GENERATION OF COMPUTERS

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Here @www.techteazer.com, we help to turn computer newbie’s into great pros. I am going to share with you today, on the classification of computers in accordance to its generation.
You know, knowing all about some computer facts or secrets without knowing/ having any knowledge on its invention, it’s like someone knowing your house care-taker without knowing you land-lord.

Post Key Benefit’s:
·        You’ll be able to know more about your computer features.
·        You’ll be able to know your computer classifications and its grade in accordance to its generations.
·        Then, you’ll be able to know and tell about how and when your computer (Pc) was originated.

The intention of electronic computers were aided by the preceding devices used in counting and other operations. The electronic computers make use of the binary zeros (0’s) and ones (1s) to represent words and numbers. And each letter or number is represented by a series of ONs and OFFs of a current.
     In the stages of development of electronic computing, we shall look at different generations of computers. Every new invention or major innovation led to a new generation.
a.    The First Generation Of Computers
The first generation of computers existed between the periods of 1946 and 1959. The first computer generations were noted for the use of vacuum tubes in storing programs. They were large, slow, expensive, have small storage and use machine language. Dr. Presper Eckert and Dr. J. W. Mauchley at Pennsylvania (USA) started to work on the production of the first computer in 1943. This was completed and tested fully in 1946. The first fully automatic electronic computer called ENIAC (Electronic numerical integration and calculator) used the vacuum tube and was prevalent.
     With the report of john van Neumann and his counterparts, that the computer can process both data and instruction represented with binary codes, other computer types, were developed. Such computers included EDSAC (Electric Delayed Storage Automatic Computers) EDVAC (Electric Discrete Variable Automatic Computer) which used punched paper card as input device and UNIVAC Computer. It could execute 10,000 instructions per second.
     Other Computers that existed during this period were UNIVAC II, Mark II, II and III, Bizmac 1 and 2 UNINAC ENIAC etc.

Many of the first generation computers were built for solving scientific problems. It was the era of engineers. Productions were only supported by government and educational funds. It was later realized that, they could be used in industry, business, etc. and the main-frame computers dominated this generation.
b.    The Second Generation of Computers.
The second generation of computers existed between 1960 and 1970. The vacuum tubes of the 1st generation of computers. The computers became smaller, faster and reliable. This was an era of business applications and the computers developed could perform more difficult calculations. English like computer languages, were used for coding. Examples are COBOL, FORTRAN, etc. the computers that existed during this generation are CDC 1604, 160A, GE635, 1400 and 1600 series of IBM computers, UNIVACIII, RAC501, 5590 and 1107 computers etc.
In the second generation of computers, external storage like magnetic tape or disks supplemented the internal storage where magnetic cores, were used instead of magnetic drums. The mini-computers which were founded at the end of the first generation became fairly pronounced in the second generation, though the real demand was in the third generation. The mini-computers were smaller in size than the main-frame computers, which were still in vogue in the second generation.
c.    The third generation computers.
The third generation of computers existed between 1970 and 1979. It was characterized by integrated circuitry and the use of secondary storage. The replacement of transistor with integrated circuit (IC) increased the speed of processing of data.
   Examples of third generation computers, were PDP-8 and PDP-II series of Digital equipment, IBM’s system 360/370 series, UNIVAC’s 1108 and 9000 series, Burroughs 5700, 6700 and 7700 series etc. the newest advance took place in this generation. Data and instructions processed in the Arithmetic and logic unit (ALU) was within Micro-seconds (10-6) and Nano-seconds (10-9). This allows Multi processing and multi-programming in the computer industry. Note that multi-programming is the execution of several programs simultaneously or concurrently on one computer and multi-processing is the linking of (CPU’s central processing units) of several computers or more than one ALU to a single CPU.
   The third generation computers used less powers, costs less and they were smaller in size and much more reliable. Their internal memory increased and compatibility was introduced. The use of IC technology, became the basis of most new computer logic such as the medium scale integrated (MSI) logic used in constructing computer designs, based on TTL (Transistor transistor logic).
d.    The fourth generation computers.
The fourth generation of computers existed between 1997 and 1989. This generation experienced the introduction of Micro-processors approach to computing. A Micro-processor is an entire small computer processor on a single chip excluding main memory.
   They used large-scale integrated (LSI) circuits and recently, very large integrated (VLSI) circuits and ultra large-scale integrated (ULSI) circuits. Such computers that use Micro-processors are called Micro-Computers. They were smaller but, can solve very complicated problems. They are faster, cheaper and have advanced input and output devices like; optical character recognition (OCR). Audio response terminals that identifies voice input and output, terminals that recognize diagrams and pictures as input data. CD-ROMs (Compact Disk Read Only Memory) were also installed in the computers.
e.    The fifth generation of computers.
The fifth generation of computers started from 1990 till date. This generation is centered on knowledge based systems and parallel architectures. The computer sizes are reduced but with increased ability. Micro-miniaturization (compression of more circuit elements into smaller chip space), artificial intelligence (solving variety of problems in creative ways), computers networking (use of satellite to link computers globally), GSM, information technology, internet etc. were evident.
     Operation has shifted from MS-DOS (Microsoft disk operating system) to the use of windows graphical user interface by clicking the mouse pointer on windows icons. And the CD-ROM introduced in the fourth generation had a stronger grip in this generation.
     The fifth generation computers are multimedia micro-computers. An example is the Pentium computers with graphics, digital stereo sound and CD-ROM. Pentium 133, Pentium 200, Pentium 100 etc. have edge over the preceding 80286, 80386, 80386, 80486 and 80586.
     The Pentium with SVGA (Super video graphics adaptor), gives a higher resolution and therefore better quality of monitor color display. Note that SVGA is a very high quality type of VDA  (Video Display Adaptor), which is a card inside the CPU that controls the computer monitor in terms of color displays. The resolution of a display screen is a measure of how sharp blurred its image are. And a pixel is a picture element often referred to as dots or graphics points. The higher the pixel, the higher the resolution.
     The SVGA can give a resolution of 800×600 in 256 colors (i.e. 480,000 pixels). With VGA or VDA (video display adaptor). Resolution of 400×300 in 150 colors set, one will have 120,000 pixels in a 150 color set.
COMMON FEATURES OF GENERATION OF COMPUTERS.
a.    First generation computers.
1.      Use of vacuum tubes.
2.      Use of low level language, e.g. machine language.
3.      Main-frame computers were predominant.
4.      Expensive to buy and power.
5.      Large size.
6.      Limited internal storage.
7.      Slow.
8.      Unreliable.
9.      One user per-computer.
10.  Required enormous space.
11.  Magnetic tapes used to input.
12.  Required extensive cooling system.
13.  Main-frame is used.
14.  The era of engineers.
b.   2nd generation of computers.
1.      Used transistor.
2.      Used assembly language.
3.      Required medium sized space.
4.      One user per-computer.
5.      Used of magnetic core storage system.
6.      Required moderate cooling systems.
7.      Smaller in size.
8.      Faster.
9.      More reliable than the first generation.
10.  Used for businesses.
11.  Better input and output devices than the former.
12.  Pronouncement of mini-computers but main-frame still dominated.
13.  The era of marketers of business.
c.    3rd generation of computers.
1.      Used integrated circuits (ICs).
2.      Many users.
3.      Used high level language.
4.      Mini-computers era.
5.      Multi-processing and multi-programming is used.
6.      Require small space.
7.      Emergence of Micro-Computer.
8.      Cards and disks used for input.
9.      Faster.
10.  Require lesser cooling system, etc.
d.   4th generation of computers.
1.   Used large scale integrated circuits (LSI) circuits.
2.   Size reduced to desk-top or note-book.
3.   Era of Micro-processor.
4.   Miniaturization.
5.      Better storage capacity.
6.      Cheaper than the previous.
7.      Faster than the previous.
8.      Remote control user.
9.      Require A/C for cooling.
10.      CD-ROMs installed etc.
e.           5th generation of computers.
1.      Used of very large scale integrated (VLS) circuits.
2.      Used of Windows icons in steady MS-Dos commands.
3.      Micro-miniaturization and artificial intelligence.
4.      Use air conditioner for cooling.
5.      Input or output devices use optical disks and card recorders.
6.      Use kamel and query language.
7.      Very small space required.
8.      Era of Pentium Micro-computers.
9.      Internet technology and GSM services.
10.   E-mail service, Etc.
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