Essay On Individuals Who Have Contributed Significantly To The Development Of Computing As We Know It

.. upper middle-class family to the richest man in the world; who owns the biggest software company in the world, Microsoft. Microsoft and Bill have not yet reached their peak, but someday, they will (maybe?!). In a rapid and highly competitive industry dominated by men, Grace Hopper was a woman who made history by breaking down the barriers of male dominance in the computing world. Throughout her life she achieved many awards that other women had never been recognised for.

In 1946 she achieved the Naval Ordinance award for participation in computer programming. In 1964 she was awarded the Society of Women Engineers, SWE Achievement Award. Many people think of the Computer Sciences Man of The Year Award her greatest achievement. When she received this award in 1969, she was the first person ever assigned this award, and the first women to be presented any award by the Data Processing Management Association. Grace was the first woman to be inducted into the Distinguished Fellow British Computer Society in 1973.

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Grace also achieved many awards from the Colleges and Universities that she attended and taught at, such as the Upsilon Pi Epsilon, Honorary Member from Texas A&M; Honorary Doctor of Engineering, Newark College of Engineering; Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal, Yale University: After all the awards and recognitions Grace Hopper was given, she still thought that her greatest achievement was teaching. Grace taught at many colleges and universities in her life and gave many motivational speeches, he favourite teaching aid was a piece of wire that was the length of a nanosecond (about one foot), the maximum distance electricity can travel in wire in one-billionth of a second. She would then compare the nano-second to the microsecond that was over a thousand feet long. On January 1, 1992, Grace Hopper died at the age of 85. Even after her death Grace continues to influence many peoples lives.

The impact she had on the world of programming has changed commercial computers forever. She also influenced the naval and other military services through her perseverance and her plans for the future. She refused to let anything get in the way of her success. She is a role model for women striving for success in the computing world. Dan Bricklin was a revolutionary during a decade when people were tired of revolutionaries.

In a sense, America was in a lull in the 1970s. But Dan Bricklin wasnt. After graduating from MIT, he went to work for Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), where he wrote programs for an interface between newswire services and typesetters; perhaps more important, he wrote about 25 per cent of DECs first word processing program. After several years, Bricklin left DEC and entered Harvard Business School to pursue and M.B.A. As he learned about business theory and practices, Bricklin began to grow frustrated with the time and labour required to perform business calculations.

He knew computers could help-but no one had yet found a way. He wanted software application to be able to do for calculations what word processing software had done for document writing. He wanted users to be able to input numbers and other variables, change them around, and have the results calculated. Businesses could then make rapid sales forecasts, control inventory and predict human resource needs. So Bricklin began to write his own program. He teamed up with Bob Frankston, a friend from MIT, and together they began to form the program into a useful product that just might sell. They started their own company, called Software Arts. The duo had to buy computer time on a time-share basis (no one had his own computer at that time); Frankston wrote at night, when computer rates were lowest, and Bricklin finished his M.B.A.

Soon, although it was a tough sell, Apple bought a version of the new program for its Apple II computer. The program was called VisiCalc. When VisiCalc reached computer stores, it sold for $100. VisiCalc had no huge, splashy launch like Microsofts Windows 95. It just quietly appeared. But it ultimately changed the way businesses operated, all around the world.

The VisiCalc spreadsheet allowed company managers to enter variables such as costs and revenues, change them around, and see in a moments notice how the changes would affect a products performance and the companys bottom line. VisiCalc reduced the costs of building spreadsheets by 80 per cent (they were no longer time and labour intensive); and small businesses could now compete with larger ones by making the same complex financial calculations as their competitors. VisiCalc, which was inexpensive to buy and easy to use, also changed the computer industry itself; in a sense, it lent credence to the personal computer. Infact, because the first version of VisiCalc was written for the Apple II (developed before the IBM personal computer), people bought the Apple II computer specifically so they could use VisiCalc. Once VisiCalc was established, so was the PC. Lotus eventually bought Software Arts, having already introduced its own Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet. Bricklin worked with Lotus for a while, but went off on his own again to start another company, Software Garden.

He introduced more programs, such as Dan Bricklins Demo Program and Demo II (the latter provides customised demos, prototypes and other components necessary for building basic computer training). Bricklins perspective on his career is philosophical: Im not rich because I invented VisiCalc, but I feel that Ive made a change in the world. Thats a satisfaction money cant buy. Most people would love to be able to say the same thing about their work. THE END Essay Word Count = 1993 BIBLIOGRAPHY 1.

Stair, Ralph.M. and Reynolds, George.W. Principles of Information Systems-A Managerial Approach, third edition (Cambridge, ITP, 1998) 2. Brookshear, Glenn. Computer Science-An Overview, fourth edition (United States of America, The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, 1994) 3. Long, Larry and Long, Nancy. Computers, third edition (New Jersey, Prentice-Hall Inc, 1993) 4. Galvin, Peter.B. and Silberschatz, Araham. Operating System Concepts, fourth edition (United States of America, Addison Wesley Publishing Company, 1994) 5.

http://www.yahoo.com : (a) http://hoshi.cic.sfu.ca/~guay/Paradigm/Engelbart.h tml (b) http://www.csn.naples.fl.us/csn/comp-sci-proj/comp -tech-proj-1997-12/97f%20Grace%20Hopper-Nikki%20Tr evor/Achievements.html (c) http://www.stat.purdue.edu/~yiannis/neuman.html http://www.altavista.com : (a) http://webs.vrhome.com/jcpage/bill/report.html Computers and Internet.

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