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A Brief History of the Computer

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For over a millenium, humanity has used devices for computation. One of the earliest machines that could perform arithmetic calculations was the Chinese abacus, invented about 5000 years ago. In 1623, the first mechanical calculator was invented by Wilhelm Schickard, and the computing era began. Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane and read about the people, machines, technologies, programming languages and games that defined the history of the computer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Dixon

My name is John Dixon and I have been working as a Technical Author for the past 30 years. During this time I have written numerous manuals about software applications, operating systems, and computer hardware. I began my working career as an engineering apprentice in 1979. This almost seems like the dark ages now, and I remember that at my first company we had one desktop computer for the whole firm ... and there were over 1100 of us! Apart from using a mini computer at college, my first experience of computing wasn’t until the mid-eighties when I was working at an electronics company, which incidentally is where I began my technical authoring career. I don’t think anyone then could have imagined where the computer industry would be today, in 2015.

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