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6 Firsts In The World Of Computing

6 Firsts In The World Of Computing

Do you ever wonder what were some of the most important and defining moments in the world of computer science? If so, you are in the right place. In this article, we have brought together a selection of world-first that shaped the way we work and live today.

 

1. The first microprocessor

The world’s first microprocessor was designed in April 1970 and was completed by Federico Faggin in January 1971. It was smaller than a thumbnail with a clock speed of 740 kHz, a 4-bit register, 2300 transistors, and a 10-micron spacing. It was capable of processing some 60,000 operations per second and cost $200.

 

2. The first object-oriented programming language

In 1967 the world’s first object-oriented programming language was created, called Simula. It was developed by Ole Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard at the Norweigan Computing Centre and was similar to the ALGOL 60 language that came before it. Simula 67 introduced the concept of objects, classes, subclasses, virtual procedures, inheritance and garbage collection. It was used in a range of different applications including modelling, algorithms and computer graphics. It went on to form the basis for languages such as C++, Pascal, and Java.

 

3. The first personal computer

The world’s first PC was called the Programma 101 and it could perform a total of four arithmetic functions- addition, subtraction, multiplication and division - as well as calculate the square root, fractions, and absolute value of a number. It also featured internal memory, an alphanumeric programming language and a 16 conditional jump instruction.

 

4. The first touchscreen

Today, touchscreens are everywhere, but did you know that the first one was invented in 1965? E.A Johnson described his work on the capacitive touchscreen in an article, calling it “touch display- a novel input/output device for computers”. The article included a diagram describing touchscreen functionality that we still use today. It was first adapted for use by air traffic controllers in the UK during the 1990s.

 

5. The first mouse

The computer mouse as we know it was first invented by Douglas Engelbart and Bill English back in 1970. At the time, it was just a piece of a bigger project that sought to augment human intellect. Engelbart needed a way to interact with information displays by using a machine to move the cursor on the screen- something different to lightpens and joysticks that were being used at the time. The first mouse was used with the Xerox Alto computer system in 1973.

 

6. The first real-time graphics display computer

In 1951, the AN/FSQ-7 was developed by IBM. The biggest computer ever built, it was comprised of 2 Whirlwind II computers installed inside a four-storey building. Its purpose was that of a control and command system for air defence work and it was able to calculate intersection points for aircraft or missiles using a specialist algorithm called an ATABE. It used 3000 kilowatts of electricity, 60,000 vacuum tubes and performed 74,000 instructions a second for networking regional radars and could be used by up to 100 users.

 

Authored by the Finerton.com News Team (Malta)
Images Sourced from wikipedia.org

Last modified on: November 21, 2019

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