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Archive of posts published in the category: Wikibooks
Apr
23

Computers for Beginners/The Basics – Wikibooks, open books for an open world

A computer is an electronic device that accepts data as input, processes data into information, stores information for future uses, and outputs the information whenever it is needed.

Brief History[edit]

A large computer used in the 1940s.

Computers, by a wider definition, have been around for thousands of years. One of the earliest computers was the abacus, series of beads arranged on metal rods. Beads could be slid back and forth to operate on numbers. This was a very rudimentary device and is not commonly thought of as a computer in modern times. Our idea of computers involves electricity and electronics.

Electricity makes computers much more efficient. The first computers used an incredible amount of electricity, which changed voltages in vacuum tubes to operate the computer. These computers were given instructions using punch cards, and were behemoths, taking up entire floors of buildings. Only the more privileged

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Apr
10

Computer Organisation – Wikibooks, open books for an open world

Computer Architecture[edit]

2.1.1 Outline the architecture of the central processing unit (CPU) and the functions of the arithmetic logic unit (ALU) and the control unit (CU) and the registers within the CPU.

A major defining point in the history of computing was the realisation in 1944–1945 that data and instructions to manipulate data were logically the same and could be stored in the same place. The computer design built upon this principle, which became known as the von Neumann Architecture, is still the basis for computer today. Although the name honours John von Neumann, a brilliant mathematician who worked on the construction of the atomic bomb, the idea probably originated with J. Presper Echkert and John Mauchly, two other early pioneers who worked on the ENIAC at the Moore School at the University of Pennsylvania during the same time period.

von Neumann Architecture[edit]

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