Personal computers are now commonplace in most homes throughout the world, and are relied on heavily by both individuals and businesses. The invention of the computer is relatively new, emerging into our lives relatively late in the 20th century.
The computer has been another life-transforming invention. British mathematician Charles Babbage designed a form of computer in the mid-1830s, but it was not until more than a century later that theory was put into practice. Now, a whole generation has grown up with calculators, windows, icons, computer games and word processors, and the Internet and e-mail have transformed communication and information.