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Saint Louis University

Computer Science 140
Introduction to Computer Science

Michael Goldwasser

Spring 2008

Dept. of Math & Computer Science

Assignment 01

History of Computing



Topic: History of Computing
Related Reading: Ch. 1
Due: 8pm Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Internet Requirements

You will likely need an Internet connection for completing the assignment as well as submission.

Practice Problems

Problems to be Submitted (20 points)

  1. (6 points)

    Exercises 11 through 22 of Ch. 1 (p. 28)

  2. (9 points)

    The following companies were giants in the field of computer hardware in early generations: IBM, Remington Rand, NCR, DEC, Hewlett Packard, Control Data Corporation, Burroughs, Intel, and Xerox.

    Some of these companies are still in business today under the same name. Others no longer operate under the original name, due to corporate buy-outs, mergers, or name changes.

    For each of the nine companies, identify whether or not it still operates under the given name, and if not identify the current company which subsumes it.

  3. (5 points)

    At the end of Ch. 1 there are a series of "Thought Questions" (pp. 30 and 31). Pick any one question to answer. The length of your answer should be appropriate for the question, however I envision answers in the range of 1/2-page to 1-page.

Note: You are free to use the web as a tool for these problems. Yet you must always cite any source of information that you use on a submitted problem. If found on the web, please give a valid URL for your source. If you are giving a direct quote from that source, you should additionally enclose the statement in quotation marks.

Overall, please type your answers to all of the problems in a single document to be submitted electronically. Please see details about the submission process.

Extra Credit (2 points)

The Pascaline device was not actually the earliest gear-driven calculator. It was designed in 1642 and patented in 1645. An earlier gear-driven calculator, capable of performing addition, was created by someone else earlier that century. Sadly it was destroyed in a fire and the creator died of bubonic plague years before Pascal's device was created. The original went unnoticed until design documents were discovered in 1935.

Who created that earlier device?
Please cite your source of information.

If you find some other earlier device that you feel qualifies as a gear-driven calculator, feel free to discuss it (and again, cite your source of information).

CSCI 140, Spring 2008
Michael Goldwasser © 2008
goldwamh at our university domain

Last modified: Monday, 21 January 2008
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