Technology Then and Now

Welcome to Colleen’s Corner. This is a column meant for fun and some information About myself: I am Colleen Fielding, a Freelance Photographer you often see me on the side of the road  or in various places taking photos of different things animals, birds, places, people etc.  l have lived in Lumby just over 8 years,you have seen my photos in the newspaper (Lumby Valley Times) and once in awhile in the Vernon Morning Star, and the Lumby Art Gallery. Photography is my passion. Disclaimer:  The information on some of my photos that I write about a lot of times come from the Internet or books I research them, hopefully the facts are as close to the truth as I can come.

In the year 1791 December 26 Charles Babbage was born to Elizabeth and Benjamin jr. Babbage. 

Benjamin jr. was a Merchant and a Banker. His son Charles was to become very famous in later years. As Charles was the first inventor of the Computer. Being an Inventor, Mathematician, and just an all around Polymath (Someone that has a very wide range for knowledge and great learning skills) Charles even taught himself Algebra.

Being from a very wealthy family, Charles had private tutors for his education.

At the age of 19 (1810) Charles went to Trinity College in Cambridge University. Charles was disappointed in his instructors as he knew more about Mathematics than they did.  

Charles graduated from Cambridge in 1814, this is the same year that he married his wife Georgiana Whitmore over the years they had 8 children 7 boys 1 girl (they named their daughter Georgiana as well). Only 3 of the boys grew up past their childhood, the daughter dies in her teens. Georgiana (the mother) died giving birth to the last child born to Charles, the child died as well.

In1822 Charles created a machine which he called “The Difference Engine”. This machine could calculate, and print mathematical tables.

A few years later he created a more intense machine, which he called ” The Analytical Engine.” This greater machine would be able to do a mathematical operation that was used by instructions that had been given to the machine. 

Charles died October 18 1871, none of his creations had ever been completed.

In 1936-1938 in his parents’ living room Konrad Zuse from Germany created the Z1, this was the first functional, programmable computer.

In 1936 Alan Turing provided the foundation for the different theories about computing and computers.

In 1943 Tommy Flowers demonstrated the Colossus which was the first electric programmable computer out there. This unit helped the British break down the encrypted messages from the Germans.

In 1943 J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly began building the ENIAC. This was a very large machine; it took up about 1,800 square feet, using around 18,000 vacuum tubes, and weighing in at about 50 tons. This was not completed until 1946.

In the early 50’s IBM introduced the 701, which was mass produced. 

The first personal computer that IBM introduced to the public was called IBM PC in 1981

!955 RAM was introduced by MIT All of these computers were still very large and heavy.

In 1968 Hewlett Packard came out with the first desktop computer.

1971 the first microprocessor.

1974 Computer, Display and the Mouse.

1975 The first Personal Computer.

In 1975 IBM also brought out the first laptop / portable computer, this was called the IBM 5100, it weighed 55 pounds (wow, that is a lot of weight for a laptop.)

In 1976 Steve Wozniak made the first Apple computer, this was called The Apple 1

In 1981 Adam Osbourne created the Osbourne 1 laptop, this one only weighed 24.5 pounds.

1983 The Compaq Portable which was the Apple 1 clone, made by Compaq arrived on the scene.

1984 IBM had its first real portable computer, and this one only weighed 30 pounds.

In 1986 IBM released their next laptop and this one only weighed 12 pounds. (Great cause I think your legs and knees would get numb from all the weight before.) 

The Tandy Radio Shack in 1992 (we used to love this store) was the very first company that would release 2 computers that would be used with the MPC standard which was called the M2500 and the M4020 SX computers.

In 1994 IBM released the ThinkPad 775CD, this was the first notebook with a CD-ROM installed.

The other larger companies followed suit, and here we are today.

There are so many different computer companies out there now, we have the choice of many.

We have come a long way since 1814, so thank you very much Charles Babbage!

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