Essay Sample. The History of Information Communication Technology

Published: 2023-04-19
Essay Sample. The History of Information Communication Technology
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Information technologies Human development Communication skills Sustainable development
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1575 words
14 min read

Information Communication Technology, ICT, refers to the methods through which people have shared knowledge using various techniques. It has been around since the early days of humans where they found ways to communicate and share information amongst themselves. Early methods of communication involved drawings in cave walls. Technology has improved since then to what it is now where there are handheld phones and computers both with cameras. Essentially, there have been four ages in the history of ICT categorized by the equipment used which are pre-mechanical, mechanical, electro-mechanical, and electronic. There are also revolutions that have shaped how people communicate. This paper will describe and analyze the inception of the use of pencil and paper of the first revolution, the current status and possible future use.

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Ages of ICT

Pre-mechanical, mechanical, electro-mechanical, and electronic are the four main ages in the history of ICT. These ages are categorized based on the technologies used that ranges from the basic writings to the devices available today. Each of the periods has had a technology that is pivotal. The pre-mechanical age had the pen and paper, the mechanical age had the Pascaline, the electro-mechanical age had the telephone, and the electronic age had the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer.

Pen and Paper in Pre-mechanical Age

Writing has stood the test of time despite the advent of new technologies such as typewriters and computers. It is a process that essentially notes down information for future reference or to communicate. Writing began as simple marks on clay before papyrus plants were used to make paper (Anderson et al., 2017). The simple marks in the inception of writing were done on cave walls. Early man was interested in communicating about nature and religion. Some of these wall markings are still visible in Egypt where they drew images of their gods and some instructional messages. Early methods of communication point out the need to communicate. The wall markings albeit advantageous in terms of durability could only be viewed from one location. The immobility of the cave writings was addressed by the invention of paper that was first made using the papyrus plant (Mukherji, 2018). Nonetheless, the Chinese used rags to make paper that became popular, and the technology is used in the making of paper today.

As humanity increased in number and people became more interactive, it became essential to have permanent storage for written information. In came the first books and libraries such as those in Egypt where they had scrolls to write information. These scrolls were at times blinded together to form books. The mechanical age also saw the invention of the numbering system where the numbers 1 to 9 were used as from 100 A.D. The number 0 was invented in 875 A. D, which signified the beginning of calculations aider by writing materials. Pen and paper were the most pivotal in the mechanical age. Paper is currently in use despite other methods of writing down information such as typewriters and printers. However, there is the possibility that paper use will be phased out in the future that will seek to protect trees.

Pascaline and the Mechanical Age

Pascaline was the first calculator and was invented in 1644 by Blaise Pascal (Zysman & Kenney, 2018). The calculator could only be used for the addition and subtraction of numbers hence referred to as the adding machine. It had dials that could be manipulated to add or subtract numbers that were keyed in. Blaise is said to have invented the machine for his father who was a tax collector, hence the machine was mainly used for business purposes. Including the abacus, Pascaline was the first machine used for business.

The machine is not in current use given the invention of advanced calculators and computer programs such as MATLAB (Puthek & Chaudhav, 2012). For this reason, there is no possible future use for this technology. It is, however, credited to be the first calculator that built the foundation for other technologies used today to solve mathematical problems.

The Telephone and the Electro-mechanical Age

The telephone is the most pivotal technology of the electro-mechanical age due to its efficiency in relaying information back and forth on demand. The technology used in telephones is credited to Alexander Graham Bell which was modified by Thomas Edison, Thomas Watson, and Emil Berliner using designs that are still in current use (Pichler, 2017). Telephone communication is considered to have begun by the strings and cups used by children. The invention of the transistor, metal wiring and the advances in electronics improved the work of telephones. Since then, there have been new designs that utilize new technologies to expand their reach and improve quality.

The telephone is still in current use where telephone lines are visible in some organizations and homes. There are smart features added to this technology such as number identification, redialing, visual display, and wireless transmission (Rodrigo et al, 2019). Telephones are being slowly phased out by the introduction of advanced cell phones that have the mobility advantage. Therefore, it is possible that the future will not have the telephone as everyone will have a mobile phone. Corded telephones will probably remain in use in offices that communicate information internally before being completely phased out.

Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer and the Electronic Age

The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, ENIAC, was built during the Second World War as the first digital computer, which indicates how pivotal it is for ICT (Skorzewska-Amberg, 2017). The technology was designed for the singular purpose of calculating values for the artillery range. Instructions in the machine were communicated using plugboards, and the response was swift compared to the processing of a card reader. The machine was an ingenious invention at the time building foundations for the modern-day computer. The disadvantage with ENIAC was that it could only solve one problem at a time, and the machine would need days to be rewired to solve a new problem.

ENIAC is the most powerful machine built to date with the ability to solve a wide range of mathematical problems. The cumbersome wiring has been the major impediment that has seen it lose its place in the modern world. It was also big occupying a lot of space, components, and it dissipated a lot of heat. ENIAC formed the basis in which modern-day computers are made, and there are more efficient computers still to come (Freiman & Robichaud, 2018). Therefore, the machine will not find future use as it has been replaced by smaller computers, but it is a pioneer in computer technology.

ICT Revolutions: Pencil and Paper

There are four revolutions in ICT that have defined the methods in which people communicate. Each of the revolutions is characterized by technology, for example, the first revolution comprised of television, radio, and satellite broadcasting while the second comprised of microcomputer and telecommunication (Demir, 2012). The third revolution involved the introduction of computers in schools and organizations while the fourth and current evolution involves globalization (Haigh, 2012). Technology that has influenced me the most in my scholarly pursuits has been the pen and paper. In the first revolution, pen and paper were used to take down notes from an instructor. It is a traditional way of teaching where a teacher imparts knowledge to students who write it down to study and reproduce in an exam.

Pen and paper have been an ingenious technology that has been in use for many years despite the existence of other methods of documentation. Personally, I have assisted the most in my education pursuits by the technology that I have used all through my years in school. I am able to write down notes dictated by the teacher, do my assignments, summarize books, written application letters, and also shared messages with my peers. I have learned a lot that I know through writing since I learn as I write, and I also learn through revising my written words.


Information Communication Technology, ICT, refers to the methods and equipment used to share data. In the early days, people would use crude methods and technology has since advanced to methods of communication today. There have been pivotal technologies in the four ages of technology, and also revolutions controlled by technological advances. Pen and pencil have been the most consistent of all of the other technologies. It is probable that it will still be relevant in the future.


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