The Development and Evolution of Computer-Based Technology

Brian Eitel
3 min readFeb 10, 2021

The evolution of computer-based and digital technologies has been drastic over a short period of time historically speaking. To put it in perspective, the first computer-based technology developed in the middle 19th century would fill up the majority of a large room, to modern day where technology has way more possibilities and purposes also fits in the palm of your hand. The purpose of the first computer, was making calculations, where now on a smart phone that purpose has been put into a single application on a device that has millions of applications that can be downloaded. It is crazy to think about the strides that have been made in under two centuries, but pretty much everything previously invented has been a stepping stone to something new. For example, the technology of the first calculator helped develop computers, the telegraph was a stepping stone into the telephone, and the combination of computer and phone developed the smart phone.

Ada Lovelace played a huge role in the development of computer technology. Working under Babbage who was the main person in that invention, gave her the resources to get a complete understanding of how the technology worked. The way her mind worked is the reason the world is able to come up with newer technologies, because she was someone who questioned the limits to that technology and could see the possibilities of what it could become. Unfortunately her story did not come to a happy ending losing her life at a young age, but her ideas were later discovered a century later and showed that she was way ahead of her time since a century later it was still relevant and newer. Another inventor that has played a huge role in developing new technology was Dr. Philip Emeagwali who developed the program for the fastest computer at the time which could make 3.1 billion calculations in a second. The reason this is so important, is because this program is still found today and is used in search engines like Google to come up with as many results as quickly as it does.

Image by: Museums Victoria (Unsplash)

One of the more interesting parts of the documentary about Ada Lovelace was how even though she could not convince Charles Babbage to go further into the invention she still wanted to move forward. She did not have the funding and resources he had, so she had to find an alternative method, so she went to betting on horse races to try and make the money for herself. Unfortunately it did not work out in her favor since she lost money, but it shows how dedicated she was to going further to test the limits of the technology. It is unfortunate that it took a whole century for her work to be used again, because who knows what could have happened if she was given the resources early enough. Technology could have been farther ahead now than it is, but who knows. Another interesting point that was made in one of the readings focused on the development of the internet in the 1990s and how influential some of those developments were to the modern internet. The development of sharing videos started, webpages like Yahoo! and Google were developed. These are all sites that are still used at large today. It will be interesting to see what is next for the digital age in the next few decades.