Professor John Atanasoff was seeking a tool to help his students solve differential equations.
Mark I was a 51-foot-long, 8-foot-tall monster that used noisy electromechanical relays to calculate five or six times faster than a person could, but it was far slower than a modern $5 pocket calculator.
ENIAC was a 30-ton behemoth with 18,000 vacuum tubes that broke down, on average, once every seven minutes. It wasn’t completed until two months after the end of the war, but it convinced its creators that large-scale computers were commercially feasible.
Encyclopedia Britannica (http://www.britannica.com/) has a lot of good information about the evolution of computers.
Go to e-Bay, (http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?MfcISAPICommand=GetResult&ht=1&SortProperty=MetaEndSort&query=commodore+computer&?query=commodore+computers), and show your students how much an old Commodore computer costs these days. They’ll be surprised! Question : Did Bill Gates ever work for Apple? Answer: Yes, Bill Gates worked for Apple before starting his own company. There has always been a lot of debate about the similarities between the Apple Operating System and Bill Gates’ Windows, because many people believe that, despite claims to the contrary, Windows is actually based on the Apple OS concepts.
In 1994, only 3 million people were connected to the Internet; by the end of 2002, over 550 million people had Internet connections. More than 54 percent of all American households are connected to the Internet; before the first decade of the 21st century is over, 90 percent of U.S. households will likely be connected, making the Internet almost as universal as the television and the telephone. The United States leads the world in Internet activity, but the rest of the world is catching up. About 34 percent of all Europeans were online in 2001, and their numbers are rising quickly. By 2006, some predict, over 79 percent of Europeans will be online.