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We could start with English mathematician Charles Babbage (1791-1871) and his mechanical "Difference Engine", or the ENIAC I (Electronic) Computer created by J Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, and completed in 1946.

However, given that 'to compute' means to reckon or calculate, we can see that computing has been done in human brains for thousands of years!

With regard to mechanical devices for 'computing' we know that the abacus has been used to perform arithmetic calculations for thousands of years.

One of the first 'progammable machines' was the Jacquard weaving loom (1700s) which using changeable card 'programmes' to control pattern formation on elaborate fabrics.

Early calculating machines also used punched cards for data input! Some Wiki contributors will remember them!

So the date for the first computer depends on what is meant by 'computer'!

For more information, See Related links below this box.

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โˆ™ 2011-09-07 11:23:09
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Q: When were computers invented?
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