The dynamic business environment made possible by the rapid advancement in information communication technology brought about by the internet and other computer communication technology has no doubt cause students and other user to learn their application.

For those interested in Business Data Processing and other user, this book is intended to serve as an introduction to Data Processing. But before going into Business Data Processing, It is important that the readers be exposed to various application both hardware and software that made this process possible.

This book details the history of computers and many evolution in this field from Vacuum tub to transistors and to Silicon. The book also show types of computers, Analog and Digital with various categories of computers. Components of hardware and several soft ware application were also discussed for the benefit of the students.

Data processing Principles and practice together with input output devices, the DP personnel and their functions is detailed. Word processing which treated Microsoft office package and other items are also treated.

Lastly this book dealt with Data Communications and communication networks including the internet and how it has revolutionized and brought many changes to our lives in this era.

This book is written with students of higher learning in mind, it is in line with both the National Board of Technical Education (NBTC) programmes and National University Commission Programmes.

Table of Content

Chapter 1

The history of computers

The computer generations

Chapter 2

Computer Hardware Component

Chapter 3

The central processing unit and

primary storage

Chapter 4

Secondary storage

Computer Software.

Operating systems

Chapter 5

Data processing Principle and Practice.

Chapter 6

Number systems

Chapter 7

Data communications.

Chapter 8

Network Communications

Chapter 9

Computer and Society

Security and Social Issues on ICT.

Chapter 10

Information System

Chapter 11

Data Management
Database Management System (DBMS)

Chapter 12

Word processing




The first commercial computers became available in the early 1950s. Since then, computers and computer use have gone through a rapid evolution. But before that time, computers and computing devices developed slowly. This listing takes a brief look at both the early and modern history of computers.


People have been trying to find easier ways of doing calculations for thousands of years. The Abacus, invented over 2500 years ago, was one of the first efforts. The first mechanical calculator was invented by Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician, in 1642.

Babbage’s Analytical Engine

The first major step toward the development of a computer took place in 1822 by a British mathematician, Charles Babbage, designed a ma­chine that he called the difference engine, for calculating certain types of mathematical tables. According to his design, the difference engine would use gears and levers to do calculations. Babbage received several grants from the British government to build the machine, but he was never able to complete it. A machine based on Babbage’s ideas was completed in 1855 and used in the United States and Great Britain.

The Charles Babbage Machine

In 1834, while working on the difference engine, Babbage conceived the idea of a more powerful calculating machine, which he called the analytical engine. As with the difference engine, this machine would use gears and levers for calculations. In addition, it would have the capability of storing up to one thousand numbers and could be programmed for different calculations. Many of the ideas for programming the analytical engine were developed by Augusta Ada Byron.

Babbage never completed the analytical engine, partially because the technology needed to build the machine’s parts was not available. The engine, however, had many of the characteristics of a modern computer, a primary storage, an arithmetic unit, and programming capabilities. It lacked the electronic characteristics of current computers, however had Babbage lived longer, he may have invented the first electronic computer.

To enter programs into his analytical engine, Babbage planned to use cards with patterns of holes in them. He borrowed the idea from a loom invented by Joseph Jacquard in France in 1801. The 100m wove patterns into fabric by following instructions given by holes in cards. In Babbage’s analytical engine, the cards would contain instructions to tell the machine what calculations to perform.

The Abacus

Jacquard’s cards were also the inspiration for Herman Hollerith, an engineer working for the Census Bureau in the late 1800s. The Census Bureau takes the U.S. census every ten years. The 1880 census required 71/2 years to compile. With population growth, the Census Burenu projected that the 1890 census could take more than ten years to tabulate, so something had to be done. Hollerith conceived the idea of recording census data on cards similar to Jacquard’s. Patterns of holes in the cards would represent different population characteristics. The cards were called punched cards. Hollerith invented two machines for punch cards holes in the cards, one machine for sorting cards based on pattern holes, and another machine for counting or tabulating data from.

The Hollerith’s Machine

Using Hollerith’s punched card machines, the 1890 census only 21/2 years to compile.

Hollerith saw a commercial value to his ideas, so in 1896 he formed the Tabulating Machine Company to manufacture and sell his machine. His machines were used in the 1900 census as well as by some business for data processing. In 1911, the Tabulating Machine Company with several other companies formed the Computing-Tabulating-Recording (CTR) Company. In 1924, CTR changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), which today is the largest computer manufacturer in the world.

The Jacquard’s Machine

After the US 1900 census, the Census Bureau hired James Powers to develop new punched card machine for the 1910 census. Powers used a different type of card from that by Hollerith, and his machines had additional capabilities. Like 1101 however, Powers saw a commercial value to his machines, so he developed the Powers Accounting Machine Company in 1911. In 1927, the company became a division of Remington Rand Inc., which eventual became Sperry Corporation. Then, in 1986 Sperry merged with Bun Corporation to form Unisys Corporation. Today, Unisys is one of the largest computer manufacturers after IBM.

The punched cards of Hollerith and Powers were used for years after their development. Punched card machines became more sophisticated, and many businesses had machines used for punched card data processing. For years Computer used punched cards as their main form of input. The modern punch card is still available today, but is rarely used.

Old computer system.

The Mark I (IBM)

The invention of the computer

It is hard to say exactly when the modern computer was invented. Starting in the 1930s and through the 1940s, a number of machines were developed that were like a computer. But most of these machines did not have all the characteristics that we associate with computers today. These characteristics are that the machine is electronic, that it has a stored program, and that it has general purpose.

One of the first computers like devices was developed in Germany by Konrad Zuse in 1941. Called the Z3, it was a general purpose, stored program machine with many electronic parts, but it had a mechanical memory. Another electromechanical computing machine was developed by Howard Aiken, at Harvard University in 1943. It was called the Automatic Sequence Control Calculator Mark I, or simply the Harvard Mark I. Neither of these machines was a true computer, however, because they were not entirely electronic.

The Atanasoff-Berry Computer

The first fully electronic computer like device was developed by John Atanasoff and his assistant, Clifford Berry. Atanasoff, a professor at Iowa State College, wanted a machine to help his students solve certain types of equations. In 1937, he conceived the idea of an electronic computing device for this purpose. With Berry’s help, Atanasoff worked on the machine until 1942 and called it Atanasoff·Beny Computer, or ABC, all the components of the machine were never completed, although it was capable of solving some equations.

The ABC was the first electronic, stored-program computing machine but it was not a general-purpose computer. It was designed only for certain types of equations and thus could not be used for other purpose, its existence was not widely known until many years after.

Perhaps the most influential of the early computer like devices is the Electronic Numerical Integrator a general-purpose. Electronic computing machine and was capable of porting thousands of operations per second. It was controlled by switches and plugs that had to be manually set. Thus, was a general-purpose of electronic device, it did not have a store program. Therefore, it did not have all the characteristics of a computer. Information Communications Technology

The First Computers

While working on the ENlAC. Eckert and Mauchly were both brilliant mathematician. John vurn Neuman started a new machine. This machine, called Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer, or EDVAC, I was the first machine whose design included all the characteristics of computer.


Before the EDVAC was finished, several other machines were built that incorporated elements of the EDVAC design of Eckert, Mauchly, and von Neuman. One was the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Computer, or EDSAC, which was developed in Cambridge, England. It first operated in May of 1949 and is probably the world’s first electronic, stored-program, general-purpose computer to become operational. The first computer to operate in the United States was the Binary Automatic Computer, or BINAC, which became operational in August of 1949. Information Communications Technology


Like other computing pioneers before them, Eckert and Mauchly formed a company in 1947 to develop a commercial computer. The company was called the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation. Their objective was to design and build the Universal Automa financial support; they had to sell the company to Remington Rand in 1950. Eckert and Mauchly con­tinued to work on the UNIVAC at Remington Rand and completed it in 1950 known as the UNIVAC I, this US Census Bureau used for the 1950 census. The second UNIVAC I was used to predict that Dwight Eisenhower would win the 1952 presidential election, less than an hour after the polls closed. The UNIVAC 1 began the modern era of computer use.

Since the UNIVAC I, computers have evolved rapidly. This has been the result of changes in technology. These changes have developed rapidly.

First-generation Computer: 1951-1958

First-generation computers were characterized by the use of tubes as their principal electronic component. Tubes are bulky and produce a lot of heat. So first-generation were large and required extensive airs conditioning to keep it cool. In addition, because vacuum tubes do not operate very fast, computers were relatively slow.

The UNIVAC I was the first commercial computer. As noted earlier, it was used in US the Census Bureau in 1950 also the first computer to be used in a business application. General Electric took delivery of a U IV AC I and used it in’ its business data processing.

The UNIVAC I was not the most popular first-generation computer. This honour goes to the IBM 650, delivered in 1955. With the IBM 650, IBM captured most of the computer market, a position it still holds today.

At the same time that hardware was evolving, software was also being developed. The first computers were programmed in machine languages during the first computer generation, the idea of programme language translation and high-level languages occurred.

Navy lie

In 1945, learned to program the Harvard Mark I. In 1952, she developed the first programming language translator, followed by others in later years. She also developed a Language called Flow-matic in 1957, which formed the basis for COBOL. The most commonly used business programming language today.

Other software developments during the first computer generation include the design of the FORTRAN programming language in 1957. This language became the first widely used high-level language. Also, the first simple operating systems became available with first-generation computers.

Second-Generation Computers: 1959-1963

In the second generation of computers, transistors replaced vacuum tubes. Although invented in 1948, the first all-transistor computer did not become available until 1959. Transistors are smaller and less expensive than vacuum tubes, and they operate faster and produce less heat. Hence, with second-generation computers, the size and cost of computers decreased, their speed increased, and their air-conditioning needs were reduced.

Many companies that had not previously sold computers entered the industry with the second generation. One of these companies that still make computers is Control Data Corporation. They were noted for making high-speed computers for scientific work.Business Data Processing

Remington Rand, now called Sperry-Rand Corporation, made several second-generation UNIVAC computers. IBM, however, continued to dominate the industry. One of the most popular second-generation computers was the IBM 140I, which was a medium-sized computer used by many businesses.Business Data Processing

All computers at this time were mainframe computers, The first minicomputer became available which was the POP-I, manufactured by Equipment Corporation (DEC).Business Data Processing

Software also continued to develop during this time. Many programming languages were designed, including COBOL and more businesses and organizations were beginning to use them for their data processing needs.

Third-Generation Computers: 1964-1970

The technical development that marks the third generation era is the use of integrated circuits or ICs in computers. AI circuit is a piece of silicon (a chip) containing numerous circuitry IC that replaces many transistors. The trend that begun in the second generations, include reduced size, reduced cost, and increased capabilities.Business Data Processing

Although integrated circuits were invented in 1958, computers that make extensive use of them were not available that year, IBM introduced a line of mainframe computer:Business Data Processing

System/360. The computers in this line became the most third-generation machines. There were many models in the line, ranging from small, relatively slow, and inexpensive one and very fast and costly models. All models, however, were such that programs written for one model could be used on other process.Business Data Processing

Other companies including Data General and Hewlett-Packard Company, introduced minicomputers during the third generation.Business Data Processing

Main Frames Computer (IBM 370).

The principal software development during the third computer generation was the increased sophistication of operating systems. Although simple operating systems were developed for first and second-generation computers, many of the features of modern operating systems first appeared during the third generation. These include multiprogramming, virtual memory, and time-sharing. The first operating systems were mainly batch systems, but during the third generation, interactive systems, especially on minicomputers, became common. The BASIC programming language was designed in 1964 and became popular during the third computer generation because of its interactive nature.

Fourth-Generation Computers: 1970’s

The fourth generation of computers is more difficult to define than the other three generations. This generation is characterized by more and more transistors being contained on a silicon chip. First there was large scale integration with hundreds and thousands of transistors per chip then came very large scale integration with tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of transistors. The trend continues today.

Although not everyone agrees that there is a fourth computer genera­tion, those that do feel that it began in 1971, when IBM introduced its successors to the System/360 line of computers. These mainframe computers were called the System/370, and current-model of IBM computers, although not called System/370s, evolved directly from these computers.

Minicomputers also proliferated during the fourth computer genera­tion. The most popular lines were the DEC PoP-11 models and the DEC V AX, both of which are available in various models today.

Supercomputers first became prominent in the fourth generation.

Although many companies, including IBM and CDC, developed high-speed computers for scientific work, it was not until Cray Research Inc., introduced the Cray I in 1975 that supercomputers became significant. Today, supercomputers are an important computer classification.

Perhaps the most important trend that began in the fourth generation is the proliferation of microcomputers. As more and more transistors were put on silicon chips, it eventually became possible to put an entire computer processor, called a microprocessor on a chip. The first computer to use microprocessors became available in the mid-1970s. The first microcomputer designed for personal use was the Altair, which was sold as a kit for hobbyists in 1975. The first Apple computer, the Apple I followed shortly. The Apple II was introduced in 1977, and models of it are still made today. IBM entered the microcomputer market with the IBM PC in 1981. Today, micro­computers far outnumber all other types of computers combined.

Software development during the fourth computer generation started off with little change from the third generation. Operating systems were gradually improved, and new languages were designed. Database software became widely used during this time. The most important trend, however, resulted from the microcomputer revolution. Packaged soft-ware became widely available for microcomputers so that software is purchased, not developed from scratch.

Fifth-Generation Computers

The feature of fifth generation of computers, is difficult to say. New technology could bring changes to increase computer speed by using substances other than silicon. Certainly there will be increased numbers of transistors in future. Computers that use light for data storage.

Some people think fifth-generation computers will be computers capable of reasoning similar to that of a person, computer would have to be very powerful and would required special software. Researchers in the United States, and Japan, are already designing fifth-generation computers.


The early history of computing and data processing:

500 B.C. Abacus invented.

1642 A.D. Blaise Pascal invents first calculator.

1801 Joseph Jacquard invents loom controlled cards.

1822 Charles Babbage designs difference engine.

1834 Babbage starts design of analytical engine.

1842 Augusta Ada Byron develops program for Babbage’s analytical engine

1890 Herman Hollerith develops punched card and punched card machines to process census data.

1896 Hollerith forms Tabulating Machine Company, later to become the International Business Machines Corporation.Business Data Processing

1910 James Powers develop new punched card machines USA.

1911 Powers forms Powers Accounting Machine Company, which evolves into Unisys Corporation.

The invention of the computer:

1937 John Atanasoff designs the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC), the first electronic, stored-program computing device.Business Data Processing

1943 J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly start work on the ENlAC, the first electronic, general-purpose computing device. It is completed in 1946.Business Data Processing

1945 Eckert, Mauchly, and John von Neuman develop idea of EDVAC, the first machine whose design in­cludes all the characteristics of a computer.Business Data Processing

1947 Eckert and Mauchly form Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation to design and build the UNIVAC. The company was sold to Remington Rand in 1950.Business Data Processing

EDSAC and BINAC completed; first operational electronic, stored program, general purpose computers.

1951 UNIVAC I, the first commercial computer, was completed.

The computer generations:

First-generation computers. Characterized by the use of vacuum tubes. Most popular is IBM 650. First use of a computer for a business application. First programming language translator developed by Grace Hopper. FORTRAN designed. First simple operating systems.

1951-1963 Second-generation computers. Characterized by the use of transistors. Most popular is IBM 1401. First minicomputer developed by DEC (PDP-l). COBOL designed.

1964-1970 Third-generation computers. Characterized by the use of integrated circuits. Most popular main­frame computer is IBM System/360. Mini­computers become widespread. Most popular minicomputer is DEC PoP-8. Sophisticated operating systems developed. BASIC designed. Information Communications Technology

1971-? Fourth-generation computers. Characterized by large scale and very large scale integrated circuits. Most popular mainframe computer is lBM System/370. Minicomputers proliferate.

Review Question

(1) Trace the evolution of computers

(2) Which countries were the first to produce computer

(3) What necessitated the use of computer.

(4) What happened between first to fifth generation computer

(5) What effect did transistor and silicon have on the development of modern computer

Information Communications Technology

Get the Complete Project (NOW)

Leave a Reply