Imagining Computers


Vannevar Bush

Vannevar Bush


Ideas of technology determine what technology will be invented.


What is a computer?

Modern computers are:

  1. Machines
  2. Binary
  3. Stored-Memory
  4. Electronic
  5. General-purpose

Tide Machines

Tide Machine

Bush’s Differential Analyzer (1931)

Computer Chronology

Babbage’s Difference Engine, 1822

Ada Lovelace

1882-ish: Marquand circuits.

Before the Computer: IBM, NCR, Burroughs, and Remington Rand and the Industry they created. By James W. Cortada

Printing Tabulator, Hollerith, 1921


Calculating, 2

Atanasoff-Berry Machine

Setting the Enigma: one of 456976 possible initial settings.

Alan Turing

Enigma Machine simulation, Tom MacWright

Programming the Bombe

Harvard Mark 1, 1945