MadSci Network: Computer Science

Re: who invented the first computer and why?

Date: Tue Mar 23 14:46:36 2004
Posted By: Kirt Van Overen, Secondary School Teacher, Science, Pinewood Middle School
Area of science: Computer Science
ID: 1079212181.Cs

Corey, it depends on you definition of computer.  During the Renaissance 
(1600's) calculators were made that ran on steam or water.  Later, a loom 
was made to sew a particular pattern based on a punch card that was 
inserted.Getting more to the modern times, Hitler and his armies were 
notorious for code machines that could compute and derive coding for 
mesages.  If you are looking for a "universal computing machine" or a 
computer that was designed for multiple tasks, not just one... I would 
give credit to a gentleman named Alan Turing.  He invented an universal 
computing machine in 1936.

Administrators note: Also, the first modern, electronic computer - ENIAC - was 
used in the Manhattan Project.  It performed the first Monte Carlo 
simulations - the name was coined in association with that use on ENIAC.

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