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A brief history of a brief history

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MP3 players, heart-rate monitors... 9/15/09. Lecture 2. 8. Some 'History' (hardware) ... What computers really are. Logic gates and circuits. Binary ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A brief history of a brief history


1
A brief history of a brief history
  • Mark Neal

2
Agenda
  • Computer science as an area of knowledge
  • The computer science department at Aberystwyth
    research interests
  • The research groups
  • Computational biology
  • Robotics
  • Vision, visualization and graphics
  • Qualitative reasoning
  • Computer education

3
Introduction
  • A version of the bigger picture
  • How the bits of this picture developed
  • Timescale
  • Relationship to other areas of science and
    technology
  • A reminder of why we bother

4
Overview of uses
  • Communication tools
  • Information resources
  • Problem-solvers
  • Control mechanisms
  • Entertainment devices
  • Pervasive devices
  • All have different requirements and use different
    basic technologies

5
Some basic technologies (1)
  • Storing information
  • Data structures
  • File systems
  • Databases
  • Processing data
  • Searching and sorting
  • Correcting and identifying
  • Pattern recognition
  • Optimization

6
Some basic technologies (2)
  • Communication
  • Standardization
  • Cable networks
  • Wireless networks
  • Protocol development
  • Control
  • System characterization
  • Input and output
  • Real-time systems
  • Hardware integration

7
Some (not so) basic technologies (3)
  • Entertainment devices
  • Good old-fashioned space invaders
  • Games consoles
  • PC games
  • Multiplayer systems
  • Pervasive devices
  • RFID tags
  • PDAs, mobile phones
  • Laptops
  • MP3 players, heart-rate monitors

8
Some History (hardware)
  • Human computers (up to 1600s)
  • Napiers bones
  • Big fat computers (1930s 1980s)
  • ENIAC etc
  • The personal computer (1960s now)
  • PDP1 (1960)
  • Personal Computer (ALTAIR etc) (1976)
  • IBM PC 1981

9
What computers really are
  • Logic gates and circuits
  • Binary representation
  • Arithmetic logic units
  • Inside a central processing unit
  • Main memory structure
  • Secondary storage devices (disk, tape)
  • I/O devices
  • Parallel processing
  • DEFINITELY NO MAGIC

10
Relationships
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Geography
  • Sport
  • Government
  • Engineering

11
Why are we doing it?
  • Almost exclusively to solve problems
  • Even theoretical work is mostly focussed on this
  • To improve lives of people
  • To improve performance of existing systems
  • To improve, enhance or unleash other technologies

12
Next time
  • Start to talk about some of my own research
  • Biologically inspired computing
  • Brains, hormones and antibodies
  • Searching for homeostasis
  • Take a look at the website
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