First Generation (1941-1956) World War gave rise to numerous developments and started off the computer
age. Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) was produced by a partnershp between University of Pennsylvannia and the US government. It consisted of 18,000 vacuum tubes and 7000 resistors. It was developed by John Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly and was a general purpose computer. "Von Neumann designed the Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer (EDVAC) in 1945 with a memory to hold both a stored program as well as data." Von Neumann's computer allowed for all the computer functions to be controlled by a single source. Then in 1951 came the Universal Automatic Computer(UNIVAC I), designed by Remington rand and collectively owned by US census bureau and General Electric. UNIVAC amazingly predicted the winner of 1952, presidential elections, Dwight D. Eisenhower. In first generation computers, the operating instructions or programs were specifically built for the task for which computer was manufactured. The Machine language was the only way to tell these machines to perform the operations. There was great difficulty to program these computers ,and more when there were some malfunctions. First Generation computers used Vacuum tubes and magnetic drums(for data storage).
First large scale machines were made using these technologies to meet the requirements of atomic energy laboratories.Second Generation Computers (1956-1963) The invention of Transistors marked the start of the second generation. These transistors took place of the vacuum tubes used in the first generation computers. One of the other benefits to the programming group was that the second generation replaced Machine language with the assembly language. High-level languages such as COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language) and FORTRAN (Formula Translator) were used. disk storage and operating systems. Even though complex in itself Assemly language was much easier than the binary code. the instructions(program) could be stored inside the computer's memory. and they are still used for some applications nowdays.
. Many financial information was processed using these computers. Second generation computers also started showing the characteristics of modern day computers with utilities such as printers. In Second Generation computers.
These applications were monitored and coordinated by the computer's memory. the operating systems allowed the machines to run many different applications. The Intergreated Circuit(IC) was invented in 1958 by Jack Kilby.Third Generation Computers (1964-1971) Although transistors were great deal of improvement over the vacuum tubes. Also in third generation computers. they generated heat and damaged the sensitive areas of the computer. It combined electronic components onto a small silicon disc. made from quartz.
. More advancement made possible the fitings of even more components on a small chip or a semi conductor.
The continued improvement allowed the networking of computers for the sharing of data. took the integrated circuit one step further by locating all the components of a computer (central processing unit. memory. Video game systems like Atari 2600 generated the interest of general populace in the computers. "The Intel 4004 chip. Ten years later. Soon the internet aand World Wide Web appeared on the computer scene and formented the Hi-Tech revolution of 90's. The Size started to go down with the improvement in the integerated circuits. Very Large Scale(VLSI) and Ultra Large scale(ULSI) ensured that millions of components could be fit into a small chip. 65 million PCs were being used." Due to the reduction of cost and the availability of the computers power at a small place allowed everyday user to benefit. which offered users different applications. It reduced the size and price of the computers at the same time increasing power. were potential benefits. efficiency and reliability. First came the minicomputers. IBM introduced personal computers for home and office use. which could be used by non-technical users. most famous of these the word processors and spreadsheets. and input and output controls) on a minuscule chip. In 1981. Machintosh introduecd Graphic User Interface in which the users didnt' have to type instructions but could use Mouse for the purpose.
.5 million in 1982. developed in 1971. Local Area Networks(LAN) and Wide Area Network(WAN). "The number of personal computers in use more than doubled from 2 million in 1981 to 5. in that they could be implemented in corporations and everybody could share data over it. It went down from Desktop to laptops to Palmtops." Computer size kept getting reduced during the years.Fourth Generation (1971-Present) Fourth Generation computers are the modern day computers.
Future looks bright for the computers. Parallel Processing is coming and showing the possibiliy that the power of many CPU's can be used side by side. They will be able to take commands in a audio visual way and carry out instructions.
. Advances in Super Conductor technology will greatly improve the speed of information traffic. Many of the operations which requires low human intelligence will be perfomed by these computers. and computers will be more powerful than thoes under central processing.Fifth Generation (Present and Beyond) Fifth generations computers are only in the minds of advance research scientiets and being tested out in the laboratories. These computers will be under Artifical Intelligence(AI).