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Did you know that computers are all around us? We use computers all the time, even when we don’t realize it. You might be thinking, “I don’t even get on my laptop very often”, but did you know that your cell phone, tablet or other electronic accessories are technically considered computers. A computer does not just come with a keyboard and a screen. They can be small and they can be large. The definition of a computer is: “a programmable electronic device designed to accept data, perform prescribed mathematical and logical operations at high speed, and display the results of these operations.”(1) Computers are not new to this day and age. The first computer wasn’t like a computer we have now. This computer was mechanical but you couldn’t program anything on it. The first mechanical computer was made in 1837, by a man named Charles Babbage. This computer was named the Analytical Engine, and it was huge. The Analytical Engine was complex for it’s time, but it wasn’t as complex as computers nowadays. An Analytical Engine has several components that are much different than the most recent computers. Inside of an Analytical Engine, there was an integrated memory, punch cards that were inspired by Jacquard Loom,  there was an Arithmetic Logic Unit and basic flow control(4). The integrated memory was a very basic Random Access Memory, also known as RAM. It is a type of memory that stores information on an integrated circuit used by the software, hardware, and operating system. The punch cards that were contained within an Analytical Engine were also known as Hollerith cards; also, they were paper cards that accommodated several punched holes that were punched by a machine or hand to represent data(2). An Arithmetic Logic Unit is one of many components within a computer’s central processing unit. It performs mathematical operations on binary numbers.(5) Approximately one year later, a man that went by the name Konrad Zuse created the first programmable computer. In 1937, Konrad invented a computer in his parents living room, which sparked the evolution of computers. He called this invention Z1 and it was considered to be the first electro-mechanical binary programmable computer(7). In 1939, a popular company that almost everybody knows was founded by two gentleman known as David Packard and Bill Hewlett. These men created a company known as Hewlett Packard, or HP for short. HP is one of the biggest computer companies in the world as of December 12, 2017. When HP first started, they didn’t even make computers. They started out by making what they called the HP 200A Audio Oscillator.(7) An audio oscillator is a machine that generates one tone at a time.(8)  These were very popular back in the day because people were not used to having technology like this in their life. Computers have advanced a ton throughout the years.They started out as a giant machine that took up an entire twenty foot by ten foot room. Now we have small laptops known as chromebooks that barely take up any space. An invention that sparked computers being tiny was the invention of the first laptop. Compared to the Analytical Engine, the laptop is one hundred times smaller. A laptop is a portable personal computer powered by a battery or AC cord(9). Laptops were made so people could have the usefulness of a computer but portably. Laptops aren’t new though, they have been around since the nineteen eighties. In 1981, a man name Adam Osborne invented the first ever laptop. He called it the “Osborne 1” and it was really expensive. The price for one of these was one thousand seven hundred and ninety five dollars. Believe it or not, Osborne computers was the first company to ever sell a laptop. The Osborne 1 wasn’t like todays laptops, even though it was ahead of its time. It had terrible software compared to today’s computers. The Osborne 1 consisted of two built in floppy drives which were ninety one K of data each, the CP/M operating system which was the most popular operating system at the time, a detachable numeric pad and keyboard, a built in tiny monitor. This system was really impressive for its time. There were a bunch of good things that came with this machine, like how portable it was and how cheap it was compared to some computers. There were some downfalls also, like how it weighed twenty four pounds, and the screen couldn’t display more than fifty two characters in a row(10). Even though it was sort of a garbage computer, it helped make computers become what they are today. In today’s society, we have some amazing computers. The computers we have are extremely fast and can handle most processes. The best part is that computers are still advancing. When computers started becoming amazing was in the early 2000’s. Approximately seventeen years ago, computers started turning into something that no one ever thought they would. They started introducing more high speed RAM for people to game on their computer, or to make it faster. This RAM is called DDR3 and people bought it and used it if they wanted to play video games. A computer back in the early 2000’s also had a processor that was not very good. A processor, or CPU (Central Processing Unit), is basically the brains of the computer.  The CPU is the component that is responsible for executing commands from the computers hardware and software(11). Earlier, I mentioned that computers are everywhere. Well, did you know that your cell phone is a computer? It has all the aspects a computer does. In the early 2000’s, when people had flip phones, the phone didn’t have a great CPU, which is why the graphics were awful on it. These phones also could not play games, which is because of the RAM it had. Since it was such a small phone, you could not store a whole lot because it didn’t have any storage. Nowadays, we have smartphones.A smartphone is a phone with an integrated computer and other features like a processing system, the ability to run software applications, and web browsing. The most common smartphone in two thousand and seventeen is the Apple Iphone 6. This phone is ahead of its time. Inside of this phone, there is of course a processor, built in storage, RAM, a camera, and even built in wifi. The processor of the Iphone 6 is the Apple A8, which is a processor they made themselves. It has an eight megapixel camera and it can have up to two hundred and fifty six gigabytes of storage(12). These phones are the top of the line, mainly because they are basically a computer that can fit into your pocket. This phone might sound amazing, but there are some downfalls, These iphones are super flexible which mean you can bend them pretty easily. The screen can also shatter really easily if you drop it. These portable computers are amazing. If you go online and look up a high end computer, you will come across a pretty hefty price. Computers are not cheap, but you get what you pay for. Computers nowadays have evolved a great amount. People can go online and order their own computer parts just to build their own computers. I did this, and I do not regret it one bit. In a computer nowadays, there is DDR4 RAM, one terabyte hard drives, 1080p graphics cards, and quad core processors. A one terabyte hard drive is a component of a computer where it can store one thousand gigabytes, which is used for storage. DDR4 RAM, or double data rate fourth generation synchronous dynamic random-access memory is just an upgrade of speed and efficiency from the DDR3 RAM(13). 1080p graphics cards are the most expensive part of a computer. They have their own memory storage and they allow gamers to experience gaming like never before. Graphics cards are really futuristic and they are extremely important. The most important part of the computer nowadays is the processor. In today’s computers, most of them have quad core processors. A quad core processor is a chip with four units known as cores that read and execute the CPU data. There are processors that only have dual core which means there is only two cores instead of four, and there are processors that only have one core. The quad core is the most advanced CPU of the computers. The computers in today’s day look absolutely awesome. You can make them look extremely nice by deciding what color you want them to be. You can also make them super quiet so you aren’t able to hear them. Oh, and did I mention the RGB LED’s? RGB LED’s means that red, green, and blue went into LEDs, which are lights, to make all sorts of colors. Thy make everything in RGB now. You can get your RAM, your hard drives, or even your graphics cards. There is even RGB LED strips that you can put up in your computer so it all glows. All in all, computers have evolved alot. Computers started out at nothing but an idea that might make work easier, and ended up changing the world forever. Computers have gone from huge to extremely small. They haven’t just improved in size, they have also improved in performance. Computers are here to stay thanks to Adam Osborne and his first programmable computer. Computers are the future and they will continue advancing as the years go by.

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