History of computing 5000 B.C. * 1900 A.D.



5000 B.C. – 1900 A.D.

Geoffrey Butterworth & Jessy Turnidge

Earliest History

5000 B.C.

Concept of Abax or

Algorithmic Unit (ALU)

Precursor to notion of computing unit

Lines & pebbles

3200 B.C. Sumer

Origin of accounting and number storage

 Clay tablets


Early History

3000 B.C. China & Babylon

First use of beads on wires - Abacus

Counting before numbers

Commercial uses

2400 B.C. – used to compute the first recorded mention of π

3 1 /


2500 B.C. Egypt

First ideas of a “thinking machine”

Primitive conception of AI

Early History

2000 B.C.

Sanskrit & Chinese writing

1850 B.C. Egypt

“the Rhind”: First record of collections of math problems

Puzzles & story problems; math riddles

1800 B.C. Egypt

Developed use of addition systems

1438 B.C. Egypt

Water clock

Control flow

Early History

1300 B.C. China

Development of decimal system

Basis of floating-point numbers

600 B.C.

Pythagorean theorem “rediscovered”

Spread of Abacus

Advancements in arithmetic in China

550 B.C. - Rediscovery of irrational numbers

Early History

300 B.C.

Widespread use of 1-9 sequence of numerals

Babylonian Salamis tablet

200 B.C. India

The invention of Binary

Decimal  binary

1’s and 2’s instead of 0’s and 1’s

As the Roman Empire fell…

150 - 100 B.C.

Antikythera mechanism

 First analog computer


Advanced technology


First mechanical clock

Precedent for computers and robotics

The spread of education

1200 Logic

Formal thought

1502 Da Vinci

Plans for first mechanical calculator


1642 Blaise Pascal

Constructed the first mechanical calculator

Early technologies

1724 China

First fully mechanical clock

1804 the Jacquard loom

Punched card as “key” to a mechanized loom

1850 Difference Engine

Charles Babbage designed, failed to create

Hand cranked, mechanical, digital computer

Same basic functions as modern computers

“Modern” Uses

19 th century - Ada Lovelace

First computer programmer

 computer algorithm

Pioneer of multimedia

Even has a programming language named after her

“Modern” Uses

Herman Hollerith

Father of automatic computation

1880 census

 Loom & punch card design

Tabulator and sorter

Founded CTR company  IBM


 http://www.thocp.net/timeline/0000.htm

Abax, Abacus, Water clock http://www.atariarchives.org/deli/artificial_intelligence.php

Thinking Machine http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid

=ab34 Sanskrit http://www.world-mysteries.com/sar_4.htm

Antikythera Mechanism http://www.thocp.net/timeline/0469.htm

Antikythera Mechanism 2,

Mechanical Clock, Abelard's http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1038/444534a Antikythera



 http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/abelard/#Log Peter Abelard's Logic http://www.educalc.net/197481.page

Da Vinci's Calculator http://lecture.eingang.org/pascaline.html

Pascal's Calculator http://www.thocp.net/timeline/1620.htm

Pascal 2 http://groups.engin.umd.umich.edu/CIS/course.des/cis400/ada/ada.html

Ada Lovelace http://www.computerhistory.org/babbage/adalovelace/ Ada 2 http://www.computerhistory.org/babbage/engines/ Babbage Engine http://www.columbia.edu/cu/computinghistory/hollerith.html

- Herman



 http://www.assa10.dsl.pipex.com/pre1945/count%20board.jpg


Abax http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/keys2.jpg

- Loom http://financialsensei.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/cogs2.jpg


Antikythera http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9e/Difference


- Babbage Engine http://www.neac2.eu/water/images/miscellaneous/clock-water.gif

water clock http://www.columbia.edu/cu/computinghistory/census-tabulator.html

- tabulator