Giants of Computing: A Compendium of Select, Pivotal by Gerard O'Regan

By Gerard O'Regan

It has been upon the shoulders of giants that the fashionable international has been cast. This available compendium offers an perception into the good minds chargeable for the know-how which has remodeled our lives. each one pioneer is brought with a quick biography, by means of a concise account in their key contributions to their self-discipline. the choice covers a vast unfold of old and modern figures from theoreticians to marketers, highlighting the richness of the sphere of computing. appropriate for the final reader, this concise and easy-to-read reference can be of curiosity to an individual occupied with the inspiring women and men who've formed the sphere of laptop science.

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The Jacquard loom was the first machine to use punched cards to control a sequence of operations. It did not perform computation, but it was able to change the pattern of what was being weaved by changing cards. This gave Babbage the idea to use punched cards to store programs to perform the analysis and computation in the Analytic Engine. The use of the punched cards in the Analytic Engine allowed the formulae to be manipulated in a manner dictated by the programmer. The cards commanded the analytic engine to perform various operations and to return a result.

He died in Maryland aged 91 in 1995. The ABC was ruled to be the first electronic digital computer in the 1973 Honeywell vs. Sperry Rand patent court case in the United States. The court case arose from a patent dispute, and Atanasoff was called as an expert witness in the case. The court ruled that Eckert and Mauchly did not invent the first electronic computer, since the ABC existed as prior art at the time of their patent application. It is fundamental in patent law that an invention is novel and that there is no existing prior art.

The Mark II was funded by the US Navy and completed in 1947. It was faster than the Mark I and employed an electrical memory. His Mark III (or Aiken Dahlgren Electronic Calculator (ADEC)) was built in 1949 for the Navy and was one of the earliest machines to use magnetic drums for data storage. His Mark IV was completed in 1952 with funding from the US air force. Aiken also made important contributions to computer science education, and he started one of the earliest computer science academic programs in the world at Harvard.

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