By Michael Woods

Were you aware . . .Ancient cultures measured time adequately with water clocks? An engineer within the first century B.C. designed an odometer to calculate distance traveled? humans computed the 1st values of pi approximately 4 thousand years in the past? Computing know-how is as previous as human society itself. the 1st people on the earth used uncomplicated computing talents. They counted by way of carving tally marks in bone. They used physique components and uncomplicated instruments to degree. Over the centuries, historic peoples realized extra approximately computing. humans within the old heart East used scales to degree items for buying and selling. the traditional Egyptians wrote textbooks together with multiplication and department difficulties. the traditional chinese language built an abacus for quick calculations. old Greeks made advances in geometry. What different types of instruments and strategies did old mathematicians use? Which in their innovations and discoveries have stood the try out of time? and the way did the ancients set the degree for our personal smooth computing? research extra in historical Computing expertise.

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**Extra resources for Ancient Computing Technology: From Abacuses to Water Clocks (Technology in Ancient Cultures)**

**Example text**

D. 500s. A decimal system is based on multiples of ten. The number system used in the United States and most other countries is a decimal system. Within a century or two, 0 also appeared in the Indian system of mathematics. An Indian temple built in 876 holds the first known written 0 used as a number, not just a placeholder. This was an important advance in computing. The 0 is necessary to the place-value system, which enables numbers to hold different values, ch mathematician Fren —Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749–1827), ANCIENT INDIA 39 depending on their placement.

The lower deck had five beads on each rod. Those beads each had a value of 1. , 2001 —Georges Ifrah, French math historian 48 ANCIENT COMPUTING TECHNOLOGY A Chinese abacus uses five beads per rod on the lower deck and two per rod on the upper deck. Abacuses in other countries used different combinations, such as four and one, or ten beads per rod with no divider. Each vertical rod represented a place value—the 1s, 10s, 100s, 1,000s, and so on. To show the number 4,321 on an abacus, the user moved one bead on the lower right rod toward the crossbar, two beads on the next rod over, three on the third rod, and four on the next.

The Greeks borrowed some computing technology from the Egyptians, but they did not just make small improvements. Instead, the Greeks developed entirely new fields of computing. They laid the foundation for modern mathematics. To the Egyptians, math was a practical tool used for figuring taxes, conducting business, and building structures. The Greeks, on the other hand, admired math for its logic. They thought of it as a way to train the mind. The Greeks separated math into two main branches. They used applied math to solve practical problems.