Computer is a machine capable of various types of automatic processing of information or data processing. A computer can provide up numerous attributes, including data storage, data processing, computation on a large scale, industrial design, graphic imaging, virtual reality, entertainment and culture.

In the past, the term has been applied to people responsible for some calculation. In general, computer means for a physical system that performs some type of computation. There is also a strict mathematical concept used in the theory of computation.

It was assumed that personal computers and laptops are icons of the Information Age [1], and this is what many people consider as "computer". However, currently the most common form of computer in use are embedded systems, small devices used to control other devices such as robots, digital cameras or toys.

John Napier (1550-1617), Scottish inventor of logarithms, also invented Napier's bones, which were multiplication tables written to bat, thus avoiding the memorization of multiplication tables.

The first machine was actually built by Wilhelm Schickard, being able to add, subtract, multiply and divide. This machine was lost during the Thirty Years' War, and recently found some documentation on it. For many years nothing was known about this machine, therefore, attributed to Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) the construction of the first calculating machine, which was only additions and subtractions.

The machine Pascal was created in order to help his father to compute taxes in Rouen, France. The project Pascal was greatly enhanced by the German mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1726), who also invented calculus, which dreamed that one day in the future, all reasoning could be replaced by a simple turn of a lever.

All of these machines, however, was far from being a general purpose computer, because they were not programmable. This means that the entry was made only of numbers but no instructions about what to do with the numbers.

The origin of the idea of ??programming a machine is the need for the weaving machines produce different color patterns. Thus, in the eighteenth century created a way to represent the patterns on punched paper cards that were dealt with manually. In 1801, Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752-1834) invented a mechanical loom, with an automatic card reader.

The idea Jacquard crossed the English Channel, where inspired Charles Babbage (1792-1871), a professor of mathematics at Cambridge, to develop a machine to "weave numbers", a calculating machine where the how to calculate could be controlled by cards.

It all started with trying to develop a machine capable of calculating polynomials through differences, the differential calculator. While calculating your projected differential, the idea Jacquard made Babbage imagined a new and more complex machine, the calculator analytical, extremely similar to the current computer.

Its main part would be a set of toothed wheels, mill, forming an adder accurately fifty digits. The instructions were read from punched cards. The cards would be read in an input device and stored for future reference in a bank a thousand registrars. Each of the registers would be able to store a number of fifty digits that could be placed there by means of cards from the result of the calculations of the mill.

Besides all that, Babbage envisioned the first printing machine that would print the results of the calculations contained in the registers. Babbage succeeded, for a time, funding for your research, but failed to complete his machine in time promised and did not receive more money. Today, parts of your vehicle can be seen at the British Museum, who also built a full version, using the techniques available at the time.

Along with Babbage, worked the young Ada Augusta, daughter of the poet Lord Byron, Lady Lovelace and known as Ada Lovelace. Ada was the first programmer in history, designing and explaining the application of Babbage, programs for machine nonexistent. Ada invented the concepts of subroutine, a sequence of instructions that can be used multiple times, loop, an instruction that allows the repetition of a sequence of cards, and the conditional jump, a jump that allows card if a condition is met.

Source (s): http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computador