Computers: The Past

Hi, everyone! I’m a time-traveller and the new writer for Passion For STEM. I hope you don’t hate my writings too much. To understand the future of Computing, we must first know at least a little about the past. Let’s do some time travelling together, then.

blur close up code computer
Photo by luis gomes on Pexels.com

*POOF*

It’s 1000 BCE and we’re in a moneylender’s place in China. We see someone asking for a loan of what is apparently a big amount (We know this because Susan is with us and translates it for us.) (Thanks, Susan.). What do we see the moneylender doing his mathematical calculations on?

It’s a weird rectangular device with lots of little beads in it. Familiar, huh?
This is currently known as The Abacus.

multicolored abacus photography
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

*POOF*

We’re back here. So, the Abacus was invented by the Chinese a long time (we’ll see how long when we take our next trip) before anyone even came close to inventing a device that helped humans in solving their math problems. It was a simple device with very basic operations but still could help a lot when big numbers were into consideration (like we saw at that moneylender’s).

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Enigmatic Cryptology

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So I want to start off talking about the film “The Imitation Game”. These three words probably brings you back to the moment when you were fangirling over the actor Benedict Cumberbatch who played the role of protagonist Alan Turing. However the film not only depicts Turing as the Mathematical prodigy and war hero who was estimated to have saved the most lives in World War 2, it also demonstrated the manifestation which stemmed from his genius mind, “The Bombe”. It was the decryption device used by the British Army in Bletchley Park to crack the infamous German Enigma machine. Since warfare has less to do with physical killing but rather strategy, communications within both sides of the allies and the axis were encrypted in code.

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