assignment I part 2
- This assignment covers the material from unit I in our
syllabus: Introduction to Computers and Networks.
- In this "virtual laboratory" you will research a bit of the
history of computer science.
If you are interested in learning more about the topics touched on in
this lab/homework, you should look at this short book
- This assignment (both parts) is worth 5 points, or 5% of your term grade.
THE ASSIGNMENT (parts 1 and 2) IS DUE ON MONDAY SEPTEMBER 17, 2007.
- Begin by creating a file in Notepad.
- Type your name in the file and your email address.
- Type the answers to the questions (below) in this file.
- Please label your answers so I know which answer goes with
which question (e.g., "hw I, part 1, section 1, question 1").
- When you are finished, email me the file as an attachment (like you
did in the lab this week).
- My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BE SURE TO ASK IN THE LAB IF YOU NEED HELP WITH ANY STEPS!!!!
this assignment by opening a browser and going to:
section 1: pre World War I
Blaise Pascal is considered one of the forerunners of computer science
because of his invention of a machine called the Pascaline.
- When did Pascal live?
- What was the purpose of the Pascaline?
- In the early nineteenth century, Jacquard invented a special type of
loom. What was special about Jacquard's loom?
is known as the "Father of the Computer" for his development of the Difference Engine
and his ideas for creating an Analytical Engine.
How did Babbage envision the Analytical Engine?
Lady Ada Lovelace
is known as the "first computer programmer".
- What type of programs did Lady Lovelace write?
- What was named after Lady Lovelace?
In 1884, Hollerith developed a
punched card reader.
For what purpose did Hollerith design his punched cards?
section 2: towards computers as we know them
you will find a very brief synopsis of Alan Turing's contributions.
And at this
site you will be able to read a short biography of him.
- Who introduced the idea of a stored-program digital computer
(like the ones we use today?
- Who built the first operational computer?
- Who founded the field of Artificial Intellgience?
- Here is a
"virtual exhibit" on the ENIAC, one of the earliest
- What motivated work on the ENIAC?
- How many vacuum tubes did the ENIAC contain?
- How much faster was the ENIAC than other devices that existed then?
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) timeline
you will find answers to all these questions . . . and so much more.
- In 1945, the term "debugging" was first used. By whom? What did it mean?
- In 1969, Ritchie and Thompson of Bell Laboratories developed an
operating system. What was it called?
- In 1971, IBM developed the first "floppy" diskettes. How large were they?
- 1975 saw the introduction of the first mass produced personal
computer, the MITS Altair 8800. How much did it cost? How much memory
did it have?
section 3: the "modern" era
The Intel Corporation has been crucially involved in the development
of modern high-speed computing.
Go to their
Intel Hall of Fame
site and follow some of the links to answer these questions.
- When was the first microprocessor produced by Intel?
- What is the basic building block of a microprocessor?
- How many of these basic components were in Intel's first microprocessor?
- How many times faster, in terms of "clock speed," is the Pentium
4 than the first microprocessor?
- What does "Moore's Law" say?
(To find the answer to this question, type "Moore's Law" into the
search box in the blue area on the upper right of the page.) In what
sense is it a "Law"?
section 4: the internet
Today, we tend to think of the Internet and the World Wide Web as
In fact, the World Wide Web is a relative newcomer to the Internet,
and the original ARPAnet network was hardly "world wide".
Find the answers to the questions below in
Hobbe's Internet Timeline:
- How many sites were on the original ARPAnet in 1969?
- When did research on internetworking begin at ARPA?
- When was email invented?
- How many years later was the World Wide Web released?
- One of the factors that contributed to the growth of the Internet
was the open quality of the research on internetworking. All of the
original Internet research reports, called RFCs, were made publicly
available. You can access most of them through the
RFC Hypertext Archive.
- Who wrote RFC #1?
- When was it written?
- What was it about?
- What is the most recent RFC you can find?
(Note that they're are not numbered exactly chronologically! But you don't have to find the most recent one, just one that's close.)
- When was it written?
- You can read about the Internet 2 in the
Internet 2 FAQ.
- What is Internet 2?
- How might Internet 2 (eventually) affect your life?