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Unformatted text preview: computers were manufactured using transistors instead of vacuum tubes. Due to the properties of transistors listed above, the second-generation computers were more powerful, more reliable, less expensive, smaller, and cooler to operate than the first-generation computers. The second generation also experienced a change in storage technology. The memory of the second-generation computers was composed of magnetic cores. Magnetic cores were small rings made of ferrite which could be magnetized in either clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. Several magnetic cores were strung on a mesh of wires to construct large random access memories having storage capacity of few tens of kilo bytes. In 1957, magnetic tape was introduced as a faster and more convenient secondary storage medium. At that time, a single tape could hold the contents of approximately 1000 punched cards. Later magnetic disk storage was also developed, and magnetic disk and magnetic tape were the main secondary storage media used in second-generation computers, although punched" cards were still popular and widely used for preparing programs and data to be fed to the computer. On the software front, the second generation saw the emergence of high-level programming languages and batch operating systems. High-level programming languages like FORTRAN, COBOL, ALGOL and SNOBOL were developed during the second generation period, which were much easier for people to understand and work with than assembly or machine languages. Hence second-generation computers were easier to program and use than first-generation computers. The introduction of batch operating system allowed multiple jobs to be batched together and submitted at a time, and automatic transition from one job to another as soon as the former job finished. This concept helped in reducing human intervention while processing multiple jobs, resulting in faster processing, enhanced thoughput, and easier operation of second-generation computers. The second generation also saw an increase in the type of computer applications....
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This document was uploaded on 04/07/2014.

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