The first digital computer which was large sized and costly mainly performed scientific calculations to support military objectives. The ENIAC was originally designed to calculate ballistics- firing tables for artillery, but it was also used to calculate neutron cross-sectional densities to help in the design of the hydrogen bomb significantly speeding up its development.
Many of the most powerful supercomputers available today are also used for nuclear weapons simulations.
The CSIR Mk I, the first Australian stored-programme computer, was amongst many other tasks used for the evaluation of rainfall patterns for the catchment area of the snowy mountain scheme. The first programmable digital electronic computer, Colossus, was built in 1943 during World War II.
As computers have become less expensive, they have been used extensively in the creative arts as well. Sound, still pictures, and video are now routinely created Param is the first super computer of (through synthesizers, computer graphics and computer India. It was made during 1980s, animation), and near-universally edited by computer.
They have also been used for entertainment, with the video game becoming a huge industry.
Today, the most famous computer-controlled mechanical devices are robots, machines with more-or-less human appearance and some subset of their capabilities. Industrial robots have become common place in mass production. But general-purpose human-like robots have not lived up to the promise of their fictional counterparts and remain either toys or research projects.
Robotics is the physical expression of the field of artificial intelligence, a discipline whose exact boundaries are fuzzy but to some degree involves attempting to give computers capabilities that they do not currently possess but humans do.
Over the years, methods have been developed to allow computers to do things previously regarded as the exclusive domain of humans, for instance, read handwriting, play chess, or perform symbolic integration.
However, progress on creating a computer that exhibits general intelligence comparable to a human has been extremely slow.
1. Networking and Internet:
Since the 1950s, computers have been used to coordinate information in multiple locations which led to a number of special-purpose commercial systems like Sabre.
In the 1970s, computer engineers began to link their computers together using telecommunications technology. This effort was funded by ARPA, and the computer network was called the ARPANET.
The technologies that made the Arpanet possible spread and evolved. The network spread beyond academic and military institutions and became known as the internet. The emergence of networking involved a redefinition of the nature and boundaries of the computer. In the phrase the network is the computer.
Computer operating systems and applications were modified to include the ability to define and access the resources of other computers on the network, such as peripheral devices, and stored information. Initially these facilities were available primarily to people working in high-tech environments.
But during 1990s, applications like e-mail and the World Wide Page, fast networking technologies like Ethernet and ADSL have proved that computer networking has become ubiquitous almost everywhere. In fact, the number of computers that are networked is growing phenomenally.
Wireless networking, often utilizing mobile phone networks, has meant networking is becoming increasingly ubiquitous even in mobile computing environments.
2. Alternative Computing Models :
Despite the massive gains in speed and capacity over the history of the digital computer, there are many tasks for which current computers are inadequate. For some of the works, conventional computers are fundamentally inadequate, because the time taken to find a solution grows very quickly as the size of the problem to be solved expands.
Therefore, there has been research interest in some computer models that use biological processes or the oddities of quantum physics, to tackle these types of problems.
For instance, DNA computing is proposed to use biological processes to solve certain problems. Because of the exponential division of cells, a DNA computing system could potentially tackle a problem in a massively parallel fashion. However, such a system is limited by the maximum practical mass of DNA that can be handled.
Quantum computers take advantage of the unusual world of quantum physics. If a practical quantum computer is ever constructed, there are a limited number of problems for which the quantum computer is fundamentally faster than a standard computer.
However, these problems relating to crystography and quantum physics simulations are of considerable practical interest. These alternative models for computation remain research projects at the present time, and will likely find application only for those problems where conventional computers are inadequate.