When was the second computer invented?

Throughout history, the invention and development of computers have played a pivotal role in shaping the world as we know it today. While most people are familiar with the first electronic computer, ENIAC, a common question arises: when was the second computer invented? In this article, we will delve into the timeline of computer inventions and shed light on the long-awaited answer.

The Evolution of Computers

Computers have come a long way since their inception. The journey began with the development of mechanical calculators in the 17th century, which paved the way for the concept of automatic computation. In the early 19th century, Charles Babbage, an English mathematician, proposed the idea of a programmable computer, a concept that laid the foundation for future advancements.

The First Computer: Analytical Engine

Although the concept of a programmable computer originated with Charles Babbage, his ambitious Analytical Engine was never fully realized during his lifetime. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that the first electronic computer, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), was developed. **ENIAC was completed in 1945**, marking a significant milestone in the history of computers.

The Arrival of the Second Computer

As the world entered the post-ENIAC era, the race to create more powerful and advanced computers commenced. **The second computer, known as EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator), was invented in 1949** by Maurice Wilkes at the University of Cambridge. EDSAC was designed to solve mathematical problems and was the first practical stored-program computer, which means that instructions were stored in memory alongside data. This landmark invention propelled the field of computer science to new heights.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What were the technological advancements of EDSAC?

EDSAC introduced several technological advancements, including a mercury delay line memory, a high-speed paper tape reader, and a magnetic tape drive.

2. How fast was the second computer compared to ENIAC?

While ENIAC’s speed was measured in milliseconds, EDSAC’s speed was measured in microseconds, making it considerably faster.

3. Did EDSAC influence future computer designs?

Absolutely! EDSAC served as a blueprint for many subsequent computer designs, contributing to the development of modern-day computers.

4. Were there any other notable computers developed around the same time as EDSAC?

Yes, another noteworthy computer developed during this period was EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer).

5. Could EDSAC be programmed by users?

Yes, EDSAC allowed users to write their programs in assembly language and load them via punched tape.

6. How large was EDSAC?

EDSAC was a room-sized machine, occupying a significant amount of space due to its vacuum tubes and other components.

7. Were there any limitations to EDSAC’s capabilities?

EDSAC’s computational capabilities were limited compared to modern computers. It could perform around 500 instructions per second.

8. What happened to EDSAC after its invention?

EDSAC was in operation until 1958, performing valuable calculations for various fields such as astronomy and genetics.

9. How was EDSAC different from its predecessor, ENIAC?

Unlike ENIAC, which used decimal numbers, EDSAC used binary numbers as its basic unit of computation.

10. Were there any successors to EDSAC?

Yes, the EDSAC 2 was developed as an improved version and continued to be used for scientific research until the early 1970s.

11. Did EDSAC have a significant impact on academic research?

Absolutely. EDSAC revolutionized research in various fields by enabling scientists to carry out complex calculations and simulations.

12. What was the significance of EDSAC in the grand scheme?

EDSAC’s invention marked a crucial milestone, making it the world’s second functional computer and propelling the field of computer science into a new era of development.

In conclusion, the second computer, EDSAC, was invented in 1949 and played a vital role in shaping the future of computing. Its introduction paved the way for a multitude of technological advancements, leading to the sophisticated computers we rely on today. The journey of computer development continues, with each new invention building upon the achievements of its predecessors.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top