The Comparative Analysis Of The History Of The Computer Science
And The Computer Engineering In The USA And Ukraine.
HOWARD H. AIKEN AND THE COMPUTER
Howard Aiken's contributions to the development of the computer -notably
the Harvard Mark I (IBM ASSC) machine, and its successor the Mark II -
are often excluded from the mainstream history of computers on two
technicalities. The first is that Mark I and Mark II were
electro-mechanical rather than electronic; the second one is that Aiken
was never convinced that computer programs should be treated as data in
what has come to be known as the von Neumann concept, or the stored
?) as “Harvard architecture”, though, it should more properly be called
“Aiken architecture”. In this technology the program is fix and not
subject to any alteration save by intent - as in some computers used for
telephone switching and in ROM.
OPERATION OF THE ENIAC.
Aiken was a visionary, a man ahead of his times. Grace Hopper and others
remember his prediction in the late 1940s, even before the vacuum tube
had been wholly replaced by the transistor, that the time would come
when a machine even more powerful than the giant machines of those days
could be fitted into a space as small as a shoe box.
Some weeks before his death Aiken had made another prediction. He
pointed out that hardware considerations alone did not give a true
picture of computer costs. As hardware has become cheaper, software has
been apt to get more expensive. And then he gave us his final
prediction: “The time will come”, he said, “when manufacturers will gave
away hardware in order to sell software”. Time alone will tell whether
or not this was his final look ahead into the future.
DEVELOPMENT OF COMPUTERS IN THE USA
In the early 1960s, when computers were hulking mainframes that took up
entire rooms, engineers were already toying with the then - extravagant
notion of building a computer intended for the sole use of one person.
by the early 1970s, researches at Xerox's Polo Alto Research Center
(Xerox PARC) had realized that the pace of improvement in the technology
of semiconductors - the chips of silicon that are the building blocks of
present-day electronics - meant that sooner or later the PC would be
extravagant no longer. They foresaw that computing power would someday
be so cheap that engineers would be able to afford to devote a great
deal of it simply to making non-technical people more comfortable with
these new information - handling tools. in their labs, they developed or
refined much of what constitutes PCs today, from “mouse” pointing
devices to software “windows”.
Although the work at Xerox PARC was crucial, it was not the spark that
took PCs out of the hands of experts and into the popular imagination.
That happened inauspiciously in January 1975, when the magazine Popular
Electronics put a new kit for hobbyists, called the Altair, on its
cover. for the first time, anybody with $400 and a soldering iron could
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