Computing Hardware

The History

Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee is a British computer scientist who invented the World Wide Web. He was born on the 8th of June 1955 and grew up in London. He studied physics at Oxford University and became a software engineer.

He also created the first web browser and editor. The world's first website ( was launched on the 6th of August 1991. It explained the World Wide Web concept and gave users an introduction to getting started with their own websites.

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Alan Turing

Alan Turing was a British computer scientist, mathematician, biologist, and ultra distance runner, He was born on the 23rd of June 1912. He played a vital role in deciphering the messages encrypted by German Enigma machine. He took lead in the team that designed a machine known as a 'bombe' that successfully decoded German messages.

In 1952, on the 7th of June, Alan Turing committed suicide after being arrested and tried for homosexuality.

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The 4 Generations of Computers

1st Generation

The first computers used vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory. They were massive, taking up entire rooms. First generation computers used machine language. Input was based on punched cards and paper tape and output was displayed on printouts. The UNIVAC was the first commercial computer delivered to a business client, the U.S. Census Bureau in 1951.

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2nd Generation

Transistors replaced vacuum tubes in the second generation of computers. The transistor was invented in 1947 but did not see widespread use in computers until the late 1950s.The computers became smaller, faster, and cheaper. Second generation computers still relied on punched cards for input and printouts for output.

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3rd Generation

The integrated circuits was the hallmark of the third generation of computers.Instead of punched cards and printouts, users interacted with third generation computers through keyboards and monitors and interfaced with an operating system. Computers for the first time became accessible to a mass audience because they were smaller and cheaper than their predecessors.

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4th Generation

In 1981 IBM introduced its first computer for the home user, and in 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh. As these small computers became more powerful, they could be linked together to form networks, which eventually led to the development of the Internet. Fourth generation computers also saw the development of GUIs, the mouse and handheld devices.

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5th Generation

The Fifth Generation Computer Systems project was an initiative by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry, begun in 1982, to create a computer using massively parallel computing /processing. The term "fifth generation" was intended to convey the system as being a leap beyond existing machines. The project was to create the computer over a ten-year period, after which it was considered ended and investment in a new "sixth generation" project would begin. Opinions about its outcome are divided: either it was a failure, or it was ahead of its time.

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5th Generation Computers

Inputs and Outputs


- Keyboard

- Mouse

- Stylus pen

- Touch screen

- Game controller

- Headset

- Scanner

- Cameras


- Monitor

- Speakers

- Printer

- Projector

- CD



Computer drives are an integral part of any computer system, PC or Mac. They perform different functions that range from storage to CD/DVD input. They give us the flexibility to customize and control the functionality of our computer systems.
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CPU stands for Central Processing Unit. It is the electronic circuit within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program. It does this by performing arithmetic, logical, control and input/output operations. The form and design of CPU's have changed over the course of history, but their fundamental operations stayed the same. Principal components of a CPU include the arithmetic logic unit (ALU) that performs arithmetic and logic operations.
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ROM= Read Only Memory

RAM= Random Access Memory

ROM is memory that cannot be changed by a program or user. ROM retains its memory even after the computer is turned off. Eg, ROM stores the instructions for the computer to start up when it is turned on again.

RAM is a fast temporary type of memory in which programs, applications and data are stored. Some examples:


-the operating system

-the graphical user interface (GUI)

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A motherboard is the main printed circuit board (PCB) found in computers. It holds many crucial electronic components of the systems. as the name suggests, this board is the "mother" of all components attached to it, which often include sound cards, video cards, network cards, or other forms of persistent storage.
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Touch Screens

A touchscreen is an input device normally layered on top of an electronic visual display. A user can give input or control the information processing system through simple or multi-touch gestures by touching the screen with a special stylus/pen or fingers. The user can use the touchscreen to react to what is displayed and to control how it is displayed (for example by zooming the text size).
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