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Computer Age:

Past, Present, and Future

Generations of Computer

The First generation

The Second Generation
The Third Generation
The Fourth Generation
The Fifth Generation
The Computer Age

 Rapid changes
 Four generations over 50 years

 Trends across generations

– Decrease size
– Increase speed
The First Generation
 1951-1958  Magnetic core
 Vacuum Tube memory
– Heat  Storage
– Burnout – Punched cards
 Machine language – Tape (1957)

Characteristics of 1st Generation Computers

 Computers big and clumsy
 Electricity consumption is high
 Electric failure occurred regularly - computers not
very reliable
 Large air conditioners was necessary because the
computers generated heat
 Batch processing
The First Generation

 1951, UNIVAC
 Eckert and Mauchly completed the first
commercial computer in the USA – the
UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer)
 First computer built for business
 Short Code - A set of instructions called
Short Code is developed for the UNIVAC.
The First Generation
 1951, SAGE - Semi Automatic Ground Environment was
 IBM built the SAGE computers and became leaders in
real-time applications and used the technology of
 SAGE computers were used in an early U.S. air defense
system. They were fully deployed in 1963, that consisted
of 27 centers throughout North America, each with a
duplexed AN/FSQ-7 computer system containing over
50,000 vacuum tubes, weighing 250 tons and occupying
an acre of floor space.
 SAGE was the first large computer network to provide
man-machine interaction in real time.
The First Generation
 1952, EDVAC-
Electronic Discreet
Variable Computer
– John Von Neumann,
designed with a central
control unit which would
calculate and output all
mathematical and logical
problems and a memory
which could be written to
and read. (RAM in
modern terms) which
would store programs
and data.
The First Generation
 1953, IBM 701
– The 701 was formally announced
on May 21, 1952. It was the unit of
the overall 701 Data Processing
System in which actual
calculations were performed. That
activity involved 274 assemblies
executing all the system's
computing and control functions
by means of electronic pulses
emitted at speeds ranging up to
one million a second.
 1953, The Whirlwind
– Whirlwind was a large scale,
general purpose digital computer
begun at the Servomechanisms
Laboratory of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology in 1946.
The Second Generation
 1959-1964  Storage

 Transistor
– Removable disk pack
– Smaller – Magnetic tape
– No warm-up time  Programming languages
– Less energy – Assembly language
– Less heat – FORTRAN (1954)
– Faster – COBOL(1959)
– More reliable

Used primarily by business,

university, government
The Second Generation
 Computers became smaller
 Generate less heat
 Electricity consumption lower
 More reliable and faster
 Core memory developed
 Magnetic tapes and disks used
 First operating systems developed
 A new processing method was needed.
 Time-sharing (processing technique)
The Second Generation
• 1963, Mini-computer: PDP-8
– Digital introduces the first
successful minicomputer – the PDP-
8. It was about as large as a fridge
and used transistors and magnetic
core memory.
• 1964 Real-time reservation
system IBM developed a real-
time computerised ticket
reservation system for American
– It was smaller than SAGE and was
called SABRE (Semi-Automatic
Business-Related Environment).
The Second Generation
 1964, IBM’s System 360
– It consisted of 6
processors and 40
peripheral units.
More than 100
computers per
month were ordered.
 1964, BASIC
– A programming language
was necessary that could
be used in a time-sharing
environment and that
could serve as a training
The Third Generation
 1965-1970
 Integrated Circuit
– Electronic circuit on 1. Computers smaller,
faster and more
small silicon chip
– Reliability
2. Power consumption
– Compactness
– Low cost
3. High-level
– Inexpensive – mass-
languages appeared
The Third Generation

 1965, Gordon Moore

– The semi-conductor pioneer, Gordon Moore (founder
of Intel), predicted that the number of transistors that
occurred on a microchip would double every year. It
became known as Moore’s Law and is still valid
 Burroughs used integrated circuits in parts of
two computers - the B2500 and the B3500.
 Control Data and NCR made two computers
using only integrated circuits - the CDC 7600
and the Century series respectively.
The Third Generation

 1968, Intel was founded (INTegrated Electronics).

– They developed more sophisticated memory chips.
 1968, Magnetic core memory was replaced by a
– The first 256 bit RAM microchips, and later the first 1Kb
RAM (1024 byte) chips, caused the disappearance of
Magnetic Core Memory that was used since the mid
 1969, IBM System/370 replaced their System/360
with the System/370 that only used integrated
The Fourth Generation
 1971-Present  Integrated circuits, smaller
 Microprocessor and faster
– General-purpose
 Micro computer series such
as IBM and APPLE
processor on a chip
 Explosive growth  Portable computers
– Digital watches
– Pocket calculators
– Personal computers
 Great development in data
– Cars
– Copy machines  Different types of secondary
– Television sets memory with high storage
capacity and fast access
The Fourth Generation
 1971, Microprocessor  1971, Pascal (programming
language) Early programming
 Intel developed the languages
first microprocessor - a – Niklaus Wirth - a Swedish
CPU on a microchip. computer scientist - developed
– It was called the 4004 the Pascal language in 1971.
and consisted of 2-250 This language was specifically
transistors capable of designed to teach the concepts
of structured programming.
processing 4 bits at a Pascal remains the most
rate of 60,000 transac- popular language for learning
tions/second. the basic principles of good
 1972, 8008
– Intel released the 8008 - an 8 bit
processor powerful enough to
be used as the CPU of a
The Fourth Generation
 1972, CP/M (Operating  MARK-8 Johnathan Titus
system) (a chemist with an interest
– The first operating in electronics) ordered an
system for
microcomputers was 8008 processor from Intel.
developed by Gary – He built a computer with
Kildall and John Torode.
six(6) circuit boards
– Torode developed which had 256 bytes
hardware to connect a
diskette (floppy disk) to RAM.
the CPU.  Motorola’s 6800
 1974 processor developed a
– 8080 Microprocessor, processor
was released - it made the
development of the – the 6800. which could
microcomputer possible. perform all the functions of
the 8080.
The Fourth Generation
 1975 - January  Apple- Steve Wozniak and
 Altair 8800- Popular Steve Jobs founded the Apple
Mechanics published an Company .
article which announced the – They built a micro-
development of a true computer motherboard that
personal computer used a 8-bit processor.
 Developed by MITS (Micro – The motherboard was a
Instrumentation and single circuit board and
Telemetry Systems). It used held 4 Kb RAM.
the 8-bit Intel 8080  1976, MOS 6502 processor
microprocessor and was – MOS technologies
made available in a
complete kit, including all announced the develop-
components and assembly ment of the 6502
instructions. processor, an 8-bit
 256 bytes of RAM was processor with very few
available. 16 slots were left registers and 16-bit
open to include more RAM address bus.
when necessary. – It was used in the design
of the Apple II
The Fourth Generation
 1977. Apple II Wozniak  1978 Intel’s 8086
and Jobs released the processor that con-
Apple II. It was cheap, tained 16-bit registers
had 16 Kb RAM and was and used segmented
ideal for playing video memory addressing.
games. – All x86 processors had to
– It was sold with a be compatible with the
keyboard, a power supply set of instructions, first
and included 8 slots for used in this processor.
peripherals. It could  1979, Motorola’s 68000
therefore be used with a processor which was used
wider variety of in the Apple Lisa and
peripherals and Macintosh computers.
The Fourth Generation
 First spreadsheet :  1981, IBM PCIBM
– VisiCalcDan Bricklin and announced it's first
Bob Frankston of the
Software Arts Company Personal Computer -
developed the first the IBM PC - an Intel
spreadsheet program for
use on microcomputers, 8088 processor
namely VisiCalc. It was
distributed by Personal  1982, Intel’s 286
Software for use on all processor. Intel
Apple computers.Word
processor announced the 80286
 WordStar microprocessor.
– The word processing – This was used in the IBM
program WordStar was PC AT (Advanced
developed by Seymour
Rubenstein's firm Technology).
MicroPro and became the
best seller in the CP/M
operating environment.
4th Generation
 1983, Apple’s Lisa
– Apple announced the Lisa, a computer that used a mouse to
move a cursor on the screen in order to select commands.
The Lisa was the first commercial computer to use a
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
 1983, IBM announced the PC XT (eXtended
Technology). Memory was expanded to 640 Kb and it featured:
– 4,77 MHz processor speed
– Double floppy disks
– MS DOS version 3.3
– Later versions also had 10 or 20 Mb hard disk drives
 1990, Windows 3.0 (operating system)
– Microsoft released Windows 3.0.
The Fifth Generation

 Mid 1990’s Applications for 5th Gen computers

 Intelligent
 Intelligent robots that could ‘see’ their
computers environment (visual input - e.g. a video
camera) and could be programmed to
– Artificial
carry out certain tasks and should be able
intelligence to decide for itself how the task should be
– Expert accomplished, based on the observations
systems it made of its environment.
– Natural  Intelligent systems that could control the
language route of a missile and defence-systems
that could fend off attacks.
 Word processors that could be controlled
by means of speech recognition.
 Programs that could translate documents
from one language to another.
5th Generation
 Some technological developments that could make
the development of fifth-generation computers
possible, include:
 Parallel-processing - many processors are grouped to
function as one large group processor.
 Superconductors - a superconductor is a conductor through
which electricity can travel without any resistance resulting in
faster transfer of information between the components of a
 Expert Systems helps doctors to reach a diagnosis by
following the logical steps of problem solving just as if the
doctor would have done it himself.
 Speech recognition systems, capable of recognising dictation
and entering the text into a word processor, are already
The Fifth Generation
AI – Artificial Intelligence

 How computers can be used for tasks that

required human characteristics
Problem Solving by Search
 An important aspect of intelligence is goal-based problem solving. The
solution of many problems (e.g. noughts and crosses, timetabling, chess)
can be described by finding a sequence of actions that lead to a desirable
goal. Each action changes the state and the aim is to find the sequence of
actions and states that lead from the initial (start) state to a final (goal) state.

 A well-defined problem can be described by:

1. Initial state
2. Operator or successor function - for any state x returns s(x), the set
of states reachable from x with one action
3. State space - all states reachable from initial by any sequence of
4. Path - sequence through state space
5. Path cost - function that assigns a cost to a path. Cost of a path is the
sum of costs of individual actions along the path
6. Goal test - test to determine if at goal state
The Fifth Generation
Expert Systems

 Software used with an

extensive set of organized
data that presents the
computer as an expert on a
particular topic
The Fifth Generation
Natural Language

 Humans communicate
with computers in the
language they use on a
daily basis
The Fifth Generation
 Computer-controlled
device that can
physically manipulate its

Robot development firm

Speecys Corp. of Tokyo
developed a small
humanoid robot, powered
entirely by easy-to-replace,
environmentally friendly
fuel-cell batteries.

THOR on display and demonstration circa 1981

The Fifth Generation
VR – Virtual Reality
 Engage a user in a
– User physically interacts
with computer-created