Gallery: 15 unique analog and mechanical computers from throughout history

​The abacus

Long before electricity (or even running water) humans were seeking ways to make math easier. Whether you love mathematics or hate it you have to admit that your smartphone sure makes it easier to do even the simplest of calculations.

As soon as humans could move beyond counting knucklebones the abacus was invented. Archeologists have been able to trace a basic form of the abacus all the way back to 2700 BC in Mesopotamia.

Image: iStock/Jasmin Awad

By Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.