Answer ( 1 )

  1. The history of computing starts before the first computers were invented. Think about the abacus, it’s more than four thousand years old. It’s a frame with beads on it, the position of each bead represented numbers, and could be used to make incredible calculations.

    While the abacus requires a human to use it, correct use of the abacus is governed by rules that a human would follow in order to do the sums. If you wrote down these rules for someone to follow, they’d look remarkably like computer programming.

    Fast forward to the 19th century to the invention of the Jacquard loom. This was a weaving machine that used a punchcard system to automatically weave a pattern into fabric. Cands punched with a pattern would be inserted into the machine, and the machine would, through mechanical means, weave out the required pattern. In effect the punch cards were programs, consisting of 1s and 0s.

    These looms are often considered the inspiration for future computers, the history of the computer is way too long for me to write in a Quora post (and I don’t remember it by heart so would have to look things up anyway), but if you follow the development of the computer all the way from the Jacquard loom to Charles Babbage ‘s Difference engine, through to the work of Ada Lovelace, and then Herman Hollerith, you’ll get a better idea of how we ended up with computing. Just search for the “history of computing” anywhere.

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