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By Nell Dale

Designed to provide a breadth first assurance of the sector of desktop technological know-how.

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3 After 1951 the story becomes one of the ever-expanding use of computers to solve problems in all areas. From that point, the search has focused not only on building faster, bigger devices, but also on the development of tools to allow us to use these devices more productively. The history of computing hardware from this point on is categorized into several “generations” based on the technology they employed. First Generation (1951–1959) Commercial computers in the first generation (from approximately 1951–1959) were built using vacuum tubes to store information.

Lisp was used mainly in artificial intelligence applications and research. Dialects of Lisp are among the languages of choice today in artificial intelligence. Scheme, a dialect of Lisp, is used at some schools as an introductory programming language. The introduction of high-level languages provided a vehicle for running the same program on more than one computer. Each high-level language has a translating program that goes with it, a program that takes statements written in the high-level language and converts them to the equivalent machine-code instructions.

The innermost layer, information, reflects the way we represent information on a computer. In many ways this is a purely conceptual level. Information on a computer is managed using binary digits, 1 and 0. So to understand computer processing we must first understand the binary number system and its relationship to other number systems (such as decimal, the one we humans use on a daily basis). Then we can turn our attention to how we take the myriad types of information we manage— numbers, text, images, audio, and video—and represent them in a binary format.

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