The Four Generations Of Computers
The History of Computers...
From Generation to Generation...
The first Generation (1945 - 1955)
The first Generations of computers were very large computers made up of vacuum tubes and often programmed using wiring plug boards. They were programmed using machine language and they were mostly used for numerical calculations as working out mathematical tables.
The Second Generation (1955 - 1965)
The second generation of computers had Mainframes made up of transistors.
At first punch cards were used to provide input, then tapes were used (for batch processing). They used Assemblers and Fortran compilers for program writing.
Simple batch processing was used with input files, programs and output on tape. However, smaller computers used to read programs and data on punch cards on to input tapes and for offline printing. These computers were often used mainly for scientific and engineering applications.
The Third Generation (1965 - 1980)
These computers had Mainframes which were based on small scale ICs. They were capable of multiprogramming (running several jobs at the same time). For these computers, fixed discs were used. Though the first models used multiprogrammed batch processing, to cater to increased response time, timesharing was introduced later (Time-sharing Systems). These computers were used for various applications including scientific and business applications. Mini computers also appeared on the market which were used by small departments.
The Fourth Generation (1980 . . . )
The forth Generation computers are the machines that you see and use today. They consist of Mainframes, Minicomputers, Workstations and Personal Computers (Desktop and portable). They are network operating systems that facilitate file sharing, remote logging etc.