A computer is a machine that takes input from the user and gives output. So, you give the computer command, and it follows it to produce a result.
In the ’70s, the average computer took up a whole room. In 1975, microprocessors were introduced and shrunk computers down to a size that would fit on a desk. Then, in 1977, Apple created the home computer – which you can now find in almost every family’s home today. Computers have miniaturized over time from your smartphone to your laptop and evolved into something easy to carry with you anywhere.
In the ’90s, computers were used for typing and storing emails. Now they are used to take pictures and videos, build documents, and play video games.
Who Invented Computers?
It is hard to imagine that in 100 years, we will be using touchscreens and communicating with holograms.
The first computer was not invented by a person but by a woman named Ada Lovelace. In 1842, she wrote a program for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, the first computer ever made.
In 1846, Ada Lovelace created what is now called the first algorithm to be put into code. She also predicted that computers would be used to do more than just math and make calculations. She predicted it would be used to do programming and data processing and other functions we now use computers for today. The algorithm she created was for Bernoulli numbers written in base 2 and used no lower case letters or symbols because computers back then only had room for 5 bits of memory.
Fun Facts about Computers for Kids
- A computer can be broken down into three basic elements. The first element is the CPU, the second element is the RAM, and the last is the mechanical hard drive.
- A CPU only has one job to do, which is to read an instruction from a piece of information called memory or RAM that has been written into by a program or human being. The CPU then takes that instruction and does what it was told to do by reading it straight from memory to produce the result you want. The output of this part of a computer is called data.
- 10 years ago, you could not install any new applications on your computer without formatting your hard drive first because there were no operating systems other than Windows or macOS X available yet.
- Computers have a microprocessor that can make calculations instantly. Lots of things have microprocessors, such as your car, washing machine, dishwasher, and even your television.
- Computers have memory or RAM, which stores items on the computer when they’re not in use. The processor stores everything your computer needs to run.
- As computers run, they get hot. Computers have fans to keep them cool.