EVOLUTION OF COMPUTERS
In the early years, before the computer was invented, there are several inventions of counting machines.
FIRST GENERATION (1940-1956)
The first generation of computer were huge, slow, expensive and often unreliable. In 1946, two Americans, Presper Eckert and Willian Mauchly build the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). It use vacuum tube instead of mechanical switches of the MARK 1. In 1951, Eckert and Mauchly build the UNIVAC, which could calculate at the rate of 10,000 addition per seconds.
VACUUM TUBE - The vacuum tube was an extremely important step of the advancement of computers.In a computer, a vacuum tube which is an electronic tube about the size of light bulbs, was used as the internal computer components. Thousands of them were used.
PUNCHED CARD - Punched card was used to store data.
MAGNETIC TAPE - Magnetic tape was introduced in 1957. It was a faster and a more compact method of storing data. Using magnetic tape became more reliable and cost-effective.
• the vacuum tubes generated a great deal of heat causing many problems in temperature regulation and climate control
• the tubes also burnt out frequently
• people operating the computer did not know that the problem was in the programming machine
• the second generation computer scientists invented something new due to lots of problem created by vacuum tubes
SECOND GENERATION (1956-1963)
The famous computer scientists during the second generation era were:
1. John Bardeen
2. Walter Houser
3. Willian Shockley
The creation of transistor spark the production of a wave of second generation computer. Transistor was small devices use to transfer electronic signals across a resister. Transistors had many advantages compared to other hardware technology.
• transistors were smaller than vacuum tubes
• they needed no warm up time
• consumed less energy
• generated much less heat
• faster and more reliable
THIRD GENERATION (1964-1971)
In the third generation era, the IBM 370 series were introduced in 1964. It came in several models and sizes. It was used for business and scientific programs. Other computer models introduced were CDC 7600 and B2500.
The development of integrated circuit (IC), signal the beginning of the third generation computers. Silicone chips were manufactured in 1961 at the
It is a complete electronic circuit on a small chip of silicone. Which is also known as semi conductor. Other than that, the Magnetic Core Memory was replaced by a device called the microchip. Also the first 256 bit RAM was introduced and it was the basis for development of 1K bit RAM.
A new concept in this generation was that of a family of computer which allowed computer to be upgraded and expanded as necessary.
• Silicone chips were reliable, compact and cheaper.
• Sold hardware and software separately which created the software industry.
• customer service industry flourished (reservation and credit checks)
FOURTH GENERATION (1971-PRESENT)
It took only 55 years for the 4 generations to evolve. The growth of the computer industry developed technologies of computer inventions. There are many types of computer models such as:
• Apple Macintosh
In 1971 Intel created the first microprocessor. In 1976, Steve Jobs built the first Apple computer. Then, in 1981, IBM introduced its first personal computer.
During the fourth generation, hardware technology such as silicone chips, microprocessor and storage devices were invented. A microprocessor is a specialized chip which is developed for computer memory and logic.
The microprocessor is a large-scale integrated circuit which contained thousands of transistors. The transistors on this one chip are capable of performing all of the functions of a computer's central processing unit.
• Computers became 100 times smaller than ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) the first computer
• Gain in speed, reliability and storage capacity
• Personal and software industry boomed
FIFTH GENERATION (PRESENT & BEYOND)
The fifth generation computers are technologically advance and are still being development to become more efficient.
The inventions of new hardware technology in the fifth generation have grown rapidly including many other modern computer devices such as :
• silicone chips
• virtual reality
• intelligent systems
• programs which translate languages
NEW ERA COMPUTER
After the fifth generation computer, the technology of computer has become more advanced, modern and sophisticated. The latest invention in the era of computers are :
• Super Computers
• Mainframe Computers
• Mini Computers
• Personal Computers
• Mobile Computers
In the new era of computers, expert system such as teleconferencing and speech-recognition system have been invented as part of modern world communication tools.