Origin and uses of computers

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The computer is one of the most wonderful products of modern science. It plays an important role in modern life. A computer works with fantastic speed, precision, and accuracy. It can do thousands of calculations per second. It is an electronic calculating machine that can count, write and solve highly complex problems. Computers have become pathways in every human activity. He is a friend of students, businessmen, industrialists, scientists and others.

The word computer comes from the word computar which means to calculate. We find computers in offices, business houses, laboratories, and in spaceships. We don’t need to wait in line for a long time today. Tickets are issued by computers. Computers have made life easier and more perfect.

The Stonehenge Neolithic structure near Salisbury in England is considered the oldest computer. It is supposed to have been built about 4,000 years ago. It consists of a circular stone structure that is supposed to have been a temple dedicated to the sun god. It was used to predict astronomical phenomena such as the orbits of various planets. John Napier (1552 – 1617) developed the logarithm with which multiplication and division become easier. The slide rule was an extension of the logarithm. In fact, it was a scientist named Charles Babbage who invented the modern computer in the 19th century. In the early stages, computers used vacuum tubes. A few years later, Dr. Howard Alken of Harvard University designed the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, the first mechanical computer.

There are two models of computers, namely Analog and Digital: the former measures and the latter calculators. Nowadays digital computers are more popular. Digit in Latin means finger. In earlier days, fingers were used for counting. Computers are used to perform very sophisticated tasks. They are used to control the direction of rockets and missiles. Such computers were used in the second world war. A lot of research has been done to improve the existing ones.

A computer program is a set of instructions coded for the computer to obey. Writing these programs is called computer programming. A computer, with all its sophistication and extraordinary ability to perform tasks, cannot replace man. He can’t think for himself. It can only perform tasks that we schedule on it. A computer can control the pattern of movement of the electrons and the desired images are produced on the screen just as an image is produced on a television screen by bombardment of electrons. Today, computers are used to produce accurate scale drawings in a short time. They can produce drawings, maps and Computers are also used on satellites to forecast the weather. A computer in a hospital can give doctors signals about a patient’s condition.

Many people fear that computers will create unemployment. That’s wrong. In fact, computers create jobs. In this growing world, we want our tasks to be done quickly and accurately. The new technology necessitates the manufacture of new machines, data-feeding equipment and electronic instruments, the production of which requires more and more men. If employment opportunity is reduced in one area, it is increased in many others.

Therefore, we should not worry excessively about the introduction of computers. They create job opportunities for people in many other areas. In fact, computers are going to do most of our work for us in the 21st century.

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