing, etc. Another important point which I would like to touch upon is assigning all our job to computers will really harm our skills and turn us into lazy bugs. Thus we need to use it judiciously, not use it for harming mankind by hacking into personal details or any such bad practices.
Hence, I would like to conclude the essay by stating that computers can be really helpful for mankind if we use them in a good, mature way and develop various things which will help the world to be more successful, firm and easy.
Featured Image Courtesy – Milhos Tech