The Evolution of the IT Field
Many people think nothing of turning on their computers and browsing the Internet, creating documents, or uploading information onto their personal devices. For the youngest members of today’s world, computers and information technology are staples of their everyday lives. However, the technology that most of us know and rely on so greatly now is indeed something of a new invention.
Historians might argue that, from the dawn of mankind, people have always sought new ways to store and maintain information. But the IT field has only really evolved in significant ways within the last 60 years. In a discussion of the evolution of the modern IT industry, these recent milestones stand out.
The ENIAC Team and the First Computer
In 1946, eight inventors, known as the ENIAC (Electrical Numerical Integrator and Computer) team worked together to create the first electronic computer for general use. This early modern age computer operated through the use of vacuum tubes and could carry out basic calculations. The idea of two primary designers, John Mauchly and J. Prosper Eckert, its creation was funded by the U.S. Army and is now widely appreciated as the grandfather of modern computers. Even with its ability to perform basic calculations, however, it was unable to store its own programs.
From 1946 through the next few decades, inventors took that early electrical computer designed and sought to make it better and more available to the public. By the mid-1970s, inventors like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Stephen Wozniak had created models that functioned using central processing units and microprocessors. These computers were capable of storing information in a single chip. Even so, the prices for these inventions were beyond what most people could afford back then, with the average cost being more than $1000.
Microsoft and Easy Data Storage
As computers continued to be transformed and perfected into smaller machines, more people began to afford and buy these machines for their homes and businesses. By the early 1990s, many schools and businesses began to back up their information with floppy discs and CD-ROMs. Despite this technology becoming more widely available during this decade, it was not uncommon for many organizations to still rely on other forms of data storage, such as keeping student records in paper files or storing customers’ addresses on notecards in file cabinets. Off-site facilities, or data centers, started being used by busy, web-based businesses to process, store, and dispense records and info remotely.
It has been within the last decade that we have witnessed perhaps the greatest innovations in computer and information technology. With floppy disks and CD-ROMs giving way to flash drives and virtual clouds, information technology literally knows few bounds as more people flock to the online arena to communicate with each other, create and store documents, and even operate entire businesses virtually. People no longer have to use large desktop computers to carry out any of these functions. Information can be easily accessed and stored using a tablet, a smartphone, or a laptop.
The field of information technology has grown by leaps and bounds just within the last 60 years. These innovations now define most of modern life and are staples of the youngest generations today.
Author and artist Molly Pearce also has a degree in information technology and uses the web to facilitate her career. To learn more about modern IT practices and processes, such as the employment of data centers, Molly looked to reliable websites and her own educational experiences.
Photo credit- http://www.flickr.com/photos/raneko/2391084425/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonbache/5734304387/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/68946401@N03/6268578327/
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