What is the History of Abacus? (15-04-2010)

Calculation was a need from the early days when it was necessary to account to others for individual or group actions, Early man counted by means of matching one set of objects with another set. The operations of addition and subtraction were simply the operations of adding or subtracting groups of objects to the sack of counting stones or pebbles. Early counting tables, named abaci, not only formalized this counting method but also introduced the concept of positional notation that we use today. The next logical step was to produce the first "personal calculator"—the abacus—which used the same concepts of one set of objects standing in for objects in another set, but also the concept of a single object standing for a collection of objects—positional notation. The Chinese abacus was developed about 5000 years ago. It was built out of wood and beads. It could be held and carried around easily. The abacus was so successful that its use spread from China to many other countries. The abacus is still in use in some countries today. The abacus does not actually do the computing, as today's calculators do. It helps people keep track of numbers as they do the computing. People who are good at using an abacus can often do calculations as quickly as a person who is using a calculator

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