Tally Sticks and the Abacus
Lest you get the impression that computers are a new phenomena, this short article demonstrates that computers, in one form or another, have been around since at least 18,000BC.
Tally Sticks (c. 18,000 BCE)
20,000 years ago people cut patterns of notches into animal bones. Some experts believe that tally sticks were used to perform arithmetic computations.
The Abacus (c. 2,000 BCE)
The abacus is a computing device invented about 4,000 years ago. People who are well-trained to use it can perform calculations remarkably quickly, including square roots and cube roots on multi-digit numbers. In some countries, the abacus is still widely used today.
The computation algorithms are executed by the user, not the device.
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