Published on October 23, 2007
The History of Computation: The History of Computation Dr. Sidney Marshall Associate professor Rochester Institute of Technology Why Do We Calculate? Ancient History: Why Do We Calculate? Ancient History Ancient History Measurement and Surveying - Nile River Astronomy - Predicting Spring Business Records The Antikythera Mechanism: The Antikythera Mechanism An ancient mechanical analog computer designed to calculate astronomical positions (150-100 BC) Discovered in 1900 in the wreck of an ancient cargo ship off Antikythera island at a depth of 140 feet The Antikythera Mechanism: The Antikythera Mechanism The Abacus: The Abacus Originally stones on counting board Chinese "swan pan" in China since 1300 A.D. Imported as Japanese soroban In 1946 the best abacus user beat the best electrically driven mechanical calculator in a contest Chinese Swan Pan: Chinese Swan Pan Japanese Soroban: Japanese Soroban Tally Sticks: Tally Sticks Notched sticks used throughout history for record keeping Used by English Government for accounts Sticks were notched and split length-wise into two pieces for each party Accounts "tallied" by matching sticks Tally Sticks: Tally Sticks Tally for £11 18s 8d from the reign of Henry III to the Reeve of Ledicumbe A tally for 6s 8d issued by the Treasurer of Edward I to the Sheriff of Lincolnshire Tally Stick Fire of 1834: Tally Stick Fire of 1834 The order went out that the tally sticks should be burned in a stove in the House of Lords. The stove, overgorged with these preposterous sticks, set fire to the paneling; the paneling set fire to the House of Commons; the two houses of government were reduced to ashes. Fire caused by burning tally sticks: Fire caused by burning tally sticks Napier's Bones (1550-1617): Napier's Bones (1550-1617) Tiles containing a column of the multiplication table Napier's invention of Logarithms 1614: Napier's invention of Logarithms 1614 Method of prosthaphaeresis sin a sin b = [cos(a-b) - cos(a+b)]/2 Using Napier's Logarithms log ab = log a + log b Slide Rules: Slide Rules Based on logarithms Can do multiplication, division, powers, roots, and trigonometric computations Nearly 3 decimal digits of accuracy All engineers used to have one Slide Rule Operation: Slide Rule Operation Adding lengths on a logarithm scale is equivalent to multiplying Slide Rules: Slide Rules Slide Rules: Slide Rules More accuracy required a longer scale or more accurate mechanism Many types of slide rules were invented spiral, cylindrical, long steel tapes, magnifying devices Cylindrical Slide Rule: Cylindrical Slide Rule Spiral Slide Rule: Spiral Slide Rule Graphical computing: Graphical computing planimeters integrators The Planimeter: The Planimeter Wilhelm Schickard (1592-1635): Wilhelm Schickard (1592-1635) First workable mechanical adding machine Blaise Pascal (1623-1662): Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) Several dials like telephone for entering numbers 9's complement used for subtraction Mathematical Tables - 1780's: Mathematical Tables - 1780's Big effort to produce accurate tables Powers and roots Logarithms (addition/subtraction logarithms, quarter squares) Trigonometric and Exponential tables Most scientific calculations carried out with the help of tables Jacquard's Loom (1752-1834): Jacquard's Loom (1752-1834) Punched cards controlled weaving Charles Babbage (1791-1871): Charles Babbage (1791-1871) Designed many mechanical calculating machines His "Difference Engine" was designed to calculate tables Designed the "Analytical Engine" with many of the properties of our modern computers Method of Differences: Method of Differences 0.7242758696 0.0008186515 0.7250945211 -0.0000015403 0.0008171112 0.0000000058 0.7259116323 -0.0000015345 0.0008155767 0.0000000058 0.7267272090 -0.0000015287 0.0008140480 0.0000000057 0.7275412570 -0.0000015230 0.0008125250 0.0000000057 0.7283537820 -0.0000015173 0.0008110077 0.0000000057 0.7291647897 -0.0000015117 0.0008094960 0.7299742857 Babbage's Difference Engine: Babbage's Difference Engine Babbage's Analytical Engine: Babbage's Analytical Engine Dorr Felt - Comptometer (1886): Dorr Felt - Comptometer (1886) Designed (out of a macaroni box!) a reliable carrying mechanism Mechanical Calculating Machines: Mechanical Calculating Machines The 1900's development of many calculators and cash registers Some were hand powered and some were driven with an electrical motor Calculators were the workhorse for scientific computation in the 1950’s A “computer” was a person operating a mechanical calculator Monroe calculator: Monroe calculator Mechanical Differential Analyzers: Mechanical Differential Analyzers Vannevar Bush developed the Differential Analyzer - 1930's All mechanical machine for solving differential equations Solved the equation dz = y dx Electrical versions were made later OP amps and analog computers Digital differential analyzers Bush Differential Analyzer: Bush Differential Analyzer Card Punch equipment: Card Punch equipment 1880 census results available in 1888 For the 1890 census Hollerith developed a punched card system The 1900 census done 1 year 7 months after the results were in Uses of "Tabulating" Cards: Uses of "Tabulating" Cards Business records Subscription cards Billing Code Breaking Atom Bomb Calculations IBM Card: IBM Card IBM Punched Card machines: IBM Punched Card machines Punch Card Control Panel: Punch Card Control Panel The telephone company: The telephone company Largest distributed relay computer Specification for telephone office was 1/2 hour outage in 40 years George Stibitz built a relay computer in 1939 with telephone relays Konrad Zuse 1910-1995: Konrad Zuse 1910-1995 Inventor of first “computer” Z1 – 1938 All Mechanical Z3 – 1941 Telephone Relays Konrad Zuse’s Z3 Computer: Konrad Zuse’s Z3 Computer The "modern" computer era: The "modern" computer era World War II Code breaking Artillery firing tables Atom bomb calculations The ENIAC - 1944: The ENIAC - 1944 The IBM 704: The IBM 704 First "modern" mass produced computer Storage Technology: Storage Technology Mercury Delay Lines Williams Storage Tube Magnetic Core Memory Semiconductor Memory The Rule of 4 Core Memory: Core Memory Off-line Storage: Off-line Storage Punched cards Paper tape Magnetic tape Magnetic drum Magnetic disk FORTRAN 1954-1957: FORTRAN 1954-1957 Written for the IBM 704 4096 words of 36-bit memory Written by a team of programmers lead by John W. Backus Still in use today Fortran Program: Fortran Program C THIS PROGRAM CALCULATES BINOMIAL COEFFICIENTS C DIMENSION NBINOM(20) 1 FORMAT(20I4) DO 10 K=1,20 10 NBINOM(K) = 0 NBINOM(1) = 1 DO 30 K=1,20 DO 20 J=K,2,-1 20 NBINOM(J) = NBINOM(J) + NBINOM(J-1) 30 PRINT 1, (NBINOM(I),I=1,K) END The SAGE System: The SAGE System The AN/FSQ-7 computer built by IBM for the Air Force in the late 1950’s It consumed 1,000,000 watts of power Designed as a computer aid for intercepting enemy bombers Sage - cont: Sage - cont Required a building to house it About 30 were built 113 ton computer When deployed in 1958 this was the first large-scale, real-time digital computer supporting a major military mission Sage AN/FSQ-7 Computer: Sage AN/FSQ-7 Computer Sage operator console: Sage operator console LGP-30: LGP-30 Serial Design Magnetic drum 101 vacuum tubes optimizing by placing data and instructions around the drum 60 – 200 instructions / second Tom Kurtz – John keenly: Tom Kurtz – John keenly Inventers of BASIC Me: Me Dartmouth Timesharing: Dartmouth Timesharing 1961-2 LGP-30 DOPE 1964 Basic - Tom Kurtz, John Kemeny Dartmouth Timesharing 1965-1967 DTSS II The ARPANET: The ARPANET A Totally new concept for connecting computers together The idea of “peers” Basis for the current internet Conclusions : Conclusions The world has been dramatically changed by the development of the digital computer Many fundamental changes to society have happened Computation Power Increase: Computation Power Increase Circuit simulation takes a kiloflop Optics design takes a megaflop Weather prediction takes 8 teraflops The change in computation power changes the possibilities for calculation Pervasive computing: Pervasive computing Embedded computers are everywhere Devices are no longer understandable or repairable Transition from Analog to Digital : Transition from Analog to Digital Pictures Sound Movies etc. No degradation of copies Easy to reformat Networking : Networking Smart edges vs. Smart network "Every house is connected" Massive sharing of information “Google” – trusting the network for facts Intellectual Property : Intellectual Property Control of product vs. Sharing & interoperability Ideas now sold rather than shared Incompatibility for competitive reasons is the norm Disappearance of interchangeable parts : Disappearance of interchangeable parts Every product is a new design Cannot “experiment” with the new technologies Heathkit is out of business Permanent Records vs. Ephemeral Records : Permanent Records vs. Ephemeral Records Loss of history Ignoring printed books and papers No “certificate of quality” associated with information Conclusion: Conclusion There has been an amazing growth of computer power in less than 50 years Control of individual vs. control of industry Intellectual property rights Probably the last free decade Governments will probably side with industry Rise of Databases Who will control information and databases? References: References Prof. Tim Bergin at American University A History of Computing Technology by Michael Williams IBM Historical Archives Computer History Museum Google!!