If you choose to include analog computing devices such as the abacus, the history of computer hardware began nearly 5000 years ago. While an abacus is a far cry from the high tech computers that we’ve been developing over the past few decades, it represents a starting concept that would be redesigned and reinvented over the course of history.
Manual counting machines developed into gear driven calculators, which in turn developed into programmable electromechanical devices capable of following algorithmic instructions. The original concept for a programmable computer was developed by computer scientist Alan Turing, and were aptly nicknamed ‘Turing machines’.
Modern computers have increased in complexity over old ones to an almost unimaginable degree. To provide some sense of the scale of that increase, consider this. One way of measuring computer power is with a unit called FLOPS, which means the number of calculations the computer is making per second.
Where todays cost of achieving one gigaflop (approximately one billion calculations per second) is approximately $0.08, in the early 60s when digital computers were first being explored, that same amount of computing power would have cost over a trillion dollars. That may seem like a totally outrageous figure, but it just goes to show that modern computers are literally millions and millions of times more powerful than their ancestors.
Early computer components were quite bulky, and most computers of the time managed to fill the space of an entire room. Compare that to modern day computers, especially laptops, whose parts have been specially designed and compacted to fit into cases no bigger than a textbook, allowing you to easily stay up to date when you’re on the go.
For more information on local Victoria BC computer and laptop vendors, suppliers, and repair, start by viewing our member offers below.