Learning Insights: BBC’s History of Computers


             We all know that Computers are very rampant nowadays. We need to go back to the past to know how this giant technology became useful in our daily lives. Where did computer started? How and why did it expand and develop? What effects did these changes do to our world?


              BBC docu-film about history of computers composes of 9 clips. I admit that it is really boring because of the black and white theme yet it doesn’t stop me in learning new things about computers. BBC made a very detailed history of computers and I’m going to share what I learned from it.

            As I was researching in google after I watched the clips, I learned that the first computers were people. Computer was originally a job title: it used to describe people where whose job is to perform repetitive calculations required to compute. I just find it intriguing how the said “job title” evolved into electronic machines.


            Way back in World War II, the world’s first electronic, digital, programmable computer is called Colossus. They used it to decode the German’s messages back then. Colossus or ENIAC was highly a top secret even after the war. As what I understand, the complete version of Colossus is the ENIAC which is the first electronic general-purpose computer and the invention who helped the British decipher the German’s code. It was made by Alan Turing. He bears the title of “Father of the contemporary personal computer”. I was already amazed of Alan Turing when I first heard of him in my Sociology class and how he cracked the Nazi Enigma Code.

            It was the company Remington Rand Univac who first made the contract for computers. They made the UNIVAC I (UNIversal Automatic Computer I) and became the first commercial computer produced in U.S. In U.K, it was the company J. Lyons and Co. produce the first computer used for commercial business called LEO I (Lyons Electronic Office I). In 1974, MITS (Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems) designed the first microcomputer called Altair 8800. In 1976, the Apple Inc. released Apple Computer 1 (now Apple-1). In 1981, IBM introduced IBM Personal Computer or IBM PC.

            Computers really have a big impact in our society back then and now since it makes our task easier and it conserves our time. It helps people to do things no one can imagine. Computers are even a stepping stone in winning a war. It’s scary but it was how our world works as a year passes by. It’s really shocking how fast the industrialization is. Modernized world do wonder things in today’s society. We all have many high Technologies or upgraded computers nowadays. Before the computers considered as number but now we view it as our multitasking machines.

            But as this technology evolve and develop, raised a lot of consequences. Now, people lived in much more complex lives where they engage themselves into things not so much needed. This generation focuses more on enhancing technologies, investing more and more development of such technology thus forgetting about what is essential. The focus given to modernize technology left our simple ways of living to wanting more advancement and easy life which made us lazy and destroy our world. Industrialization is so fast and dominated this world and it’s by the same speed that we have destroyed ourselves and our home.

         To end this insight, I really do admire those persons who created and developed computers. They are pure genius.


©owner of the photos


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