The Impact of Computers in American History

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The invention and use of computers in the American history have not only offered a formidable platform for sociopolitical and economic advancement in the country but has also changed the US from the individual, business, and national needs levels. To date, the computer industry continues to change both American history and that of the world (Parikka 3). In fact, the future of the American people is in entirely dependent on computer technology and pertinent operations. The use of computer has predetermined how objects in the industrial world are designed, the nature and form of information individuals and companies receive and relay the places where people work, as well as the networking of people in the corporate world. Indeed, the use of computers has changed the manner in which Americans think, operate, interact with the rest of the world and interpret the environment within their vicinity (Tucker 63).  Because the computer industry has always faced inevitable inventions and hence changes in the degree of applicability and functioning, every new technological discovery has often created room for the development of new data forms, modern systems, the sophisticated manner of creating tools, among other advancements. Consequently, every new level achieved in the discipline of the computer has often acted as an evolution for the successive mode of revolutions, because old ways of doing things are succeeded by better and efficient mechanisms. Indeed, the computing technologies have shaped American history, and in return, the hallmark of innovations in the US pertinent to computers has shaped the world. Therefore, the discoveries in computing give new backgrounds for further reinvention, hence achieving the next fit in computer technology. Typically, in order to exhaustively explore how computers have changed America, it is not only essential to highlight how the change has happened in the disciplines of communication and information storage, but also in the segments of education, security, and warfare.

Brief History on Computers

Individual Americans have been key contributors in the invention and development of the computers from the first generation, hence the American advancements that significantly characterized both the pre-computer and the computer era timelines. One Charles Babbage, a mathematics teacher who invented the Analytical Engine is revered for the discovery of the basic framework of the p[resent day computer in the nineteenth century (Parikka 4). The development of computers has been achieved through three distinct levels, whose success was hugely contributed to by American geniuses (Zimmermann 19).  In fact, Dr. John V. Atanasoff is an American who invented the first generation computer to ever be used by man (Zimmermann 45). The computer developed by Dr. John V. Atanasoff would later be called the first generation model, which happened between 1937 and 1946. Together with Dr. John V. Atanasoff, another American inventor named Clifford Berry had been an instrumental brain in helping come up with an electronic digital computer for the first time in history (Parikka 5). The computer developed by Americans in the first generation was called the Atanasoff-Berry Computer, named after those who discovered it, but later in 1946 Americans created a new model for the military personnel; called the Colossus (Tucker 6). The second generation computer was created in 1947 and would be refined until 1962 and it was fit for commercial hence its being sold to the public (Zimmermann 33).  The year 1963 marked the creation of a third generation computer, which was relatively smaller than the first two generations, hence it was portable, convenient, and easily transportable (Tucker 12). The third generation computer is what has survived to date, with minimal successive improvements. Typically, both John Mauchly

and J. Presper Eckert are insightful Americans who created the commercially successful electronic computer for the first time, otherwise called the UNIVAC in 1951March (Zimmermann 167). In the same year April, the Jay Forrester cohort developed the also known as the Whirlwind, created the real-time computer which had interactive computing capabilities (Parikka 2). Therefore, Americans have been pertinent to both the pre-computer and the computer era timelines.

 Communication

The use of computers has hugely transformed the aspect of communication right from the individual, business, and national categories.  During the pre-computer age, communication was limited in scale, and most communication strategies were well planned before being rolled out for representatives to deliver the message to respective audiences manually  (Colorossi 505). At the individual level, people experienced delays and inconveniences in relaying messages. Furthermore, the failure of strategy and poor logistical maneuvers were inevitable both at the business and the national platforms of because of slow and primitive communication habits which were vulnerable to alteration at most. Nevertheless, once computers were invented and hence inside of the computer age, communication has become a central tool for not only individual organizations but also at the personal and national categories.  Computer technology has immensely transformed how people do marketing, engage public relations, how they interact with the respective stakeholders as well as the media, and even how deals are brokered among different partners (Sekgwathe and Talib 128). On the contrary, computers have made communication vulnerable to many blunders, because classified information can now be easily accessed and relayed to the wrong audience by unauthorized people, thus putting the reputation of individuals, business organizations, and even nation-states in a compromised state (Tucker 53). Nevertheless, the computer age has made communication a perfect tool for all partners.

Information Storage

Information is an indispensable component of life, and hence information borders on critical aspects of business success, individual harmony, national security, and global peace. Consequently, the acquisition and storage of information is a sensitive issue that has remained to be of utmost importance since time antiquity (Alfredo 2). Before the computer age, storage of information was cumbersome but the risk of losing it to the wrong people was low.  People stored information in form of memory, while business organizations preserved their information in form of documents. Such content would then be preserved in safes or in monetary banks. At the national level, however, information was highly classified and such content was preserved in memory as high secretes, documented and kept in defense headquarters, or preserved by the intelligence entities like the CIA and the FBI (Colorossi 515). Nevertheless, at the onset of the computer age, people, organizations, and governments store information in computer hard disks, flash disks, emails, and even servers (Cull 2). The only disadvantage is that such information is vulnerable to abuse because of computer attacks in terms of malware, viruses, hacking, and spyware. However, in the computer age, voluminous information can be stored and in a less tedious way.

 Education Means and Practice

Computers changed the education platforms of not only the American people but also those of the rest of the world. Right from the individual, organizational, and national categories, American education framework and practices were largely affected. In the pre-computer era, people used to gain an education in purely mechanical ways. For instance, there was no increased accessibility to information, people significantly relied on print media, and telecommuting was impossible. Even the formulation of government policy for the department of education lacked sophistication and desirable strategies because of lack of the computer operations efficiency to create curriculum network across the whole country within a short period (Alfredo 4). Nevertheless, in the computer age, individuals can accesses education from home while seated at their computers, people can multitask; meaning some can be at work while attending lectures online. Furthermore, a business organization can train and offer coaching skills to their employees both at home and abroad instantaneously. Governments can now roll out policies that make education efficient, effective, and diverse in real time because of the computer advantages (Sekgwathe and Talib 128). In fact, computers have enhanced globalization, shaped the world culture, beliefs, traditions, politics, and economies a new; and hence diversified education means and practices for good.

The Need for Cyber Security

The question of cybersecurity since the adoption of computers has been of critical importance to all parties involved right from the individual, business, and national levels.  During the pre-computer age, there were no extreme threats to classified information because most atrocities would entail more of physical aggression to accesses such data than engaging sophisticates means of computer viral attacks, use of malware, and even hacking to access such information (Cull 17). However, following the escalating invention and increasing computer technologies in this twenty-first century, cybersecurity is a pertinent question of local, national, and global importance.  At the individual level, hackers can gain access to personal information and still money in bank accounts, mess up one's credit card, reveal personal secrets to sabotage reputation, and even threaten one's security. At the organizational level, compromised cybersecurity means the business secrete are at stake, competitive advantages in the market sphere could be lost, and even the customer base could be cut off (Zimmermann 6). At the national level, the security of the nation is squarely dependent on the robust cybersecurity infrastructure (Alfredo 13). Terrorist and terror-supporting countries are the primary atrocities on America`s classified information for instance. Hackers can compromise the national security in many ways, including the release of classified data, messing up of intelligence reports, gaining accesses to the American mainland and causing attacks among many losses. Therefore, the computer era means that cybersecurity practices should be enforced effectively to avert the loss of reputation, property, and lives.

 What War Means in the Computer Age

The computer age has in entirety changed and realigned the practices and strategies on the battlefield the world over. Before the computer age, the battles were fought and wars were warned in conventional means (Sekgwathe and Talib 131). Nevertheless, in the current age of a computerized world, armies, terrorists, and organization fight and win wars in highly sophisticated methods, without necessarily going on the battlefield.  Apparently, weapons of mass destruction including a nuclear arsenal, biological weapons, and chemical ammunitions are used, all of which function on the computerized equipment principle (Colorossi 525). The invention of drones, which are self-driven aero-equipment, has served to change the methods of war. Such equipment is used through remote computer networking to collect intelligence and bomb the enemies in their hideout places. Warplanes are computerized; aeroplane carriers and ships are computerized, while troops on the ground are interlinked to computer intelligence from support destinations. Therefore, the methods and practices of war have changed significantly in this computer age.

Conclusion

Indeed, computers have changed the lives of American significantly. Right from the individual, business organization, and national levels, lives have become squarely dependent on the principles of computer operations. Communication has become more efficient and effective because voluminous data can be relayed easy and fast.  The storage of information in databases and servers are more reliable and secure than before the computer age. Nevertheless, vulnerability to loss of information and release of classified data has become a major risk in the computer era. Education has been advanced since discoveries and innovation has been evidenced in the computer era. Most Americans can now work while at school, attend functions and business meetings globally online while in their local places of work. Nevertheless, computers have compromised the element of security because of increased accessibility to classified information by unauthorized parties. Malware, viruses, hacking, and spyware are the vices used to put at risk computerized data. Furthermore, wars and the success on the battlefields is squarely dependent on computer insight. The American government, the military, intelligence entities, and the Homeland Security policymakers have kept America a safe place against external aggression through sophisticated computer operations. Therefore, computers have laid a formidable platform and significantly changed the lives of Americans.

Works Cited

Alfredo, David. “The History of Computers in Business.” Bizfluent (2017): n. pag. Web.

Colorossi, Jeffrey L. “Cyber Security.” Security Supervision and Management: Theory and Practice of Asset Protection: Fourth Edition. N.p., 2015. 501–525. Web.

Cull, P. Modeling Reality: How Computers Mirror Life. Vol. 42. N.p., 2005. Web.

Parikka, Jussi. “History of Computers.” History

(2009): 1–9. Web.

Sekgwathe, Virginiah, and Mohammad Talib. “Cyber Forensics : Computer Security and Incident Response.” International Journal on New Computer Architectures and Their Applications 2.1 (2012): 127–137. Print.

Tucker, Kristine. “How Have Computers Changed Learning in the Classroom?” Our Everyday Life. N.p., 2017. Web.

Zimmermann, Kim Ann. “History of Computers: A Brief Timeline.” Live Science (2015): n. pag. Web.

November 13, 2023
Subcategory:

Technology

Number of pages

8

Number of words

2008

Downloads:

26

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