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- 11 -

UNIT 2

History of computers

Task 1. Read and translate the text. Choose the information in it to give a

summary of the text.

The first calculating devices

Let us take a look at the history of computers that we know

today. The very first calculating device used was the ten fingers of a

man's hands. This, in fact, is why today we still count in tens and

multiples of tens.

Then the abacus was invented. People went on using some

form of abacus well into the 16

th

century, and it is still being used in some

parts of the world because it can be understood without knowing how

to read.

During the 17

th

and 18

th

centuries many people tried to find

easy ways of calculating. J.Napier, a Scotsman, invented a mechanical

way of multiplying and dividing, which is now the modern slide rule

works. Henry Briggs used Napier's ideas to produce logarithm tables

which all mathematicians use today.

Calculus, another branch of mathematics, was independently

invented by both Sir Isaac Newton, an Englishman, and Leibniz, a

German mathematician. The first real calculating machine appeared in

1820 as the result of several people's experiments.

In 1830 Charles Babbage, a gifted English mathematician,

proposed to build a general-purpose problem-solving machine that he

called "the analytical engine". This machine, which Babbage showed

at the Paris Exhibition in 1855, was an attempt to cut out the human

being altogether, except for providing the machine with the necessary

facts about the problem to be solved. He never finished this work, but

many of his ideas were the basis for building today's computers.

By the early part of the twentieth century electromechani-

cal machines had been developed and were used for business data

processing. Dr. Herman Hollerith, a young statistician from the US

Census Bureau successfully tabulated the 1890 census. Hollerith

invented a means of coding the data by punching holes into cards. He

built one machine to punch the holes and others to tabulate the

collected data. Later Hollerith left the Census Bureau and established

his own tabulating machine company. Through a series of merges the

company eventually became the IBM Corporation.

Until the middle of the twentieth century machines designed

to manipulate punched card data were widely used for business data

- 11 - UNIT 2 History of computers Task 1. Read and translate the text. Choose the information in it to give a summary of the text. The first calculating devices Let us take a look at the history of computers that we know today. The very first calculating device used was the ten fingers of a man's hands. This, in fact, is why today we still count in tens and multiples of tens. Then the abacus was invented. People went on using some form of abacus well into the 16th century, and it is still being used in some parts of the world because it can be understood without knowing how to read. During the 17th and 18th centuries many people tried to find easy ways of calculating. J.Napier, a Scotsman, invented a mechanical way of multiplying and dividing, which is now the modern slide rule works. Henry Briggs used Napier's ideas to produce logarithm tables which all mathematicians use today. Calculus, another branch of mathematics, was independently invented by both Sir Isaac Newton, an Englishman, and Leibniz, a German mathematician. The first real calculating machine appeared in 1820 as the result of several people's experiments. In 1830 Charles Babbage, a gifted English mathematician, proposed to build a general-purpose problem-solving machine that he called "the analytical engine". This machine, which Babbage showed at the Paris Exhibition in 1855, was an attempt to cut out the human being altogether, except for providing the machine with the necessary facts about the problem to be solved. He never finished this work, but many of his ideas were the basis for building today's computers. By the early part of the twentieth century electromechani- cal machines had been developed and were used for business data processing. Dr. Herman Hollerith, a young statistician from the US Census Bureau successfully tabulated the 1890 census. Hollerith invented a means of coding the data by punching holes into cards. He built one machine to punch the holes and others to tabulate the collected data. Later Hollerith left the Census Bureau and established his own tabulating machine company. Through a series of merges the company eventually became the IBM Corporation. Until the middle of the twentieth century machines designed to manipulate punched card data were widely used for business data

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