Generations of Computers II


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In today’s class, we will be talking more about the generations of computers. Enjoy the class!

Generations of Computers II

Generations of Computers

Consider the table below


Of computers

Year of





Characteristics Software




First 1951-1958



Vacuum tube Very big and slow in operation Machine language Small internal storage
Second 1959-1964 Transistor Less heat generation High level &


Core storage
Third 1965-1975 100-1000


Introduction of integrated circuit Multiprogramming


Fourth 1975-1982 1000 above VLSIC Introduction of Non-procedural language Flexible internal & external storage
Fifth 1982 and above 106chips AI and Expert


Introduction of object-oriented programming language Small but powerful network

The following brief history of computing is a timeline of how computers evolved from their humble beginnings to the machines of today that surf the Internet, play games and stream multimedia in addition to crunching numbers.

1801: In France, Joseph Marie Jacquard invents a loom that uses punched wooden cards to automatically weave fabric designs. Early computers would use similar punch cards.

1822: English mathematician Charles Babbage conceives of a steam-driven calculating machine that would be able to compute tables of numbers. The project, funded by the English government, is a failure. More than a century later, however, the world’s first computer was actually built.

1890: Herman Hollerith designs a punch card system to calculate the 1880 census, accomplishing the task in just three years and saving the government $5 million. He establishes a company that would ultimately become IBM.

1936Alan Turing presents the notion of a universal machine, later called the Turing machine, capable of computing anything computable. The central concept of the modern computer was based on his ideas.

1937: J.V. Atanasoff, a professor of physics and mathematics at Iowa State University, attempts to build the first computer without gears, cams, belts or shafts.

1939: Hewlett-Packard is founded by David Packard and Bill Hewlett in a Palo Alto, California, garage, according to the Computer History Museum.

1941: Atanasoff and his graduate student, Clifford Berry, design a computer that can solve 29 equations simultaneously. This marks the first time a computer can store information on its main memory.

1943-1944: Two University of Pennsylvania professors, John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert build the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC). Considered the grandfather of digital computers, it fills a 20-foot by 40-foot room and has 18,000 vacuum tubes.

1946: Mauchly and Presper leave the University of Pennsylvania and receive funding from the Census Bureau to build the UNIVAC, the first commercial computer for business and government applications.

1947: William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain of Bell Laboratories invented the transistor. They discovered how to make an electric switch with solid materials and no need for a vacuum.

1953Grace Hopper develops the first computer language, which eventually becomes known as COBOL. Thomas Johnson Watson Jr., son of IBM CEO Thomas Johnson Watson Sr., conceives the IBM 701 EDPM to help the United Nations keep tabs on Korea during the war.

1954: The FORTRAN programming language, an acronym for FORmula TRANslation, is developed by a team of programmers at IBM led by John Backus, according to the University of Michigan.

1958: Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce unveil the integrated circuit, known as the computer chip. Kilby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000 for his work.

1964: Douglas Engelbart shows a prototype of the modern computer, with a mouse and a graphical user interface (GUI). This marks the evolution of the computer from a specialized machine for scientists and mathematicians to technology that is more accessible to the general public.

1969: A group of developers at Bell Labs produce UNIX, an operating system that addressed compatibility issues. Written in the C programming language, UNIX was portable across multiple platforms and became the operating system of choice among mainframes at large companies and government entities. Due to the slow nature of the system, it never quite gained traction among home PC users.

1970: The newly formed Intel unveils the Intel 1103, the first Dynamic Access Memory (DRAM) chip.

1971: Alan Shugart leads a team of IBM engineers who invent the “floppy disk,” allowing data to be shared among computers.

1973: Robert Metcalfe, a member of the research staff for Xerox, develops Ethernet for connecting multiple computers and other hardware.

1974-1977: Many personal computers hit the market, including Scelbi & Mark-8 Altair, IBM 5100, Radio Shack’s TRS-80 — affectionately known as the “Trash 80” — and the Commodore PET.

1975: The January issue of Popular Electronics magazine features the Altair 8080, described as the “world’s first minicomputer kit to rival commercial models.” Two “computer geeks,” Paul Allen and Bill Gates, offer to write software for the Altair, using the new BASIC language. On April 4, after the success of this first endeavour, the two childhood friends form their own software company, Microsoft.

1976Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak start Apple Computers on April Fool’s Day and roll out the Apple I, the first computer with a single-circuit board, according to Stanford University.

General evaluation
  1. Differentiate between the first and second generation of computers.
  2. Which of the generation of computer uses microchips?
  3. Which of the generation of computers used VLSIC?
  4. What is non-procedural programming?

Weekend assignment

  1. AI means………….A. artefact intelligence B. artificial intellect C. artificial intelligence D. attitude intelligence.
  2. Which of the generation of computer was between 1975 and 1982? A. First B. Second C. Fifth D. Fourth
  3. Which of the generation of the computer used vacuum tube? A. First B. Second C. Fifth D. Fourth
  4. Which of the generation of computers used VLSIC? A. First B. Second C. Fifth D. Fourth
  5. Which of the generation of computers begins Non Procedural programming? A. First B. Second C. Fifth D. Fourth


  1. What is artificial intelligence?
  2. Explain the second generation of computers.


In our next class, we will be talking about Classification of Computers. We hope you enjoyed the class.

Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.

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