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History of Computers

The development of the modern day computer was the result of advances in technologies and man's need to quantify. Papyrus helped early man to record language and numbers. The abacus was one of the first counting machines Some of the earlier mechanical counting machines lacked the technology to make the design work. For instance, some had parts made of wood prior to metal manipulation and manufacturing. Imagine the wear on wooden gears. This history of computers site includes the names of early pioneers of math and computing and links to related sites about the History of Computers, for further study. This site would be a good Web adjunct to accompany any book on the History of Computers or Introduction to Computers. The "H" Section includes a link to the History of the Web Beginning at CERN which includes Bibliography and Related Links. strives to always include related links for a broader educational experience. The material was originally divided

Classification of Computers
Computers are available in different shapes, sizes and weights, due to these different shapes and sizes they perform different sorts of jobs from one another. They can also be classified in different ways. All the computers are designed by the qualified computer architectures that design these machines as their requirements. A computer that is used in a home differs in size and shape from the computer being used in a hospital. Computers act as a server in large buildings, while the computer also differs in size and shape performing its job as a weather forecaster. A student carrying a laptop with him to his college is different in shape and size from all the computers mentioned above. Here we are going to introduce different classifications of computers one by one. We will discuss what are in classifications and what job they perform. Super computer The biggest in size, the most expensive in price than any other is classified and known as super computer. It can process trillions of instructions in seconds. This computer is not used as a PC in a home neither by a student in a college. Governments specially use this type of computer for their different calculations and heavy jobs. Different industries also use this huge computer for designing their products. In most of the Hollywood's movies it is used for animation purposes. This kind of computer is also helpful for forecasting weather reports worldwide. Mainframes Another giant in computers after the super computer is Mainframe, which can also process millions of instruction per second and capable of accessing billions of data. This computer is commonly used in big hospitals, air line reservations companies, and many other huge companies prefer mainframe because of its capability of retrieving data on a huge basis.

This is normally to expensive and out of reach from a salary-based person who wants a computer for his home. This kind of computer can cost up to thousands of dollars. Minicomputer This computer is next in he line but less offers less than mainframe in work and performance. These are the computers, which are mostly preferred by the small type of business personals, colleges, etc. Personal computers Almost all the computer users are familiar with the personal computers. They normally know what the personal computer is and what are its functions. This is the computer mostly preferred by the home users. These computers are lesser in cost than the computers given above and also, small in size; they are also called PCs in short for Personal computers. This computer is small in size and you can easily arrange it to fit in your single bedroom with its all accommodation. Today this is thought to be the most popular computer in all. Notebook computers Having a small size and low weight the notebook is easy to carry to anywhere. A student can take it with him/her to his/her school in his/her bag with his/her book. This is easy to carry around and preferred by students and business people to meet their assignments and other necessary tasks. The approach of this computer is also the same as the Personal computer. It can store the same amount of data and having a memory of the same size as that of a personal computer. One can say that it is the replacement of personal desktop computer.

Input device
An input device is any hardware device that sends data to the computer, without any input devices, a computer would only be a display device and not allow users to interact with it, much like a TV. In the picture to the right, is a Logitech trackball mouse and an example of an input device. Below is a complete listing of all the different computer input devices that can be used on a computer.

Lines of different widths and sizes representing data, that when read will determine what the scanned object is. Bar codes are often used to help organize and index information or prices about an object. Barcodes used by the U.S. postal service that helps speed the delivery of mail is another perfect example of how a barcode could be used. In the picture to the right, is an example of what a barcode for an address may look like.

Barcode readers and scanners

A barcode reader or scanner, also known as a point of sale (POS) scanner is a hardware device capable of reading a barcode and printing out the details of the product or logging that product into a database. A perfect example of a barcode reader is a super market barcode scanner that reads and logs the price of a product.

Barcode Printers
A hardware device capable of printing out adhesive barcodes that can be attached to a product. This helps identify the product or a company keep track of its inventory.

Digital camera
A camera that stores the pictures or video it takes in electronic format instead of to film. There are several features that make digital cameras a popular choice when compared to film cameras. First, the feature often enjoyed the most is the LCDdisplay on the digital camera. This display allows users to view photos or video after the picture or video has been taken, which means if you take a picture and don't like the results, you can delete it; or if you do like the picture, you can easily show it to other people. Another nice feature with digital cameras is the ability to take dozens, sometimes hundreds of different pictures. To the right is a picture of theCasio QV-R62, a 6.0 Mega Pixel digital camera used to help illustrate what a digital camera may look like. Digital cameras have quickly become the camera solution for most users today as the quality of picture they take has greatly improved and as the price has decreased. Many users however are hesitant in buying a digital camera because of the inability of getting their pictures developed. However, there are several solutions in getting your digital pictures developed. For example, there are numerous Internet companies capable of

developing your pictures and send you your pictures in the mail. In addition, many of the places that develop your standard cameras film now have the ability to develop digital pictures if you bring them your camera, memory stick, or pictures on CD.

1. More commonly known as a game paddle or gamepad, a paddle is an input device commonly used with games that may contain various buttons used to steer and utilize different options in a game. All console game systems utilize a paddle or gamepad for control. To the right is a picture and an example of a game paddle used with the Atari 2600. 2. The term paddle may also be used to describe various handheld devices that are capable of controlling a function on a computer or electronic device.

An input device that looks similar to a control device you would find on an arcade game at your local arcades. A joystick allows an individual to easily move an object in a game such as navigating a plane in a flight simulator. The picture to the right is of the Logitech Freedom 2.4 joystick and an example of what a Joystick may look like.

One of the main input devices used on a computer, a PC's keyboard looks very similar to the keyboards of electric typewriters, with some additional keys. Below is a graphic of the Saitek Gamers' keyboard with indicators pointing to each of the major portions of the keyboard.

Sometimes abbreviated as mic, a microphone is a hardware peripheral originally invented by Emile Berliner in 1877 that allows computer users to input audio into their computers. To the right is a visual example of a USB headset from Logitech with a microphone. A popular solution for computer gaming.

Short for Musical Instrument Digital Interface, MIDI is a standard for digitally representing and transmitting sounds that was first developed in the 1980s. The MIDI sound is played back through the hardware device or computer either through a synthesized audio sound or a waveform stored on the hardware device or computer. The

quality of how MIDI sounds when played back by the hardware device or computer depends upon that device's capability. Generally, most computer sound cards will have a MIDI port as shown in the picture on this page that allows for several musical instrument devices to be connected to the computer such as a MIDI keyboard or a synthesizer. Before connecting any of these devices to the computer, you will need to purchase a separate cable, which takes the MIDI/Game port connection into the standard 5-pin DIN midi connector or a USB to MIDI converter.

A hardware input device that was invented by Douglas Engelbart in 1963, who at the time was working at the Stanford Research Institute, which was a think tank sponsored by Stanford University. The mouse allows an individual to control a pointer in a graphical user interface (GUI). Utilizing a mouse a user has the ability to perform various functions such as opening a program or file and does not require the user to memorize commands, like those used in a text-based command line environment such as MS-DOS. To the right is a picture of a Microsoft IntelliMouse and is an example of what a computer mousemay look like. The Mouse was originally referred to as an X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System. Xerox later applied the mouse to its revolutionary Alto computer system in 1973. However, because of Alto's unfortunate success, it was first widely used in the Apple Lisa computer. Today, a pointing device is found on virtually every computer.

Optical scanner
Hardware input device that allows a user to take an image or text and convert it into a digital file, allowing the computer to read or display the scanned object. A scanner is commonly connected to a computer USB, Firewire, Parallel or SCSI port. To the right is a picture and an example of a flatbed photo scanner, the Epson V300. Other scanners include: sheetfed scanner, which is a scanner that scans paper fed into it, handheld scanner, which is a scanner that is held and drag over a page to scan it, and a card scanner, which is a small scanner capable of scanning business cards.

A camera connected to a computer that allows anyone connected to the Internet to view either a still pictures or motion video of a user or other object. To the right is a picture of the Logitech QuickCam Express and an example of what a webcam may look like. Today, most webcams are either embedded into the display with laptop computers or connected to the USB or Firewire port on the computer.

Output device
An output device is any piece of computer hardware equipment used to communicate the results of data processing carried out by an information processing system (such as acomputer) to the outside world. In computing, input/output, or I/O, refers to the communication between an information processing system (such as a computer), and the outside world. Inputs are the signals or data sent to the system, and outputs are the signals or data sent by the system to the outside. Any peripheral that receives or displays output from a computer. In the picture to the right, is an inkjet printer and a good example of an output device that can make a hard copy of anything on a computer. Below is a listing of all the different computer output devices found on a computer.

Also called a video display terminal (VDT) and video display unit (VDU), amonitor is a video display screen and the hard shell that holds it. In its most common usage, monitor refers only to devices that contain no electronic equipment other than what is essentially needed to display and adjust the characteristics of an image. Like most TVs, the computer monitor has a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) that is found inside the computer monitor as illustrated in the picture to the right. The CRT is the main component and most expensive part within your computer monitor.

An external hardware device responsible for taking computer data and generating a hard copy of that data. Printers are one of the most used peripherals on computers and are commonly used to print text, images, or photos. The image to the right is a visual example of the Lexmark Z605 Inkjet printer and is an example of what a printer may look like.


An output device that can take the display of a computer screen and project a large version of it onto a flat surface. Projectors are often used in meetings and presentations so that everyone in the room can view the presentation. In the picture to the right, is a ViewSonic projector and an example of what a projector may look like. Projectors used with computers are small devices that are rarely much larger than a toaster and typically weigh a few pounds.

Sound card
Alternatively referred to as a sound board or an audio card, a sound card is an expansion card or integrated circuit that provides a computer with the ability to produce sound that can be heard by the user either over speakers orheadphones. Below is an image of the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio sound card and an example of what a sound card may look like.