Nowadays, of faster methods of computing ledNowadays, of faster methods of computing led


Nowadays, computers come in many sizes from the smallest
ones in your pocket to large sized servers. They are all made for a purpose
doing simple or complex instructions that make our lives a lot easier. With
WWII behind us, we learned that Nations needed various resources that could
give them outmost advantages in terms of knowing information that can be
crucial. This led to influential people that have built us the humble
beginnings of the modern-day computer. Though some of them were a secret and certainly
led to the uncertainty of the timeline that we have in deciding which is the
first computer.


In 1939 Joh Atanasoff and his student Clifford Berry created
the Atanasoff-Berry Computer. The development of faster of faster methods of
computing led him to create the concept of a digital machine built for a
specific purpose that solves linear equation. It’s non-programmable statue
makes it highly debatable if it were the really the first computer. (Bruderer 1991)

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Howard Aiken is the inventor of the Harvard Mark 1. On the
other hand it could provide speedy solutions to mathematical problems. It was
an electro-mechanical that could provide mathematical operations and work with
minimal human intervention. It was used by the US Navy for ballistic
calculations. It  making it a
general-purpose programmable computer.


The colossus was built to break the Lorenz Code that was
set-up by the Germans to decipher information during WWII. It was one of the
reasons why they won the war. The machine contains of all the elements of the
modern general-purpose computer except that it can’t store programs. Its’ only
problem was that it could only do one job and not be re-programmable. It was
kept in secret and people from the outsider hardly knew about the project even
to their own soldiers to avoid the Germans being able to find out that they
decoded their code.


Konrad Zuse was the founder of the Z3. He is considered the
father of computer in Germany. He worked on his own and he independently implemented
the principles of modern digital computers in isolation. It was a binary
electrically driven mechanical calculator that used punched film to store
sequence of instructions for up to 64 words. It had the power to convert
decimal to binary and back again. It’s input is via a special keyboard, through
which the position of the points can be set relative to 4 decimal figures. It
can also compute determinants or quadratic equation, which is an essential step
in the computation of critical flutter frequencies of aircrafts. It was
Turing-complete. It’s only downfall is that it got destroyed in an allied
bombardment in Berlin making it unknown to the public.


With the above-mentioned possible bases to justify the first
computer, I strongly believe that the Z3 is the first computer among all
because of the fact that he was truly unaware of what was happening in the
outside world and he was working alone while implementing the principles of
modern digital computers. This didn’t serve as a hindrance to him and he was
able to create a fully programmable computer and one that is Turing-complete.


Many people may still argue about it, but as complex as the
computer which some say can one day become smarter than man. It is therefore a
universal question just like the egg and chicken debate, which dwells on to who
answers the question.



Bruderer, H
1991, ‘Computing History beyond the U.K. and U.S.’, Lecture Notes in
Computer Science, vol 555, pp. 2-7.