Evolution of the Computer: from mainframes to current technologies
An evolution has occurred with bit / byte data that has transformed the IT world over the last 60 years. The logic of inputting a code to a system, processing that code and then producing a result, or the arithmetic / logical operation was the basic groundings for the first bit-serial binary computer in the late 1940s.The first computing generation occurred from 1942 to 1955 with the Mainframe Computer, a machine which used vacuum tube technology to make electronic digital computers. The first bit-serial binary computer was the BINAC which was launched in 1949. It could calculate data in milliseconds. Next was the ‘ENIAC - a first electronic general-purpose computer which could solve ‘a large class of numerical problems’ through reprogramming. Other computer manufacturers followed suit.IBM 7090 computer and personnel, 1961. Image source: NASA Ames Research Center (NASA-ARC)The vacuum tube was replaced with transistors (1955 to 1964) and this was categorized as the second computing generation. The transistor allowed computers ‘become smaller, faster, cheaper, more energy-efficient and more reliable than their first-generation predecessors.’ Though the transistor still generated a great deal of heat that subjected the computer to damage, it was a vast improvement over the vacuum tube. Second-generation computers still relied however, on punched cards for input and printouts for output.Minicomputers (1964 – 1975) heralded the third computing generation. In 1960, ‘Digital Equipment introduced the first minicomputer. It was the first commercial computer equipped with a keyboard and monitor. Integrated circuits were used which were smaller in size, more reliable and used less energy in comparison to previous generations. Also, they were a lot cheaper than the mainframe and mid-size computers from IBM and other competitors.Image: PDP-1 minicomputer. Image: Flickr by Hiddenloop.The minicomputer was widely used in universities, research labs and small corporations and used computer languages such as Fortran or BASIC. It grew to have considerably high processing power and capacity.The use of a microchip introduced a new fourth generation of computing in 1975: The Personal Computer. This chip was small with quick processing power and was commercially available. As microprocessors became more powerful, the mainframes were used less.Technology has advanced exponentially from a simple machine calculating basic arithmetic in the 1940s to a machine capable of accessing web browsers, digital media, databases, emailing and much more. The PC has evolved into something great with advances in graphical user interfaces (GUIs), the mouse and handheld devices. Additionally, the iPhone, the phablet, the tablet and the laptop are widely used as they are cheap to manufacture, easy to use and competitively priced.So, what lies ahead? The fifth generation of computing is being researched at present and involves an innovative artificial intelligence where the computer will understand and interpret spoken language. This once again will bring a new evolution in a cosmic computer IT industry. We await to see how it emerges.Read moreDublin City Public Libraries stocks computers and technology magazines such as .Net, Computerscope, GeoConnexion, TechPro and Which and computer and technology digital magazines.Butterfield, Andrew, Ngondi, Gerard Ekembe (April 2016) ‘Dictionary of Computing Science’Bell, C. Gordon (January 2013). ‘Rise and Fall of Minicomputers’www.webopedia.comwww.wikipedia.comwww.merriam-webster.com/dictionarywww.vikingwaters.com/htmlpages/mf/history.htmwww.thocp.net/hardware/mainframe.htmwww.which.co.ukLearn MoreImprove your technological know-how with over 65 online computer courses available for free with your library membership via Universal Class e.g. Computer Basics, Computer Programming, Business Applications, Software Programmes and Technology Skills.This article is based on a project completed by Gemma Daly, Business Information Centre, as part of the Institute of Public Administration's Diploma in Computer Studies.
Digital Leaders asked leaders from across enterprise, government, charities and academia and former winners of their Digital100 Award to recommend their top summer reads. It makes for an interesting and refreshing summer reading list, as not everyone likes to switch off with the latest light fiction or beach read. It will suit those of you who like to keep your brain engaged even while relaxing by the pool. Dip into these books and you're sure to be inspired and informed when you return to your desk.Most of these books are available in our libraries and some can be downloaded as ebooks from BorrowBox. Check our catalogue to borrow or reserve one of the Digital Leaders summer reads: Writing on the Wall: Social Media - the first 2,000 years by Tom StandageThe Future of the Professions by Richard E. Susskind, Daniel SusskindFreedom's Forge by Arthur HermanThe Second Machine Age by Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfeeMaverick! by Richard SemlerAgile IT Organisation Design by Sriram NarayanBlack Box Thinking by Matthew SayedTribes by Seth GodinDigitizing Government: Understanding and Implementing new digital business models by Alan Brown, Jerry Fishenden & Mark ThompsonPeers Inc by Robin ChaseLeading by Alex Ferguson with Michael MoritzMore Human: Designing a world where people come first by Steve Hilton. More Human eBookThe Sleep Revolution by Arianna HuffingtonReinventing Organizations by Frederic LalouxThe Engaged Leader by Charlene LiThe Chimp Paradox: The Acclaimed Mind Management Programme to Help You by Dr Steve Peters. The Chimp Paradox eBookDigital to the Core by Mark Raskino and Graham WallerLean In by Cherly Sandberg. Lean In eBookCorporations Don't Tweet, People Do by Euan SempleThe Industries of the Future by Alec Ross. The Industries of the Future eBookThe Business of Sharing by Alex StephanyAbout Digital LeadersDigital Leaders is an online community promoting digital know-how, thought leadership and the sharing of best practice in Digital Transformation. See more at digileaders.com and Digital Leaders Summer Reads. e more at digileaders.com: Digital Leaders Summer Reads http://digileaders.com/digital-leaders-summer-reads/
Magazines – What are held here?The Business Information Centre has in excess of 160 magazine titles in print, including some of the newest and most topical editions – fancy browsing through TIME magazine or Business and Finance to find the latest current affair issues or something more local such as tending and nurturing your garden with The Irish Garden.This collection includes a wide variety of subjects encompassing both business and general reference material. Are you interested in any of these topics?accountancy, agriculture, arts, banking, building, business, education, employment, EU, finance, franchising, health, law, marketing, management, tourism, and training and gardening, angling, auto and wildlife many many more besides…Back issues are also available on request. Certain popular titles are bound at the end of each year and are held in storage.The current issues are displayed alphabetically and we encourage the use of our indexes to choose appropriate issues. Both subject and titles indexes are available. If help is needed, staff are always to hand. If you require a title which is not on display, we may be able to get it from another library for you or we may have it available electronically. Remember to always ask. Visit our library from Monday - Thursday 10am - 8pm, Friday - Saturday 10am - 5pm and enjoy the experience. Beir bua agus bain taitneamh as an cuairt.
Have you ever wished that someone would explain exactly how the banking crises happened without having to read the small print? Your wish is granted. This award winning documentary 'Inside Job' does exactly that. It is a well paced easily accessible account, through narration and extensive interviews with financiers, ex-government staff, academics and Chinese factory workers! It won an Academy award in for Best Documentary in 2010.Let's start joining up the dots with a podcast available on Dublin City Public Library website. This talk by Simon Carswell explains how Anglo Irish bank "broke Ireland". Another very good example is Fintan O'Toole's book, 'Ship of Fools', which is a very readable account of the the property bubble in Ireland. While looking at reviews for this book I came across a very interesting website called Irish Left Review, if you have time click on the Irish Shadow Banking System.Now the dots keep joining and the plot sickens! Another great documentary available in our Libraries is 'The Corporation'. Also an award winner this was made in 2003 and uncovers the most unsavoury facts about corporations and the dangerous influence they have on governments and politics. Through interviews with CEOs of corporations, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein and fired Fox reporters we see how our choices as consumers have an impact in the world.And talking of consumers, do you ever ponder how the human race became so fascinated with gadgets, perfume and trendy clobber? Or why we are assaulted with ad's in the middle of our favourite TV show? Well here's how. The Century of The Self is an amazing documentary by Adam Curtis revealing how our consumerism flourished and corporations and governments control the masses by using Sigmund Freud's theories. The person foremost responsible for applying them is Freud's nephew Edward Bernays known as the father of public relations and propaganda. He was named as one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th Century by Life Magazine.After joining these dots up myself I have come to one conclusion: "Live simply so that others may simply live" Gandhi.
Walk away the Winter blues!Have you overindulged over the festive season. Do you feel lethargic and tired? Are you afraid to step up on the scales. Has Operation Transformation (TV Programme) frightened you into keeping fit? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, fear not! Dublin Public Libraries can help!Dublin City Public Libraries have a very comprehensive collection of maps and guides with interesting walks, hikes, and trails contained within: encouraged yet to venture out in the fresh air, and explore and enjoy the countryside?Suss out any of our 21 library service points spread across the city and checkout these walks. Included are: Best Walks in Ireland by David Marshall (2006)Glasnevin Cemetery: A historic Walk (1997)Leisure Walks Near Dublin by Joss Lynam (2004)Literary Walking Tours of Gothic Dublin by Brian J Showers (2006)Lonely Planet Hill Walking in Ireland (2010)Secret Dublin. 25 original walks exploring the hidden city by Pat Liddy (2001)Walks Around Medieval Dublin by Dublin City Council (2004)A Walk Across Ireland from Coast to Coast including the Royal Canal Way by John Mulligan (2006)Also, there are a number of very useful websites available with downloadable maps attached. Look up:Coillte OutdoorsDiscover Ireland Route PlannerDublin Mountains WayHeritage Ireland MapsDublin Discovery Trails: Self-guided walking tours of DublinNational Parks and Wildlife ServiceIrish Trails - DublinCommit to be fit in 2012. Beir bua!