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Name the six layers of a computer system (starting from the inside):
1)Information 2)Hardware 3)Programming 4)Operating Systems 5)Applications 6)Communications
What is an abacus?
An abacus is an arithmetic calculating tool first developed sround 2400 BC by the Babylonians. It was also used by ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Indians and Chinese.
Define an algorithm.
Developed by the Persian mathematician al-Khwarizmi developed the concept of performing a series of steps in order to accomplish a task (like the systematic application of arithmetic to algebra).
What is the Analytical Engine?
It is a steam-powered mechanical device designed by Charles Babbage in the mid-19th century. It had the functionality of today's modern computers.
What is binary logic?
Developed by British mathematician George Boole in the mid-1800's, binary logic is a complete algebraic system that allowed computational processes to be mathematically modeled with zeros and ones (in binary).
What is computability?
It is the thesis that a mathematical method is effective if it can be set out as a list of instructions able to be followed by a human clerk with paper and pencil for as long as necessary, without ingenuity or insight. It was developed independently by Alonzo Church and Alan Turing.
What is a Turing maching?
In 1936, Alan Turing developed a mathematical COBOLmodel for an extremely basic symbol manipulating device which could be adapted to simulate the logic of any computer that could possibly be constructed.
Describe the first use of electronic devices to solve logic problems.
In 1937, Claude Shannon, an American electrical engineer, recognized that Boolean algebra could be used to arrange electromechanical relays, which were then used in telephone routing switches to solve logic problems. This is the basic concept underlying all electronic digital computers.
Define cybernetics and describe its development.
Cybernetics is the approach of developing artificial systems by examining real systems. It arose during world war II when American mathematician Norbert Woemer experimented with anti-aircraft systems that automatically interpreted radar images to detect enemy planes.
What is the significance of the transistor?
The transistor is the fundamental building block of the circuitry in modern electronic devices. It was developed in the early 1950s. It is used in a wide variety of digital and analog functions including switching, amplification, voltage regulation and signal modulation.
Describe 3 early programming languages.
- Fortran - Released by IBM in 1957 - designed to facilitate numerical computation and scientific computing
- ALGOL - developed by a group of European and American scientists in 1958 - pioneered the language design features that characterize most modern languages
- COBOL - developed by a consortium of technology companies under the supervision of the US Department of Defense - to help develop business, financial and administrative systems for companies and governments
In 1964, _____'s System 360 mainframe computers utilized a single operating system rather than using separate ad-hoc operating systems for each machine.
In 1967, Stanford's Douglas Engelbart employed a wooden case and two metal wheels to invent his "X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System" otherwise known as a ______.
In 1969, IBM's Edgar Codd developed a table based model for organizing data in large systems so it could be easily accessed. These are known as ______________.
What is computational complexity?
It is the notion that some problems may not be solvable on a computer in a "reasonable" amount of time.
What are supercomputers?
Developed in 1976 by Seymour Cray, a supercomputer is a computer that utilizes multiple processors in order to vastly accelerate the computation of extremely complex scientific calculations.
What are personal computers?
Computers intended for home use. Their use was popularized by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who formed Apple Computer in 1976.
Describe the history of the internet.
- 1969 - DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) established ARPANET as a computer communication network that did not require dedicated lines between every pair of comunicating terminals.
- 1977 - ARPANET had grown from 4 nodes to over 100 nodes
- 1988 - the National Science Foundation established five supercomputer centers and connected them via ARPANET in order to provide supercomputer access to academic researchers nationwide.
- 1995 - NSFNET was retired and the internet backbone was officially privatized (private sector found the internet profitable)
- Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen
- 1981 - Contracted with IBM to produce DOS in IBMs PCs
- 1985 - introduced Microsoft Windows (GUI) (promoted ease of use in PCs, resulted in look and feel lawsuit from Apple)
- 1989 - Released Microsoft Office - productivity applications including Word and Excel (accused of unfairly exploiting knowledge of underlying OS by competitors)
- 1995 - entered web browser market with Internet Explorer (criticized for security flaws and lack of compliance with many web standards).
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