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Transistors were miniaturized and placed on silicon chips, called semiconductors, which drastically increased the speed and efficiency of computers 1964-1971: Integrated Circuits Instead of punched cards and printouts, users interacted with third generation computers through keyboards and monitors and interfaced with an operating system, which allowed the device to run many different applications at one time with a central program that monitored the memory. Computers for the first time became accessible to a mass audience because they were smaller and cheaper than their predecessors (System 360 Mainframe from IBM, PDP-8 Mini Computer from Digital Equipment Corporation) Read more...

The transistor was far superior to the vacuum tube, allowing computers to become smaller, faster, cheaper, more energy-efficient and more reliable than their first-generation predecessors. Though the transistor still generated a great deal of heat that subjected the computer to damage, it was a vast improvement over the vacuum tube.Second-generation computers still relied on punched cards for input and printouts for output. Second-generation computers moved from cryptic binary machine language to symbolic, or assembly, languages, which allowed programmers to specify instructions in words. High-level programming languages were also being developed at this time, such as early versions of COBOL and FORTRAN. These were also the first computers that stored their instructions in their memory, which moved from a magnetic drum to magnetic core technology. The first computers of this generation were developed for the atomic energy industry.
(Manufacturers – IBM 7030, Digital Data Corporation’s PDP 1/5/8 Honeywell 400)

Based on artificial intelligence, are still in development, though there are some applications, such as voice recognition, that are being used today. Present and Beyond: Artificial Intelligence, fifth generation computing devices, based on artificial intelligence, are still in development, though there are some applications, such as voice recognition, that are being used today. The use of parallel processing and superconductors is helping to make artificial intelligence a reality. The goal of fifth-generation computing is to develop devices that respond to natural language input and are capable of learning and self-organization.
(IBM notebooks, Pentium PCs-Pentium 1/2/3/4/Dual core/Quad core.. SUN work stations, Origin 2000, PARAM 10000, IBM SP/2) Read more...

Fourth Generation Microprocessor brought the fourth generation of computers, as thousands of integrated circuits were built onto a single silicon chip 1971-Present: Microprocessors. In 1981 IBM introduced its first computer for the home user, and in 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh. Microprocessors also moved out of the realm of desktop computers and into many areas of life as more and more everyday products began to use microprocessors. As these small computers became more powerful, they could be linked together to form networks, which eventually led to the development of the Internet. Fourth generation computers also saw the development of GUIs, the mouse and handheld devices.
(Intel’s 8088,80286,80386,80486 .., Motorola’s 68000, 68030, 68040, Apple II, CRAY I/2/X/MP etc) Read more...

The first electronic computer was designed and built at the University of Pennsylvania based on vacuum tube technology. Vacuum tubes were used to perform logic operations and to store data. Generations of computers has been divided into five according to the development of technologies used to fabricate the processors, memories and I/O units.
I Generation : 1945 – 55
II Generation : 1955 – 65
III Generation : 1965 – 75
IV Generation : 1975 – 89
V Generation : 1989 to present

A glass tube surrounding a vacuum (an area from which all gases have been removed). What makes it interesting is that when electrical contacts are put on the ends, you can get a current to flow though that vacuum. Thomas Edison noticed this first in 1883
(ENIAC - Electronic Numerical Integrator And Calculator
EDSAC – Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator
EDVAC – Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer
UNIVAC – Universal Automatic Computer
IBM 701)


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