# ELECTRONIC COUNTING DEVICES AND MODERN COMPUTER

## JOHN VON NEUMANN’S MACHINE

In 1945, mathematician John von Neumann undertook a study of computation that demonstrated that a computer could have a simple, fixed structure, yet be able to execute any kind of computation given properly programmed control without the need for hardware modification.

Von Neumann contributed a new understanding of how practical fast computers should be organized and built; these ideas, often referred to as the stored-program technique, became fundamental for future generations of high-speed digital computers and were universally adopted. The primary advance was the provision of a special type of machine instruction called conditional control transfer which permitted the program sequence to be interrupted and reinitiated at any point, similar to the system suggested by Babbage for his analytical engine and by storing all instruction programs together with data in the same memory unit, so that, when desired, instructions could be arithmetically modified in the same way as data. Thus, data was the same as program.

The von Neumann architecture is a design model for a stored-program digital computer that uses a processing unit and a single separate storage structure to hold both instructions and data. It is named after the mathematician and early computer scientist John von Neumann. The terms “von Neumann architecture” and “stored-program computer” are generally used interchangeably. A stored-program digital computer is one that keeps its programmed instructions, as well as its data, in read-write, random access memory (RAM).

His area of interest included:

1. Use of binary codes for representing data and instructions.
2. Use of codes to store both data and instruction together and share the same storage location (space) within the computer.
3. Use of computer to process both data and instructions.
4. Modification of programs by programs.

## MODERN COMPUTER

The invention of electronic computers transformed the mechanical way of processing data into information. Those early pocket calculator were actually the signal of the modern computerized world w have today. Earlier counting was done in base ten; called decimal system. It is also possible to count in base eight, six, two and many more. Electronic computers count in a system based on 0’s and 1’s binary.

## EVALUATION

1. Enumerate three areas of interest in John Von Neumann concept
2. What is the stored program technique?
3. Briefly discuss the similarity between the works of Charles Babbage and John Von Neumann