Read the following passage about the history of the computer.
The history of the computer can be traced back around 2000 years to the birth of the abacus. However, construction of the first digital computer is usually attributed to the French inventor Blaise Pascal. In 1642, Pascal built a mechanical calculating machine which added numbers entered with dials. In the early 19th century, Charles Babbage, an English mechanical engineer, originated the concept of a programmable computer. His ‘Analytical Engine’ incorporated an arithmetic logic unit, control flow in the form of conditional branching and loops, and integrated memory, making it the first design for a general-purpose computer that could be described in modern terms.
The era of modern computing began with a flurry of development before and during World War II. The ‘Z2’ was one of the earliest examples of an electro-mechanical relay computer, and was created by German engineer Konrad Zuse in 1939. In the same year, electro-mechanical devices called bombes were built by British cryptologists to help decipher secret wartime messages. The initial design of the bombe was produced by Alan Turing, who was the first scientist to describe the principle of the modern computer. He proved that a machine would be capable of performing any conceivable mathematical computation if it were representable as an algorithm.
The Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine, nicknamed ‘Baby’, was the world's first stored-program computer. It was invented by Frederic Williams and Tom Kilburn, and ran its first program in 1948. Although the computer was considered "small and primitive" by the standards of its time, it was the first working machine to contain all of the elements essential to a modern electronic computer.
Which scientist or inventor...
- designed a computer to aid military intelligence gathering?
- introduced the concept of the computer as a programmable machine?
- built the first electronic computer that had all the basic features of the computers we use today?
- built the first mechanical computer?
Choose your answers from the following list:
A - Blaise Pascal
B - Charles Babbage
C - Konrad Zuse
D - Alan Turing
E - Frederic Williams and Tom Kilburn