At around the same time as personal computers were being released, childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen established Microsoft. Allen was inspired by the 1975 Popular Electronics January feature of the Altair 8800 microcomputer. The Altair 800 microcomputer was essentially a ‘build your own computer’- it was aimed to make computing more accessible, not just for computer nerds (like geniuses Gates and Allen) but society at large. Allen realised the potential to write a program for the computer which could be used by the masses. Gates called the computer’s creator MITS and offered his and Allen’s services to create…

We are back to continue our overview of the history of computing.

In part I we were introduced to the legendary, Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing and Vannevar Bush among others. These early computer scientists (and others) introduced the foundation of computing. Whilst we now know of the origins of computers we have neglected to discuss programming. So this is where we resume our attention in part II.

Binary lots of zeroes and ones.

All computers store information and instructions in binary — either as a 1 or 0. Each number (either a 1 or 0) is referred to as a bit- think about how your phone may have a storage of 32GB that means 32 000…

We learn and know (hopefully) a basic history of the world, particularly major events like the French revolution, the American Civil War, World War I, World War II (wow lots of wars), the Spaceage etc. It is important to understand the concepts of these and many other historical events. Being able to recall the start year or the exact details of how such events unfolded is one thing, but on a human level, it is more important to understand the rationale, lessons and philosophy of major events. Ultimately history teaches us what makes us innately human. Furthermore, understanding history helps…

Perhaps there has never been an invention so ubiquitous as the modern computer. Today, computers and their more compact children, mobile phones, influence and aid nearly every aspect of our lives.

Consider the modern city dweller Claire- hello Claire. She awakens to the ring of her phone, the alarm application has sounded, time to start the day. Yawning she calls out to Siri or Alexa or whatever AI she has on her smartphone and asks for the day’s weather. Over a hurried breakfast, she skims the news and orders an Uber (in a pre-covid world). Off to work, Claire enjoys…

Today marks the first week where I am officially a Software Engineering student! (Insert celebratory music). Fittingly, with Covid (and me living in Melbourne, Victoria which currently is in Stage 4 lockdown) university is online.

So a bit about me — I am a second year Engineering and Science Double degree student at Monash University. At Monash all Engineering students must undergo a common first year- here we get a taste of most of the engineering disciplines. The idea is we can then make an educated choice about what specialisation we embark on. …

Cara

A Software Engineering and Psychology student I am interested in how computers are impacting our lives. I am prone to over-smiling and eating too much avocado.

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