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Unformatted text preview: ed the IBM-650 and sold over
1000 of these computers.
The commercially available digital computers, that could be used for business and
scientific applications, had arrived.
THE COMPUTER GENERATIONS
"Generation" in computer talk is a step in technology. It provides a framework for the
growth of the computer industry. Originally, the term "generation" was used to
distinguish between varying hardware technologies. But nowadays, it has been extended
to include both the hardware and the software, which together make up an entire
The custom of referring to the computer era in terms of generations came into wide use
only after 1964. There are totally five computer generations known till today. Each
generation has been discussed below in detail along with their, identifying characteristics.
Although there is a certain amount of overlapping between the generations, the
approximate dates shown against each are normally accepted.
During the description of the various computer generations, you will come across several
terminologies and computer jargons, which you might not be aware of and may not be
able to understand properly. Please do not worry about it because the idea here is to just
give you an overview of the major developments and technologies during the five
generations of computers. These developments and technologies will be described in
greater detail in subsequent chapters. And remember that the objective of this book is
also the same - to introduce you to the various concepts about computers. Hence you will
have a better understanding of the terminologies introduced in this section only after you
have completed reading this entire book. The objective of this section is mainly to
provide an overview of what all you are going to learn in this entire book.
First Generation (1942-1955)
We have already discussed about some of the early computers - ENIAC, EDVAC,
EDSAC, UNIVAC I, and IBM 701. These machines and others of their time we...
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This document was uploaded on 04/07/2014.
- Spring '14