History of Computer: The Fascinating Journey

History of Computers: In today’s modern world, computers are an integral part of our lives, revolutionizing how we live, work, and communicate. From the humble beginnings of calculating machines to the sophisticated supercomputers of today, the History of computers is an awe-inspiring tale of human ingenuity, perseverance, and innovation. In this blog, we embark on a journey through time to explore the fascinating evolution of computers.

History of Computer

The History of Computers is a captivating tale that spans centuries of human ingenuity and technological advancements. From ancient calculating devices to the powerful machines we use today, the journey of computers has revolutionized every aspect of human life. Let’s explore the key milestones in the History of computers that will help students make in the History of computer assignments and pdf notes.

Brief History of Computer: Introduction

The computer is one of the most influential innovations in human History. The electronic computer has existed for over a half-century, but its ancestor abacus has been around for 2000 years. However, only in the last 40 years, it has changed our lifestyle. From the first wooden abacus to the latest high-speed microprocessor, the computer has changed nearly every aspect of people’s lives. Here, under the History of Computers, we will cover the history of computer timeline, the history of computer evolution, and the history of computer generation.

History of Computer Timeline

History of Computer Timeline image
History of Computer Timeline
Computer evolutionTimeline
Abacus16th Century
Napier’s Bones1617
Card of Holes1801
Analytical Engine1834-71
Tabulating Machine1880
Mark 11944
IBM 6501954
History of Computer Timeline

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Evolution of computers

The evolution of computer is a fascinating journey that spans over several centuries. It involves significant advancements in technology, hardware, and software, leading to the sophisticated computing devices we have today. Here is a summarized table of the key milestones in the evolution of computers:




Invented by






The earliest computation device

Addition, Subtraction, Square root


Pascal Calculator


Blaise Pascal

The first real Mechanical Calculator

Also, known as Adding Machine


Weaving Loom


Joseph Marie

First Mechanical Loom

Automated weaving loom

working repeatedly on the same pattern

Based on Punched holes to control weaving pattern


Analytical Engine


Charles Babbage

The concept of analytical engine used eventually in the development of the first computer prototype. So, he is known as father of computer.


Herman Tabulating Machine


Herman Hollerith

A device to punch data into card

First electromechanical machine used to store data for census in 1890


Mark 1


Howard Aiken

World’s first program-controlled calculator

The Largest Electro-mechanical computer ever built

Magnetic Drums are used for storage




John Mauchly and J.P. Eckart

Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer

First electronic digital Computer

Used for weather prediction, atomic energy calculation and other scientific uses.




John Von Neumann

Fist computer with internal storage capacity

Capable of storing instruction and data in memory

Used mercury delay lines for memory and vacuum tubes for logic

Able to calculate tables (multiplication) of squares and prime numbers




Eckert and JW Mauchly


First-generation of computer

Used magnetic tapes as input and output

First general-purpose computer with a large amount of input and output

First commercially available computer

History of Computer Generation

First Generation1. Use of vacuum tubes in circuits.
2. Use of magnetic drums as the primary internal storage medium.
3. Limited main storage capacity.
4. Slow input/ output.
5. Low-level symbolic language programming.
6. Heat and maintenance problems.
Applications: Payroll processing and record-keeping.
Example: ENIAC, IBM 650, UNIVAC 1
Second Generation1. Use of transistors in the place of vacuum tubes.
2. Use of magnetic core as the primary internal storage medium.
3. Increased main storage capacity.
4. Faster input/ output.
5. Great reduction in size and heat generation.
6. Increased speed and reliability.
7. High-level programming language (COBOL and FORTRAN).
Applications: Batch-oriented (Billing, Payroll processing, and Updating inventory files).
Example: IBM 1401, Honeywell 200, CDC 1604.
Third Generation1. Use of IC (Integrated Circuit).
2. Use of magnetic core as the primary storage medium.
3. More flexible input/ output.
4. Smaller size, better performance, and reliability.
5. Increased speed and better performance.
6. Extensive use of high-level programming languages.
7. Emergence of minicomputers. Remote processing and time-sharing through communication.
8. Availability of operating system software to control input/ output.
Applications: Airline reservation system, market forecasting, and credit card billing.
Example: IBM System /360, NCR 395, Burroughs B6500.
Fourth Generation1. Use of large-scale integrated circuits.
2. Increased storage capacity and speed.
3. Modular design and compatibility between hardware provided by different manufacturers.
4. Greater versatility of input/ output devices.
5. Introduction of microprocessors and microcomputers.
6. Increased use of microcomputers.
Applications: Electronic fund transfer, computer-aided instruction, home computers and mathematical modelling and simulation.
Examples: IBM PC-XT (microcomputer), Apple II, Honeywell 6080 series.
History of Computer Generation

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MCQs based on History of Computer

1. Who is considered the “father of the computer” for his work on the concept of a programmable computing machine?

  •    a) Charles Babbage
  •    b) Alan Turing
  •    c) John Mauchly
  •    d) Douglas Engelbart

   Answer: a) Charles Babbage

2. The first electronic computer, ENIAC, used what technology for its operation?

  •    a) Vacuum tubes
  •    b) Transistors
  •    c) Integrated circuits
  •    d) Microprocessors

   Answer: a) Vacuum tubes

3. The development of the integrated circuit (IC) revolutionized computers during which computer generation?

  •    a) First generation
  •    b) Second generation
  •    c) Third generation
  •    d) Fourth generation

   Answer: b) Second generation

4. Which computer generation saw the introduction of high-level programming languages like COBOL and FORTRAN?

  •    a) First generation
  •    b) Second generation
  •    c) Third generation
  •    d) Fourth generation

   Answer: c) Third generation

5. The Altair 8800, introduced in 1975, is considered the first commercially successful:

  •    a) Mainframe computer
  •    b) Supercomputer
  •    c) Personal computer
  •    d) Quantum computer

   Answer: c) Personal computer

6. Who invented the computer mouse in 1964?

  •    a) Charles Babbage
  •    b) Alan Turing
  •    c) Douglas Engelbart
  •    d) Tim Berners-Lee

   Answer: c) Douglas Engelbart

7. Which organization introduced the IBM System/360 in 1964, a family of compatible mainframe computers?

  •    a) Microsoft
  •    b) Apple Inc.
  •    c) IBM
  •    d) Xerox

   Answer: c) IBM

8. The World Wide Web was invented by:

  •    a) Charles Babbage
  •    b) Alan Turing
  •    c) Tim Berners-Lee
  •    d) John Mauchly

   Answer: c) Tim Berners-Lee

9. The development of transistors in computers replaced which earlier technology?

  •    a) Punched cards
  •    b) Vacuum tubes
  •    c) Integrated circuits
  •    d) Microprocessors

   Answer: b) Vacuum tubes

10. The first commercially successful graphical user interface (GUI) was developed at:

  •     a) Microsoft
  •     b) Apple Inc.
  •     c) Xerox PARC
  •     d) IBM

    Answer: c) Xerox PARC

11. What is the current generation of computers that we are using today?

  •     a) Fourth generation
  •     b) Fifth generation
  •     c) Sixth generation
  •     d) Seventh generation

    Answer: b) Fifth generation

12. Quantum computing aims to leverage which phenomenon to perform complex computations?

  •     a) Superposition
  •     b) Electromagnetism
  •     c) Gravitational force
  •     d) Centrifugal force

    Answer: a) Superposition

13. The “Analytical Engine” concept was proposed by Charles Babbage in which century?

  •     a) 17th century
  •     b) 18th century
  •     c) 19th century
  •     d) 20th century

    Answer: c) 19th century

14. The first successful personal computer, IBM PC, was introduced in what year?

  •     a) 1971
  •     b) 1981
  •     c) 1991
  •     d) 2001

    Answer: b) 1981

15. What was the first microprocessor developed by Intel that played a key role in the development of personal computers?

  •     a) Intel 4004
  •     b) Intel 8086
  •     c) Intel 80386
  •     d) Intel Pentium

    Answer: a) Intel 4004

FAQs on History of Computer

  1. Q: Who invented the first computer?

    A: The concept of a programmable computing machine was proposed by Charles Babbage, an English mathematician and inventor, in the 19th century. His “Analytical Engine” is considered the first design for a general-purpose mechanical computer, although it was never built during his lifetime.

  2. Q: What was the first electronic computer?

    A: The first electronic computer was ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), developed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly at the University of Pennsylvania. It was completed in 1945 and used vacuum tubes to perform calculations.

  3. Q: When was the first personal computer invented?

    A: The first personal computer was the “Altair 8800,” introduced in 1975 by MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems). It was a kit-based microcomputer designed by Ed Roberts and is considered one of the early milestones in the PC revolution.

  4. Q: What was the significance of the Turing machine in computer history?

    A: The Turing machine, conceptualized by Alan Turing in 1936, is a theoretical device that laid the foundation for modern computers. It demonstrated the principles of algorithmic computation and served as a theoretical basis for understanding computation and computability.

  5. Q: When was the first computer mouse invented?

    A: The computer mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart in 1964 while working at the Stanford Research Institute. The first mouse was a wooden block with two wheels, which later evolved into the familiar ball mouse and optical mouse designs.

  6. Q: What was the role of IBM in computer history?

    A: IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) played a significant role in the history of computers. It introduced the IBM System/360 in 1964, a family of compatible mainframe computers that became widely used in business and scientific applications. IBM also produced the first successful personal computer, the IBM PC, in 1981, which helped popularize PCs worldwide.

  7. Q: When was the World Wide Web invented?

    A: The World Wide Web was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 while working at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). He proposed a system that allowed information to be accessed and linked using hyperlinks. The first web browser, called WorldWideWeb (later renamed Nexus), was also developed by Berners-Lee in 1990.

  8. Q: How did the development of transistors impact computing?

    A: The invention of transistors in the late 1940s revolutionized computing. Transistors replaced bulky and unreliable vacuum tubes, making computers smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient. This led to the second generation of computers and paved the way for modern electronics.

  9. Q: What are some significant milestones in computer graphics history?

    A: Some significant milestones in computer graphics history include the development of the first graphical user interface (GUI) at Xerox PARC in the 1970s, the introduction of the first color display on the Xerox Star in 1981, and the creation of the first widely-used GUI-based operating system, Windows 3.0, by Microsoft in 1990.

  10. Q: What is the current state of quantum computing?

    A: Quantum computing is an emerging field with ongoing research and development. While experimental quantum computers have been built, they are still in the early stages and face challenges in terms of stability and error correction. Quantum computing holds great promise for solving complex problems beyond the capabilities of classical computers, but practical, large-scale quantum computers are not yet widely available.

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Last updated: September 23, 2023 Updated on 12:40 PM