A computer has been one of the greatest inventions of mankind among other inventions since the foundation of science began. Its development was the result of years and years of long experiments spanning roughly a hundred years by not just one man, but many. The development of computers as it is today is an ongoing process and always will be. Computers, as simple as they may now seem to computer experts, have a complex set of underlying systems. Multiple disciplines in both computer studies and electronics are needed to fully understand them. After all, the computer itself is subdivided into branches just like science itself.
While other technological inventions may have already been developed before the founding of science, “technology” is not yet a proper term for such. The word technology, after all, is always correlated with science, and both science and technology are mutually inclusive, strictly speaking in terminology. Today’s computers, as advanced as they may seem, have had their origins in humble beginnings.
How did the computer start?
Abacus, the oldest form of calculator, has been recorded to be in use since the earliest civilizations estimated around 1000 and 500 BCE. C., only to be adopted in other parts of the world. The idea of how a computer algorithm does its arithmetic was based on this, on logic. Soon after, already in the 1820s, in the personification of Charles Babbage, dubbed as one of the fathers of the modern computer, he developed ideas about how computers should do their calculations, initially known as the differential engine, later developed to become what is known as the analytical engine. Although Charles Babbage, due to funding problems, did not see his ideas come to fruition during his lifetime, it is his younger son, Henry Babbage, who did so in 1910 based on his own. However, this primitive form of computer is not as advanced as we see in today’s computers.
The idea of the need to do the calculation on our behalf as a man, hence the word ‘computer’, arose from the need to handle complex problems and perform complex calculations that are difficult and require more time for man to handle. Especially true during the times of the industrialization era and the great world war where the need for such arose. How a computer behaves is what is in a library of a computer.
The development of the computer has grown a lot since Charles Babbage laid the foundation, as he was inspired by the existing “technologies” of his time. From names of people of the past who were important in the founding of computers like Ada Lovelace, Konrad Zuse, Alan Turing, John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry, Howard Aiken and Grace Hopper, etc., to the names of today’s computer giants like William Gates, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, among others, today’s computers are bigger in function than in size and have found a place in everyone’s life, both in business and personal use.
How do people use computers in their daily lives?
Modern computers laid the foundation for how we perform tasks today. It is much more efficient and gets the job done in shorter times. From simple home entertainment like playing games or running multimedia programs, to doing office work, developing more difficult programs, to more complex calculations like those done at NASA, computers made it all possible, all in one box. What used to take a long time to complete in groups as seen in companies without computers, can now be completed in shorter times with those.
Computers conquering the world
Also one of the most popular uses of computers is the Internet. What was once the trend of telephones and telegrams has become the Internet, and it is worldwide. Computers literally taking over the world.
Although initially used for military purposes in conjunction with the development of the computer, the Internet grew to be commercialized as it is used today. The Internet, in conjunction with and in addition to the above media, made worldwide communication possible, which also gave rise to communication tools such as social media. To date, billions of people use computers with the Internet every day.
Are we really too dependent on computers?
We may be dependent on computers in connection with the Internet given the information age we find ourselves in, ever since the computer age began. But such reliance was initially for a good intention, that is, to keep up with the demands of progress through efficiency and the rate of the required work being done with computers as our help and tools. Let’s face it, there are complex jobs that can only be done efficiently if and only if we have computers. However, one should also ask whether such a dependency is good for us. What would happen if, by chance, this technology called computers and the things they can do were taken from us? So what? Like a bad addiction, dependence on the computer outside of our needs and moderation can be detrimental to us, its users. An ideal tool for tyrants. While it may seem like it’s out of context, it’s not. In fact, we are just as capable workers as our ancestors were without computers. Although obviously at the cost of the efficiency and ease that we have known about how we do things with computers. These are not statements about abandoning computers as we know and use them, we are just waking up to the idea of who we are without computers and who our ancestors were without them. No, we are not useless without computers: we are not as capable as someone who does it and we alone are not capable of what a complex computer does as a computing machine. But don’t be fooled, we’re still the ones who made computers the way they are today. In a way, we as humanity are still superior to machines.
Now to the question, “are we too dependent on computers?” — the answer is, we are, both through misuse and discretion. Ultimately, the way we use the computer, as a technology, in our everyday lives influences how we use it and for what purpose. Is it for the common good? It’s profitable? In fact, these are questions that we can also answer ourselves, as its users.