Brief History of Computer/Generation of Computer

At the beginning of the 19th century an English Mathematician, Charles Babbage invented the modern digital computer. He developed an Analytical Engine based on the modern computer to perform mathematical calculations very fast.

The authentic brief history of the computer is very old and goes back to 3000BC which still in growth. In this period the apparatus named Abacus used for calculation. This was the 1st calculating device of history.

Brief History of Computer (Old Age):

Abacus (300BC):

The Abacus was the first calculating device developed in China before 3000BC for calculation. The Abacus was also known as Soroban. It was a frame of 10 wires or rods in which beads are strung on these wires or rods. These beads could move in the wires. The arithmetic calculation is performed by manipulating these beads. The Abacus was so good that still using in the world, both as a toy and teaching instrument for the children. It marks the first step to the computer generation.

Napier’s Bones (1617):

In early 1617 John Napier a Scottish mathematician invented this device and logarithm in the age of his death. In this device, he used the bones. Therefore, when he died, then its name became Napier’s Bone. His bones consist of rods and numbers marked on them. This device performs accurate operation and multiplication of large numbers. This device can long digits computations faster and more accurately.

Oughtred’s Slide Rule:

It was invented by an English Mathematician Wilheim Oughtred which can do both multiplication and division operation. This device consisted of two moveable rulers placing side by side and each ruler marked in such a way that the actual distance from the beginning of the ruler proportional to the logarithm of the number. By this device, one can do quickly both multiplication and division.

Pascaline Calculator (1642):

A 19 years old French boy “Blais Pascal” developed the 1st mechanical calculator about 1642 without using the books. This man developed a workable calculating machine called “Pascaline”. A small wheel marked numbers 0 to 9 on its circumferences, connected with a series of gears having 10 teeth were used in this device. This device had the ability to carry digits to the next gear. On completion one revolution of a wheel, a tooth of one gear would mesh with the gear of the next dial, moving it ahead one-tenth of a revolution performing addition. On the reverse revolution do subtraction.

Leibniz Machine (1694):

In 1694 a German Mathematician Wilhelm Leibniz completed a machine. Pascal machine could only add and subtract, but Leibnitz Machine could also perform multiplication, division, and square roots. Wilhelm Leibnitz’s machine design is close to the Pascal calculator.

Jacquard’s Loom (1801):

In 1801 Joseph Jacquard a French Textile manufacturer invented the punch card to create patterns in fabric woven on a loom. He had no idea of revolutionaries of data processing.

Brief History of Computer (Modern Age):

Difference Engine and Analytical Engine (1823):

In 1823 a British Professor at Cambridge University “Charles Babbage” conceived the programmable computer. He is considered the father of the modern digital computer. He was a mathematician and wanted to develop such a machine which could perform a different calculation. Thus he invented an Automatic Calculating Machine named “Difference Engine”.

He wants to improve it and he continues his work. He conceived the 1st programmable computer named “Analytical Engine”. But he did not complete his work because at that time the standard of Engineering Technology was unsuccessful to make such parts. But infect Babbage succeeds in establishing the basic principles on which modern computer is designed.

Data Processing Machine (1890):

In 1890 Dr.Herman Hollerith developed the 1st electromechanical data processing machine. This machine can store programs through a punch card. Now a day this card is also used in some computers for input data. Hollerith works in the American Bureau for the census and used this machine to manipulate the result of 1890 census, but he left the bureau and made a company of tabulating machine which later became IBM (International Business Machine) Corporation.

Mark 1 Computer (1937):

In 1937 Haward an Aiken at Haward University began a project with IBM and completed in 1944. He developed a 1st Digital Computer of the world named “MARK 1 Computer”. It was an electromechanical machine with advanced computer technology in which using relays instead of gears. It was about 8 feet high and 55 feet long. A data was entered in this machine by using the card. Later it had developed to MARK-II, MARK-III and MARK-IV.

First Generation of Computer (1945-1955):

Vacuum tubes were used in these types of computers, therefore the size of the computer was very large and heavyweight, occupied a place of about 30 x 50 square feet and very costly. More persons were required for its operation. It having a slow speed and required high electrical power. It’s also produced tremendous heat; therefore it switched off after some time for cooling.

In 1946 J.P. Eckert & J.W. Muchly of Mood School of Engineering University of Pennsylvania invented the “ENIAC Computer” stand for (Electronic Numerical Integrated and Computer) in which vacuum tube was used. All the funds were procured by an American Army. These computers were used for the atmospheric situation and for atomic energy.

J.P. Eckert & J.W. Muchly built “EDVAC” stand for (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer). It was designed to store program and reduced the operation time. “EDSAC” (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Computer) developed.

Later J.P. Eckert & J.W. Muchly left the university and made his own company named “Eckertmuchly Corporation”.  In 1951 “UNIVAC-I” (Universal Automatic Computer) was designed by J.P. Eckert & J.W. Muchly. “UNIVAC-I” was the 1st computer used for science and business application. It was used in the census bureau in 1951 and was continuously used for 10 years.

John Von Neumann has also shared the idea for storing data. He also introduced the binary system, the basic of computer arithmetic and logic.

Send Generation of Computer (1955 – 1964):

In second generation computer transistors were used instead of vacuum tubes. The advantages of transistors are, that one transistor could work instead of two vacuum tubes. It is also 50 times smaller than the vacuum tube. 2-12 volt electricity is used to operate one transistor while 16000volt electricity is used for the operation of one vacuum tube.

It shows that the second generation of computer is small, reliable, more accurate, and generates less heat during operation.  Its speed was 10 times better than the First Generation of Computer. Assembly language was used in these computers, e.g. UNIVAC-III, IBM-1600 Series, and IBM-1400 Series.

Third Generation of Computer (Integrated Circuits 1964 – 1975):

Significant improvements have been made because it was possible to integrate a large number of circuit elements into a very small surface of Silicon “CHIPS”. This new technology was called “Integrated Circuits (ICs)”. In the Third Generation of Computer, Integrated Circuits were used instead of transistors. The length of the IC (Integrated Circuit) is about 1 inch and its work capability is equal to (800-1000) transistors. This improvement increased processing speed, accuracy, adding of secondary storage devices, connecting of hardware (Monitor, Printer, etc.) and cost less. The high-level language was used in these computers which can perform several operations simultaneously, e.g. IBM-360 Series, IBM-370 Series, UNIVAC-1106, UNIVAC-9000.

Fourth Generation of Computer (1975- 1995):

Initially, the integrated circuits contained about 10 to 20 circuits. This technology was called SSI (Small Scale Integration). Later the capacity of SSI has improved to integrate 100 circuits on a single chip. This technology was called MSI (Medium Scale Integration). Continuously Large Scale Integration (LSI) technology introduced to integrate over 30000 circuits on a single chip. In continuation of this improvement VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) technology introduced with a single microprocessor chip. These computers are called “Micro Computer” or “Personal Computer”. They are made in a large number and used for office work. These computers can also connect with another computer through networking and support a high-level language. They are small in size and can replace easily. These computers are more accurate, reliable, speedy, and cost less; performs several operations, e.g. IBM-3033 Series, IBM-4300 Series, and Pentium.

Fifth Generation of Computer, Artificial Intelligent ULSI (1995 – Present):

Scientists are now working on the Fifth generation of computer. In this stage Parallel Processor and ULSI (Ultra Large Scale Integration) is introduced. Fifth Generation of Computer is total Artificial Intelligent Computer. Complicated scientific works are doing by these computers. They are also used in Nuclear, Science and Space Technology. These computers have more processors, having a high speed of processing with accuracy and reliability, smaller, having high storage memory.

Expert System, Robotic and Natural Language Processor are of the examples of the fifth generation of computer.

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