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Course Information

  • Course Title: Introduction to Computing
  • Meeting Time: 4:00 PM to 5:45 PM MW
  • Classroom: A1930
  • Textbook: Technology at your Service
  • Instructor: Dr. Sean Kopinski

Course Materials

Milestones in Computing

Pascals Calculator

In early 1642, at the young age of 19, Blaise Pascal began working on his first calculator. His efforts were to help his father, a tax collector in France, have an easier work load during the day. A young but bright mind (and persistent), Pascal finished his first calculator in 1645 after creating 50 prototypes before presenting it to the public. Pascal dedicated his first public model to Pierre Seguier, the Chancellor of France at the time.

Pascals Machine would be Credited with several firsts:

  • the only operational mechanical calculator in the 17th century.
  • the first calculator to have a controlled carry mechanism which allowed for an effective propagation of multiple carries
  • the first calculator to be used in an office (his father's to compute taxes)
  • the first calculator commercialized (with around twenty machines built)
  • the first calculator to be patented (royal privilege of 1649)
  • the first calculator to be described in an encyclopaedia (Diderot & d'Alembert, 1751)
Pascals machine would be only the second Arithmetic Machine to be invented after the Abacus, a Machine Credited to the Sumerian Empire in 2500 BC and was the first to have a Carry function automatically happen when adding numbers past the 9th digit of a series. Arts et Metiers Pascaline dsc03869.jpg --Samuel Reynolds 5:00, 14 March 2016 (EDT) [1]


Babbage's Engines

Charles Babbage (1791-1871) was an influential mathematician during the 1800's and is thought to be the originator of the concept of a programmable computing machine [2]. Babbage sought to remove human error from calculations essential to both naval and contemporary engineering operations. His first experiments with physical computing machines was in 1822 with his Difference Engine which was designed to compute polynomial equations. the project was never completed. A physical model of his design for Difference Engine No.2 was made posthumously in the 1980s from his design specifications. Babbage never completed a fully functioning computing machine in his lifetime, though his methods stand as a model for modern computing.He,along with Ada Lovelace, worked on the development of the Analytical Engine which was a more complex endeavor than his Difference Engine. --Hilary Wheelan 17:03, 14 March 2016 (EDT)


1932 Early Use of Binary

The Binary code has been around since ancient China. It is a system of 1s and 0s that represent numerical values. The Earliest used with computers was by C.E. Wynn-Williams and it was called the "Scale of Two" counter. Computers translate the Binary Code in pictures, letters, symbols, and numbers. Every bit of information that goes through the computer is translated into and out of the Binary Code.

Wrapping paper-binary.jpg

--Sean Kopinski 11:30, 14 March 2016 (EDT)

[3] [4]

1936 Turning Machine

The Turning Machine is a universal machine that manipulates symbols on a strip of tape according to a table of rules or "programming". Alan Turing used the machine to break the Enigma Code in World War 2. It was capable of computing anything that is computable and laid the groundwork for modern computing and theorized about artificial intelligence.

Turing Machine.jpg

--Tommy Tran


1944 Harvard Mark 1

The Harvard Mark 1 was invented by Howard Aiken, and was used to compute information. This machine was one of the first early signs of progressing computing technology. Developed by IBM, or International Business Machines, the Mark 1 used punch cards to display information or to solve complex equations. This computing machine was used by many organizations and business. It worked by putting a punched card into the machine and it would process the answer on a punched card or teletypewriter. The military later used this same technology to calculate more accurate artillery strikes.

Harvard-Mark-I.jpg --Zac Bryant 4:40, 14 March 2016 (EDT)


1951 The UNIVAC


On June 14, 1951, the U.S. Census Bureau dedicates UNIVAC, the world's first commercially produced electronic digital computer. UNIVAC, which stood for Universal Automatic Computer, was developed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, makers of ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic digital computer. The UNIVAC used thousands of vacuum tubes for computing, and is the forerunner for todays digital computers. The UNIVAC was used for general purpose computing with large amounts of input and output.

In the late 50's an IBM team lead by John Backus designed the first successful programming language for computers. They took FORmula and TRANslation to come up with FORTRAN. Its original purpose was to help solve science and engineering problems. Making FORTRAN a milestone in computing history because once something is created, they never stop working on it and or making the program better. Fortran came to take over this area of programming early on and has been used for over half a century in computationally intensive areas such as weather prediction, computational physics and computational chemistry.


--MeLanie Bowers 5:00, 14 March 2016 (EDT)

1951 SEAC SWAC completed

The Standards Eastern Automatic Computer(SEAC) is among the first stored- program computers completed in the United States.It was built in Washington DC as a test bed for evaluation components and systems as well as setting computer standards. It was also one of the first computers to use all-diode logic, a technology more reliable than vacuum tubes. The NBC also built the Standard Western Automatic Compute(SWAC) at the institute for Numerical Analysis on the UCLA campus. Unlike the SEAC the SWAC was built using already-developed technology. The SWAC was used to create the first computer-scanning image as well as to discover five previously unknown Mersenne Prime Numbers. SWAC-1950.jpg


Arpanet.gif 1969 - The Internet, originally the ARPAnet (Advanced Research Projects Agency network), began as a military computer network. (http://mason.gmu.edu/~montecin/computer-hist-web.htm) -(Jay Bonds)

Minicomputer was invented


In 1960, a small computer which does not require air conditioning and only uses one operator, was invented. This small computer is called minicomputer. It has the size between a microcomputer and a mainframe. The minicomputers were sold to small and mid-size businesses for general business applications and to large enterprises for department-level operations. It was also used to create the first computer game and this was the reason why it was chosen to be a milestone. Some examples of the minicomputers are:

  • MAI Basic4
  • DEC PDP and VAX Series
  • Prime Computer Prime 50
  • Data General Nova
  • Wang Laboratories 2200 and VS Series

- http://www.answers.com/Q/Examples_of_mini_computers

- https://www.timetoast.com/timelines/ten-milestones-of-computer-technology

--Yen Nguyen 17:10, 14 March 2016 (EDT)


1975 the Altair 8800 was produced and released as the first "personal computer" that was easily affordable and obtainable. Ed Roberts, the owner and president of Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems(MITS), designed the Altair 8800 as the first computer to be sold with a full kit which included the assembly instructions, metal case, power supply, and all of the boards and components required to be a functional computer. Many believe the Altair got its name from a Star Trek Episode 34 through one of the contributor's daughter suggestion. Others believe that the Altair was named after the 11th star because creating the first personal computer was a "stellar event" so it should be treated as a star. Regardless of how the Altair 8800 got its name the January and February 1975 editions of the Popular Electronics magazines revealed the first personal computer which began the computing age. [5]



1983 Apple releases the Lisa computer January 19, 1983 the first commercial computer with a GUI. It was one of the first personal computer to offer a graphical user interface in a machine aimed at individual business users. The Lisa was a more advanced system than the Macintosh of this time http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/10788057/First-computer-to-come-with-a-mouse-could-fetch-25000-at-auction.html

Lisa-1 2892802b.jpg -Sandra Matthews

IN 1981 the first IBM personal computer was made other wise known as the IBM PC it twas one of the first PC's ever made. And gave huge profit to IBM and influencing other company's to start manufacturing their own versions of the PC.

Ibm pc 5150.jpg -Hervin Lima


Magneto-Optical Discs are introduced. Housed in cartridges, they are a combination a magnetic and optical storage, as their name suggests. They could be rewritten up to one million times. Faster than CD/RWs and DVD-RAMs, M-O discs used lasers that heated up the bits on the disc, after which a magnet would change the bit's polarity according to what was being written, thereby storing the information. http://www.computerhistory.org/timeline/1990/

Magneto-optical discs.jpg

--Jordan Gailes 16:39, 14 March 2016 (EDT)

Amstrad GX4000

The GX4000 is a video game console that was manufactured by Amstrad. It was the company's short-lived attempt to enter the games console market. The console was released in Europe in 1990 and was an upgraded design based on the then still-popular CPC technology.


Amstrad GX4000 Console SHarp.png

      - Roberto Alvarado

1990 Hypertext

In the year 1990 Tim Berners-Lee who was working with Robert Cailliau proposed a a "hypertext" system which would be known as the first step to what is called the internet. Tim Berners-Lee successfully sets up the first internet on December 25, 1990 at info.cern.ch.


- Alex Van 4:50, 14 March 2016 (EDT)



In the year 2000 USB drives are introduced. The creation of flash drives provided fast and held more data in comparison to prior storage methods. They also provided more durability because they could no be as easily damaged with things such as scratches compared to floppy disc's that were being used before the creation of flash dives.

Flash drive.jpg

--Tyler Waldon-Lee 4:36, 14 March 2016 (EDT)


Students List

Robert Alvarado

JacQuio Bonds

Melanie Bowers

Zachary Bryant

Brandon Donner

Jordan Gailes

Roberto Gonzalez

Dorean Johnson

Martin Juarez Zavaleta

Hervin Lima

Traivon Mackey

Sandra Matthews

JoAnna Molina

Yen Nguyen

Samuel Reynolds

Austin Rogers

Martisse Russell

Tommy Tran

Alex Van

Katharine Vassell

Tyler Waldon-Lee

Hilary Wheelan

Peyton Williams

Collin Williams

Cinice Wilson

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