A computer is a device programed to perform a set of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. It is started with Abacus, a basic device that executes a mathematical problem. Over the years, most of the daily activities have been influenced by use of computers combined with the internet. The internet is an interconnection of computers using the TCP/IP protocol to link the devices worldwide. To understand the functionalities of computers and the internet, it is imperative to understand their historical background and their subsequent development over the years.
Development of Computers
Initially, calculations were performed by individuals whose job titles were computers. Such calculations were expensive and required specialization with extensive knowledge and experience in mathematics. Due to such shortcomings, the first computer, Abacus, was established to perform calculations in the 16th Century. Since then, the computer has developed to the modern form. The first generation computers established in the 1950s used vacuum tubes as their major electronic components which marked the advent of electronic digital computers. However, vacuum tubes utilized a lot of electricity and were prone to overheating (Englander 24).
The second generation computers were introduced in the 1960s. Such computers utilized transistors which replaced the bulky vacuum tubes in the first generation computers. Transistors, small electric tubes, have a higher operating speed compared to the vacuum tubes used in first generation computers. Transistors lack filaments, do not require heating, and have low manufacturing cost (Englander 24). As such, the second generation computers were reduced in size.
The third generation computers, established in the early 1970s, utilized integrated circuits (ICs), also known as chips. A particular chip encompass numerous transistors, catalogs and capacitors assembled on a single reedy portion of silicon. As such, the third generation computers were smaller in size, had large memory, low cost, and a higher processing speed (Englander 24).
The fourth generation computers, established in the 1980s, include the present-day computer. They use large integrated circuits built on a single silicon chip called the microprocessor. The processor allows the placement of central processing unit on a single chip. Such computers are referred to as microcomputers. Subsequently, very large-scale integrated circuits (VLSIC) were used to replace the LSICs (Englander 25). The fourth generation computers utilize the optic fiber technology to handle artificial intelligence, expert systems, and robotics, among other activities. Such computers have a high processing speed and more reliable (Englander 26).
Development of the Internet
Following the development and operation of high speed computers, researchers comprehended that an interconnection of various computers could deliver services that surpassed the abilities of a single computer system. Initially, ARPANET, a packet switched network, was introduced by Lawrence Robert in the first Association for Computing Machinery symposium (Pastor-Satorras and Alessandro 5). The ARPANET was utilized by researchers in different universities to communicate through projects. However, it was still under experimentation since protocols for host-to-host were still under development. The first such protocol, the Network Control Protocol, was completed by Network Working Group (Pastor-Satorras and Alessandro 5). The telnet protocol was developed to allow a user on one machine to log onto another machine over the network; other applications became popular.
File transfer protocol (FTP) was developed in the 1970s. It allowed an operator to link to another system for the exclusive reason of sending or recovering a certain files or data. The conception of unidentified user was hence established and permitted operators connect to a system and browse through the available files (Pastor-Satorras and Alessandro 5). Opposed to Telnet, the anonymous users enabled an individual to move files and work on them as a local file. The internet protocol was later established, which allowed the passage of messages though routers (Pastor-Satorras and Alessandro 5). The IP was designed to interconnect computers, thus forming the internet. Ethernet was later established to connect a network of computers using the center-sharing system as the gateway to the ARPANET. In the 1990s, the worldwide web emerged which allowed HTML documents to be transmitted over the internet over a web server to web browsers using the URIs and HTTP protocol (Pastor-Satorras and Alessandro 6).
Pastor-Satorras, Romualdo and Alessandro Vespignani. Evolution and Structure of the Internet. Cambridge, GBR: Cambridge University Press, 2010. http://fizweb.elte.hu/download/Fizikus-MSc/Infokommunikacios-halozatok-modelljei/Evo-and-Struct-of-Internet.pdf. Accessed 28th April 2018
Englander, Irv. The Architecture of Computer Hardware and System Software: An Information Technology Approach. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley, 2013. http://disi.unal.edu.co/dacursci/sistemasycomputacion/docs/SWEBOK/The%20Architecture%20Of%20Computer%20Hardware,%20Systems%20Software,%20&%20Networking%20An%20Information%20Technology%20Approach%204Th%20Ed%20-%20I%20Englander%20(Wiley,%202009)%20Bbs.pdf. Accessed 27th April 2018