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STARS:Inventing the Computer

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Author: Paul Ceruzzi

Citation

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An information-processing industry based on punched cards began in the 1890s. It grew during the first half of the 20th century, becoming of great importance to businesses and governments. Punched card equipment became increasingly sophisticated and, with incorporation of vacuum-tube electronics in the 1940s, a new type of device ultimately emerged, which we know today as the computer. A computer does sequences of calculations automatically, including data handling, at electronic speeds. Furthermore, the program is itself stored and accessed electronically. Devices with these capabilities have dramatically changed the world since their commercial introduction in 1951.

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