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History of Information Technology

history of IT

The history of information technology predates the invention of the modern digital computer by many centuries. Machines for calculating fixed numerical tasks, such as the abacus, have existed since antiquity. Wilhelm Schickard built the first mechanical calculator in 1623. Charles Babbage designed a difference engine in Victorian times, and around 1900 the IBM Corporation sold punch-card machines. However all of these machines were constrained to perform a single task, or at best, some subset of all possible tasks.

During the 1940s, as newer and more powerful computing machines were developed, the term computer came to refer to the machines rather than their human predecessors. As it became clear that computers could be used for more than just mathematical calculations, the field of computer science broadened to study computation in general. Computer science began to be established as a distinct academic discipline in the 1960s, with the creation of the first computer science departments and degree programs. Since practical computers became available, many applications of computing have become distinct areas of study in their own right.

In order to perform the complex functions required of information technology departments today, the modern Information Technology Department would use computers, servers, database management systems, and cryptography. The department would be made up of several System Administrators, Database Administrators and at least one Information Technology Manager. The group usually reports to the Chief Information Officer (CIO). Information technology has a long history and has only recently been associated with the use of computers.

The term "information technology" is usually quite often referred to an entire industry. In actuality, information technology is the use of computers and software to manage information. In some companies, this is referred to as Management Information Services (or MIS) or simply as Information Services (or IS). The information technology department of a large company would be responsible for storing information, protecting information, processing the information, transmitting the information as necessary, and later retrieving information as necessary. When people hear the words "Information Technology," the first things that come to mind are computers and the Internet. It may also bring up words like "network," "intranet," "server," "firewall," "security," as well as more arcane expressions such as "router," "T-1," "Ethernet," or the mysterious and exotic-sounding "VoIP." However, the term "information technology" is not new and has not always referred to things relating to computer. Information technolog y is as old as the brain itself, if you think of the brain as an information processor. As far as IT being a science, even that goes back as far as the earliest attempts to communicate and store information. And that is essentially what information technology is: the communication and storage of information, along with the ability to process and make use of the information stored.

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