HISTORIA DE LAS COMPUTADORAS

Primer "computador" del mundo
Primer «computador» del mundo.

La historia de las computadoras es muy amplia y fascinante. Técnicamente se puede decir que los antecedentes de las computadoras se remontan al año 4.000 a. C., cuando se inventaron las primeras máquinas diseñadas para la aritmética y las primeras reglas de cálculo. Por ejemplo, el ábaco fue un importante adelanto en la materia.

El ábaco es un instrumento que permite efectuar operaciones aritméticas sencillas como sumas, restas o multiplicaciones. Consiste en un cuadro de madera con barras paralelas por las que corren bolas movibles de madera u otro material duro, a las que llamamos «cuentas». Cada una de las barras representa las unidades, las decenas, las centenas, etc. El ábaco se  se utilizó en diferentes culturas como la china, griega y romana.

Sin embargo, la primera computadora mecánica fue diseñada e intentada construir por el matemático e inventor británico Charles Babbage en 1833, a la que llamó la «máquina analítica». Babbage fue un matemático e ingeniero británico que nació en 1791 y murió en 1871.

Es considerado el padre de la computación por haber diseñado y desarrollado una calculadora mecánica capaz de calcular tablas de funciones numéricas por el método de diferencias. A ésta la llamó «máquina diferencial» y fue la primera calculadora automática digital. Sin embargo, ninguna de estas máquinas fue construida completamente en su época debido a limitaciones técnicas y financieras.

 

Máquina Analítica de Charles Babbage
Máquina Analítica de Charles Babbage

AHORA BIEN, ¿QUÉ SON LAS COMPUTADORAS?

La definición clásica es que son máquinas electrónicas digitales programables que pueden procesar grandes cantidades de datos a grandes velocidades. Además pueden realizar operaciones lógicas o aritméticas de forma automática usando programas que se almacenan en su memoria.

Las computadoras reciben información de entrada a través de dispositivos como el teclado o el mouse, y la presentan o transmiten como información de salida a través de dispositivos como el monitor o la impresora. Son herramientas muy versátiles, potentes y revolucionarias que han transformado la vida cotidiana, la ciencia, la industria y la comunicación.

Los componentes de una computadora se pueden clasificar en dos tipos: el hardware y el software.

El hardware se refiere a los componentes físicos que forman la computadora, como el gabinete, el monitor, el teclado, el mouse, etc. En cambio, el software se refiere a los programas o aplicaciones que se ejecutan en la computadora, como el sistema operativo, los juegos, los editores de texto, etc.

El hardware se puede dividir en dos categorías: el externo y el interno. El hardware externo son los dispositivos que se conectan a la computadora por medio de cables o de forma inalámbrica, como la impresora, el escáner, los altavoces, etc. El interno en cambio, son las piezas que están dentro del gabinete de la computadora y que permiten su funcionamiento, como la placa base, el procesador (CPU), la memoria RAM (Random Access Memory), el disco duro (Hard Disk Drive), la tarjeta gráfica (Graphics Processing Unit), la fuente de alimentación (Power Supply Unit), etc.


HISTORIA DE LAS COMPUTADORAS MODERNAS

IBM 5100 (1973)
IBM 5100 (1973)

La historia de las computadoras modernas se puede dividir en varias etapas o generaciones, según los avances tecnológicos que marcaron su evolución.

  • La primera generación abarca desde 1946 hasta 1959 y se caracteriza por el uso de tubos de vacío y tarjetas perforadas para el procesamiento y almacenamiento de datos.
  • La segunda generación va desde 1959 hasta 1964 y se distingue por el reemplazo de los tubos de vacío por transistores, que eran más pequeños, rápidos y económicos.
  • La tercera generación comprende desde 1964 hasta 1971 y se basa en el uso de circuitos integrados, que permitieron reducir el tamaño y aumentar la capacidad de las computadoras.
  • La cuarta generación abarca desde 1971 hasta la actualidad y se caracteriza por el uso de microprocesadores, que son circuitos integrados que contienen millones de transistores en un solo chip. Esta generación también incluye el desarrollo de las interfaces gráficas de usuario (GUI), los ratones o punteros, las redes informáticas, Internet y la inteligencia artificial.

 

 

Alan turing
Máquina de Turing diseñada para descifrar códigos en la WW2.

LA MÁQUINA DE TURING


Alan Turing fue un matemático, lógico, informático teórico, criptógrafo, filósofo y biólogo teórico británico. Está considerado uno de los padres de la ciencia de la computación y precursor de la informática moderna.

Entre sus aportes más destacados se encuentran la formalización de los conceptos de algoritmo y computación con la máquina de Turing, el diseño de la máquina Enigma para descifrar los códigos nazis durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, el planteamiento del test de Turing para evaluar la inteligencia artificial y la propuesta de la reacción-difusión como modelo para explicar los patrones morfológicos en la naturaleza.

Turing murió en 1954 a causa de una intoxicación por cianuro, que se cree que fue un suicidio motivado por su persecución y condena por ser homosexual.

La máquina de Turing es un modelo teórico de computación que consiste en una cinta infinita dividida en casillas, sobre la que se puede leer y escribir símbolos siguiendo una tabla de reglas. Puede simular la lógica de cualquier algoritmo de computador y es útil para estudiar los límites y posibilidades de la computación.

Alan Turing propuso este concepto en 1936, en su artículo “On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem”, donde demostró que existen problemas que no pueden ser resueltos por ningún procedimiento algorítmico. La máquina de Turing también sirvió como base para el desarrollo posterior de los computadores electrónicos y la teoría de la computabilidad.


¿QUERÉS APRENDER MÁS SOBRE COMPUTADORAS? VISITÁ NUESTRAS GUÍAS DE COMPONENTES MODERNOS DE PC !
TAMBIÉN EXPLORA LOS POST DE HARDWARE Y SOFTWARE PARA CONOCER AÚN MÁS

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