HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF COMPUTERS: EARLY COUNTING DEVICES
Definition and Examples of Early Counting Devices
Early counting devices are devices that were used in the early days to perform arithmetic operations such as addition of numbers, subtraction and multiplication. These devices were used for the usual barter trade of the early days.
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Examples of early counting devices are fingers, toes, stones, sticks, pebbles, cowries among others.
The history and development of computer can be traced back to the studies of Mathematics which started with counting. The history of Mathematics is the history of civilization. These has led to various computing inventions in search for a tool that could enable man meet his computational and data processing needs until we have the computer today.
It was in the process of finding solutions to the problem of counting that early counting devices emerged. Examples of fingers and toes method of calculation are seen below; As time went on, fingers and toes method became ineffective, especially for large numbers, hence, the emergence of counting and solving basic arithmetic problems with the use of stones and sticks.
Limitations to the Early Counting Devices
The problems posed by these early counting and data processing method were enormous. The following are limitations to the early counting devices:
- They could not be used for counting large numbers efficiently.
- It is stressful
- It required man power
- It is time consuming
- It requires more of that device to perform a large number of counting
- Define early counting devices
- Mention four early counting devices.