This was further improved by Gottfried Wilhelm Von Leibniz, a German mathematician in early 1670’s. It made even the multiplication and division possible with the help of the improved calculator.
After this, the scientists all over the world started working continuously and seriously on developing it into an all purposeful machine, which saw the Analytical Engine, developed by Babbage, which could rightly be called a mechanical computer. However, the first special purpose electronic digital computer was constructed by John V. Atanasoff, a U.S. mathematician and scientist in 1939.
The first general-purpose electronic digital computer was developed in 1946. It was a huge device, weighing 27 metric tons, needed 140 sq. meters of space and consumed 150 kilowatts of electricity during operation. It could perform about 500 additions and 1000 multiplications per second.
Now we have all-purpose, handy computers, used for doing all sorts of jobs efficiently, quickly and correctly. It will not be an exaggeration to add that we are now living in an Age of Computers, where nothing seems to be moving without the help of this present-day genie.
Computers are now being used in almost all the fields. Office modernisation is one of the most important tasks they are doing. Accounts departments in offices need not waste days calculating income tax, provident fund and take-home salary of employees. They can also execute automatic checks on the stock of a particular item.
Lawyers can keep a record of important cases. Architects can see all their scale models on a computer and study them from various angles and perspectives. Hotels can use them to ensure speed in billing and check-out, and provide instant information on available rooms and reservation.
In hospitals, medical records of the patients are stored in computers. They are produced with in no time for reference, when a doctor requires the case history of a person under his treatment.
Word processing computers are fast taking place of typewriters as they do not require erasing, retyping, carbon copies, etc. In them words appear, disappear and rearrange them to our command. Letters and documents produced on computers are matchless in quality and design and can be stored for future use and record.
Different machines can be computerized. So can quality control tests and the making of different items that have very fine tolerances, such as cutting and molding steel. They are being used on a very wide scale in assembly plants, as that of car manufacturing, ship-building and loco-shops.
Thermal Power plants, oil refineries and chemical industries, virtually, exist on computerized control systems which ensure complete elimination of any possible human error. Network is the latest magic word in computers. Computer networks can be used for coordinating things at distant places.
E-mail and web-sites have made the communication easy and widely accessible. Computers have invaded our homes and are being used for entertainment, education, hobby and communication. Even a young child of school-going age asks his parents for his own P.C. in his study-room.