New Technology Lecture L12 The Rise of the Machine

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Information about New Technology Lecture L12 The Rise of the Machine

Published on February 21, 2014

Author: olandri



Did you know that the term "Computer" once meant a profession? And what did people or computers actually do? They computed mathematical problems. Some problems were tedious and error prone. And it is not surprising that people started to develop machines to aid in the effort. The first mechanical computers were actually created to get rid of errors in human computation. Then came tabulating machines and cash registers. It was not until telephone companies were well established that computing machines became practical.

First computers were huge mainframes, but soon minicomputers like DEC’s PDP started to appear. The transistor was introduced in 1947, but its usefulness was not truly realized until in 1958 when the integrated circuit was invented. This led to the invention of the microprocessor. Intel, in 1971, marketed the 4004 – and the personal computer revolution started. One of the first Personal Computers was MITS’ Altair. This was a simple device and soon others saw the opportunities.

In this lecture we start our coverage of computing and look at some of the early machines and the impact they had.


“I can assure you on the highest authority that the data processing is a fad and 
 won’t last out the year.” Editor-in-charge of business books, Prentice-Hall 1957

68 Years ago “I  think  there  is  a  world  market  for  maybe  five   computers.”   -­‐  Thomas  Watson,  chairman  of  IBM,  1943  

37 years ago “There  is  no  reason  for  any  individual  to  have  a   computer  in  their  home.”   -­‐  Kenneth  Olsen,  president  and  founder  of  Digital   Equipment  Corp.,  1977  

Think about this How many computers do you have in your household?

History Computing is time consuming and error prone ! Demands for computation were increasing with more organised societies ! Industrial revolution and the Napoleonic reforms ! ! Impetus came from Government: Taxing and Defence

The Counting Business Efforts to speed calculations started early ! Use of logarithmic tables and trigonometry to speed calculations

The Counting Business The Slide Rule by William Oughtred in 1625 ! Built using logarithms, multiplication of two numbers could be done easier a*b = 10^(log(a)+log(b)) ! ! ! ! Much quicker than manual calculation

Early Machines Wilhelm Schickard (1592 -1635) ! German professor of Hebrew and Astronomy University of Tüblingen, Germany ! Built a calculating machine in 1620s ! Documented in letters to Johannes Kepler ! 1623 and 24

Early Machines Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) ! French mathematician, physicist, and 
 religious philosopher ! Built an adding machine in1642-44 ! Tried to commercialise the machine but labor was too cheap

Early Machines Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716) ! German mathematician and philosopher ! Built a machine, the Leibniz Wheel that could multiply and divide

History Workmanship for building complex machines lacked ! In late eighteenth century demand for calculation was growing ! Calculations were done by hand ! Tedious, slow and error-prone and tables of logarithms were riddled with errors

Think about this The idea of calculating with steam was to many impossible - machines could never take over this human activity ! Yet it did. Can you think of a task done today that will be taken over by machine in the future?

Charles Babbage (1791 – 1871) Sometimes called Inventor of the Computer ! Wanted to remove the inevitable
 human errors from computing ! Believed that machines could 
 replace laborious and 
 error-prone calculations

Charles Babbage (1791 – 1871) Designed the Difference Engine ! Machine to compute polynomials ! Got grants but efforts were slow ! Lack of workmanship of the time 
 delayed the project ! Worked stopped 1833

Charles Babbage (1791 – 1871) Babbage started on a new machine in 1834 Beginning of the 2nd Kondratiev – Steam ! Analytical engine ! Programmable machine – with 
 primitive programming language Input was in punched cards Run by steam

A Programmable Machine General purpose computer ! Contained 
 mill to calculate, 
 store to keep data, 
 and formulas ! The first programmer: ! Ada Lovelace had influenced 
 the machine

The Cash Register

The Cash Register ! One of the first calculating machines ! Developed by James Ritty in 1879 in response to thefts by staff ! “The Incorruptible Cashier” ! National Cash Register Company – NCR ! One of the salesman was Tomas Watson, Sr. ! Watson would later leave for 
 CRT – Computing-Tabulating-Recording 

Tabulating Machines

Tabulating Machines In the US need for data processing was growing One application was census taking ! US population grew from 
 17 million in 1840 to 
 50 million in 1880 It took 1.495 clerks 7 years to 
 produce the 1880 census

Tabulating Machines Tabulating Machine Company – TMC ! US Census Bureau awarded Herman Hollerith a contract to produce the 1890 census ! Tabulating Machines with punched cards ! Successfully finished in 2,5 years
 with one-third less cost (claimed) Source:  Tabulating  machine
 Herman  Hollerith  

Tabulating Machines Used punched cards Hollerith cards were in use until 1960s Source:  Tabulating  machine
 Herman  Hollerith  

Tabulating Machines The Business of Data Processing ! Even with the growing need for data processing around 1900, the market for tabulating machines was limited ! CRT and TMC merged and would later change the name to International Business Machines – IBM

“I think there is a market for about five computers” - Tomas Watson, Sr. Electronic Brains

Electric Computing Foundation of electric computing was laid early ! Mechanical computers were not considered practical ! Electricity is widespread ! Threat of war is looming in the 1930s Governments turn to computing for ballistic computations and code-breaking

The Prevailing Technology Trap Although electricity had entered the equation, it had done so only as an alternative method of powering mechanical equipment Source:  Engines  that  Move  Markets

Early Work Konrad Zuse (1910-1995) German Engineer Built primitive machines, Z1-Z4 based 
 on relay switches in 1936 – 1944 ! Used binary system Designed his own language, Plankalkül ! Never received any official support from
 war-time Germany unlike the Allies P2 max (V0[:8.0],V1[:8.0]) => R0[:8.0] V0[:8.0] => Z1[:8.0] (Z1[:8.0] < V1[:8.0]) -> V1[:8.0] => Z1[:8.0] Z1[:8.0] => R0[:8.0] END Source:  Konrad  Zuse

Bletchley Park Location of top-secret code-breaking team Code-breaking the German coding machine ENIGMA

Alan Turing English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer ! Headed the team at Bletchley Park Worked on the algorithms to break
 the ENIGMA code ! Bombe Computer based on heuristics ! Lead to COLOSSUS – one of the first
 electronic computer ! Publishes paper in 1936: On Computable Numbers Source:  Alan  Turing,  COLOSSUS,  Enigma

War Machines COLOSSUS! ! Built in England’s Bletchley Park and used by British code breakers to read encrypted German ENIGMA messages during World War II ! Designed by Alan Turing ! Winston Churchill specifically ordered the destruction of 
 most of the Colossus machines into 'pieces 
 no bigger than a man's hand‘ Source:  COLOSSUS

War Machines ENIAC! ! Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer ! Built by the U.S. Army for the purpose of calculating ballistic firing tables Used 18.000 vacuum tubes ! Designed by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert! ! The machine was unveiled in 1946 and was in operation until 1955 Source:  EINIAC

John von Neumann Hungarian mathematician ! Worked on the Manhattan project
 and became involved in Moore’s 
 School ENIAC and EDVAC projects ! Publishes paper - or a memo, 
 On computer design, 1945 ! Came to be know as 
 Von Neumann architecture John  von  Neumann,  Von  Neumann  architecture

 Computers Based on 
 Vacuum Tubes Copyright  ©  2011  Ólafur  Andri  Ragnarsson

UNIVAC I Commercial Computer ! 5,200 vacuum tubes, weighed 13 tons, consumed 125 kW, and could perform ab 1,905 operations per second running on a 2.25 MHz clock ! Occupied more than 35.5 m²
 of floor space ! The addition time was 525 
 microseconds Source:  UNIVAC  I   Source:  Model  of  UNIVAC  I,  c.  1954.
 Picture  from  Smithsonian  Institution  

Transistor Era Copyright  ©  2011  Ólafur  Andri  Ragnarsson

Transistor was invented by William Shockley, 
 John Bardeen and Walter Brattain in 1948

Transistor Device use to amplify or switch electronic signals ! Huge performance
 improvement Smaller Less energy More robust Faster Copyright  ©  2011  Ólafur  Andri  Ragnarsson

Computers became
 faster, larger and more powerful Copyright  ©  2011  Ólafur  Andri  Ragnarsson

Tyranny of Numbers Computer Engineers have much more flexibility with transistors ! Problem was that as the number of components 
 increased, wiring them together became a problem Copyright  ©  2011  Ólafur  Andri  Ragnarsson Source:  Tyranny  of  Numbers,  Transistor  Computer  

The Integrated circuit

The Invention of the Integrated Circuit Introduced in 1958 by two inventors ! Robert Noyce at Fairchild Semiconductor and Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments ! Transistors could be wired 
 together in practical way ! Mass manufacturing of ICs Copyright  ©  2011  Ólafur  Andri  Ragnarsson Source:  Integrated  circuit  

 Possible Two inventors at the same time invented the IC Copyright  ©  2011  Ólafur  Andri  Ragnarsson

Competition Emerges The Computer Market is born The main application is data processing • Business applications like Payroll, inventory and so on ! IBM enters the computer business Tomas Watson, Jr. launched
 IBM System/360 in 1964 ! Systematically replaced 
 data processing machines
 with mainframe computers

In the 1950s Automation Starts

Automation Automation – Computers begin to disrupt ! Start to replace jobs ! Banks and insurance companies were early adopters ! Handling paycheques, payroll that used to require many clerks to compute

Automation Hollywood took notice ! Desk Set from 1957 with 
 Spencer Tracey and
 Katherine Hepburn Source:  Desk  Set  (from  IMDB)

From Mainframes to Personal Computers

Think About This! The Disruptive Innovation Theory Resources, Processes and Values Theory

Computers in the 1970s

Mainframes Large computers in data centers ! Batch operations Critical applications Financial transaction processing ! IBM  704 IBM  System/360


Time-sharing Computers were expensive to purchase and maintain ! To make it efficient required multiple users Large data centers ! Utility Computing ! Time-sharing of expensive equipment

Moore’s Law Cost of computers went down

Minicomputers Cost for new entrants in the computer business was prohibitive in the 60s ! Market for those that did not need complete solution but could benefit from using computes ! Birth of the Minicomputers ! Two major client groups: 
 academic community and the military

Minicomputers Digital Equipment Corporation! ! Founded in 1957 by Ken Olsen Launched PDP-1 in 1960 ! The PDP-8 was the first successful 
 commercial minicomputer – 1965 ! Used integrated circuits ! Time-sharing allowed multiple 
 users to use the machines at the same time

The Disruptive
 Innovation Theory Digital used relatively simple, convenient, low-cost innovation to create growth and disrupt IBM

RPV IBM Was a mainframe company, their customers wanted mainframes, not low-performance mini computers


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