Lesson 1: The Development of the Computer
In this lesson, we take a brief look at the development of the computer. By understanding its origins, you'll gain an appreciation for both the complexity and simplicity of today's computers.
After this lesson, you will be able to:
Estimated lesson time: 15 minutes
- Describe the major milestones in the development of the modern computer.
Many of us think only in terms of electronic computers, powered by electricity. (If you can't plug it in, is it a computer?) But as the definition in Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary makes clear, to "compute" is to "ascertain (an amount or number) by calculation or reckoning." In fact, the first computers were invented by the Chinese about 2500 years ago. They are called abacuses and are still used throughout Asia today.