COMPUTERS are an integral part of our everyday life and it’s hard to imagine the world without them.
But who invented the first computer and when? Here’s what we know
Who invented the computer?
The concept of a digital programmable computer was originated by Charles Babbage an English mechanical engineer and mathematician.
He is considered the father of the computer after he inventing the first mechanical computer, the Difference Engine, which eventually led to more complex electronic designs in the early 19th century.
All the essential ideas of modern computers are found in his Analytical Engine the successor of the Difference Engine.
Babbage died before the complete successful engineering of many of his designs but his input in the construction of the computer is invaluable.
Parts of Babbage’s incomplete mechanisms are on display in the Science Museum in London.
When was the first computer invented?
Charles Babbage proposed the first general mechanical computer, the Analytical Engine in 1837.
It contained an ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit), basic flow control, punch cards, and integrated memory.
The computer was not built while Babbage was alive due to funding issues but in 1910 his son Henry Babbage was able to build a part of the machine and perform simple calculations.
In 1939 German engineer Konrad Zuse created the Z2 which is considered to be the first electromechanical binary programmable computer.
Behind the concept of the modern computer is the Turing machine, proposed by Alan Turing in 1936.
Who was the first computer programmer?
The first computer programmer is believed to be Ada Lovelace, an English mathematician, and writer, known for her work on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine.
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The daughter of poet Lord Byron, showed interest in mathematics and logic from an early age.
Her mother, Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron hired tutors to educate her in science and math, an unusual education for women at the time.
Ada was the first to recognise that the machine had applications beyond pure calculation, and to have published the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such a machine.