Information Technology History

Feb 10 In Computer History From ASCC To SSEC

What In The World Is ASCC To SSEC?

In 1948 news hit the streets slowly. They had no internet like we know it today to speed up delivery of important information for the common man. On February 10, 1948 it was announced that Thomas J. Watson, of IBM, achieved his goal of doing something for the common business man. It took 15 days for the news to be published broadly.

On January 27, 1948 Thomas achieved his goal of taking the Harvard Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC) and converted it to something the common business man could use: the Selective Sequence Controlled Calculator (SSEC). Can you image the SSEC contained 21,400 relays and 12,500 vacuum tubes.

Vacuum Tubes You Say?

Some of you will remember the days when televisions even used vacuum tubes. That seems like a long time ago. Well this is because it wasn’t until the 1950s-60s most TV vacuum tubes were replaced by transistors in the West. Those of you into special high-end equipment such as audio amplifiers may find them still used today because their amplification quality is still better. But for the rest of us, vacuum tubes were gone in the 1970’s.

Currently audio vacuum tube production is largely limited to 3 locations: China, Russia and the Czech, and Slovak Republics. While many other developed nations still produce and develop vacuum based electronics, only Japan and Germany have produced glass vacuum tubes suitable for audio recently.

Now Back To Computers And Vacuum Tubes

Way back when, computers did use vacuum tubes. That’s when a computer covered a city block or more. The size was so large because vacuum tubes were large. Obviously the size was impractical. So technology marched on. Transistors were introduced. And they were wonderful because they are lower cost, smaller, stay cooler, and are more energy efficient.

So What About Transistors and Computers Today?

Today the most powerful computer processor uses 1.2 trillion transistors as announced by Cerebras. Their CPU chip has 400,000 cores and contains 1.2 trillion transistors on a die over 46,000 square mm in area. That’s roughly the size of a square about 8.5 inches on each side. That sure beats the city block size of the early computer processors.

So What About Us

We don’t need the most powerful computer processor to create our websites but we need some computing power. So our computers today use transistors.

Why Are Transistors Found In Our Computer?

It is the transistors that communicate with the computer (machine). The computer (machine) only understands the switch concept (on and off or 0 and 1). Transistors are on and off switches. WordPress which uses PHP cannot talk to the computer (machine). It needs something to intervene.

So How Does A Computer (Machine) Understand WordPress PHP?

Obviously WordPress which is written in PHP is not on and off switches; however PHP is based on the C language which is a language that can be compiled. A compiler takes the compiled language (the program code (source code) PHP which is C language which is compiled language) and converts it to machine executable code (on and off switches known as 0 and 1).

So Today’s Invention Transformed The Size Of Our Computers

How much smaller can they get? Who knows? Technology marches on with wonderful discoveries.

Enjoy the usage of your computer today. It works so hard behind the scenes. All you need to do is give it some data.

Information Technology History

The Wheeler Jump Is Born Feb 9th

Actually February 9th is an inventor’s birth that marks this day in history: David Wheeler was born February 9, 1927. In 1951 he introduced this new concept.

So What In The World Is The Wheeler Jump

Well its inventor had efficiency in mind. Rather than repeat the same code over and over in different programs that needed to use the same program lines, he created subroutines. The subroutine, which contained reused program lines was stored in a programming library. It could be called into any program when needed by using the file name path to the library./div>

This concept saved storage space as well as made it easy for updating. Rather than having to change the same code used in multiple programs and multiple times, the programmer only had to change the subroutine.

For those of you who were or are programmers, you will recognize this as a precursor to the “goto” statement used in the programming language, Basic. Well do I remember the days of Basic and the push that it was the language to use.

So Do We Use Any Programming Languages Or Subroutines In WordPress?

Yes, only it is all done behind the scenes. WordPress uses the programming language PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor).
PHP figures out the URL request when you view your website online. It loads all the code from files. It talks with the database to both write and get (read) dynamic content. It processes requests. It is found throughout WordPress in all themes, plugins, and the WordPress core. The first file that loads into memory and runs is index.php. The index.php file, in the root of your theme, is the default template file that will display your site content should a more specific theme file not be available.

To Say It Another Way

WordPress uses PHP to do all of its processing including the following:

  • Figures out what the URL’s web request is and render the web page out to the browser,
  • Calls the theme
  • Calls plugins
  • Builds the web pages and interfaces (backend and front end)
  • Determines when to go and what to grab from the database
  • Fetches post metadata
  • Identifies what files to load and when
  • Validates user permissions
  • Checks options
  • Processes form fields
  • Handles image and document uploads
  • And so many more things depending on what is needed.

So Today’s Invention Does Have Practical Implications For Us

Enjoy your usage of WordPress today and realize PHP is working tirelessly for you and your website behind the scenes.

Information Technology History

A February 8th Information Technology History Happening

The following happening is crucial for the financial world, but not so much for content marketers.

Why Do I Say The Financial World?

This is the day, February 8, 1945 that a Patent is Filed for the Harvard Mark I. by C.D Lake, H.H. Aiken, F.E. Hamilton, and B.M. Durfee.

The Mark I was a large automatic digital computer that could perform the four basic arithmetic functions and handle 23 decimal places. Doing multiplication took about five seconds.

I remember working with Mark4 and it was filling in columns with codes and indicating the mathematical functions. Until today I never realized that Mark4 had its beginnings in 1945 with Mark1.

How Does This Apply To Us?

As Affiliate marketers we don’t even think about the coding that happens behind the scenes to compute our commission fees.

What an interesting era in which we live!

Information Technology History

Information Technology History February 7

So What Happened This Day February 7th In Information Technology History?

Since we all work with computers and depend upon their technology, I thought it might be interesting to learn what happened today in computer technology history.

February 7th Computer Technology Happening

February 7, 1956 Doug Ross presented a paper on Gestalt Programming at the Western Joint Computer Conference in Los Angeles. His presentation highlighted the concept of taking the 3 phases of human endeavor: concept, expression and execution and associating them with the use of a special machine language so the computer could process and tie them together into integrated units of computer behavior to achieve a desired result and effect.

What Does Gestalt Programming Really Mean?

In reality this led to taking human conversation and thinking and integrating it into units of computer behavior. This was known as the integration of human conversation and thinking (verbal or mental) with the mechanical capability of a computer to carry out complex concepts and repetitive behavior much faster than the human brain could ever achieve.

Here’s The Gestalt Programming Impact On Today

Today that’s exactly what happens. We take our computers and their inner workings for granted. Each day we think our thoughts (manually typing or verbally expressing) and expect the computer to take our thoughts and present them to others seamlessly.

 Your Next Step

Enjoy your usage of modern technology today.