At North Dakota Online you may find almost everything related to computers. We will be talking equally about hardware and software problems, about monitors and processors, etc. Today’s lesson is a so-called history lesson. It will be a glance to some older times, when everything wasn’t so perfect, although for some people; perfect time of modernization still did not come. Today’s article is about the history of electronic digital computers. History of electronic digital computers can be divided into six generations, depending on the stage of development.
The first generation (1951-1958) is characterized by the use of electronic (vacuum) tubes as active elements and cable connections between the elements. These elements were great, spent much of current, delivering a large amount of heat. Computers were a great example. ENIAC was heavy 30 tons and consumed about 174 KWh.
The second generation (1959-1963) was characterized by transistors, which were built instead of electronic tubes. They were cheaper, faster, and smaller, consumed less electricity and developed less heat. The most famous computers of this generation were Philco Transac S- 2000 and IBM 1401. In addition to hardware improvements, new programming languages had emerged: Flow – Matic, from which arose later COBOL, FORTRAN, LISP, and ALGOL.
Third Generation (1964-1970) is characterized by the application of integrated circuits. The introduction of integrated and LSI (Large Scale Integration), integrated circuits with a high degree of integration, enabled the production of chips with thousands of transistors. Low cost, high reliability, small size, low power consumption and speed of operations have improved the development of minicomputer. Magnetic tape was used for storage of data and programs. This generation was characterized by enhanced peripherals that were large enough to enable connection of multiple peripherals and connect multiple computers using the telephone line. For the management and control of computers, operating systems were developed, and for writing programs using higher programming languages like COBOL, FORTRAN, and ALGOL LISP. The most recognizable computers of this generation were IBM 360 and PDP – 1.
Fourth generation (1971-1987) was characterized by components made on the basis of semiconductor circuits using LSI (Large Scale Integrated) and VLSI (Verrz Large Scale Integration) of highly integrated circuits, which allowed the creation of a microprocessor which is the basis of today’s computers. Improved hardware features led to a reduction regarding size of computers, increasing the capacity of the main memory and peripherals which rendered in significantly faster data processing. Operating systems were easier to use multiple users. New programming languages were easier for writing of the application software that was used in all spheres of society.
Fifth Generation (1990) was based on the construction of a parallel architecture that allowed simultaneous operation of multiple computers (CPUs) to solve a specific task.
The sixth generation of computers (neuro computers) is characterized by the development of neural networks that are supposed to simultaneously handle a large amount of information using thousands of the process, that remind of humankind’s brain and its network.