6th Class Computers Basics of Computer History of Computer

History of Computer

Category : 6th Class

*    History of Computer



The history of computer starts with the birth of abacus. Basically it is a wooden rack holding horizontal wires with beads strung on them. It was implemented around 2000 years ago. Charles Babbage is called the father of computer. In 1822 Babbage began to design an automatic mechanical machine called difference engine. Basically it is a type of counting machine. He also invented another machine called Analytical Engine. The Analytical Engine could store information on punched cards.   


*    Generation of computer


Commonly we can divide the journey of computers in five generations. Each of the generations is explained in the following points.  


*    First Generation (1940-1956)


First generation computers, such as UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer) and ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator Analyzer and Computer) were very large and took huge space because they used vacuum tubes for circuits and magnetic drums for memory storage. They consumed large amount of electricity and generated a lot of heat. They used machine language. (See Figure. 6.1.1)  



*    Second Generation (1956-1963)


Second generation computers basically used two types of devices. These two types of devices were transistors and magnetic core. They were used for memory storage. First generation computers were outwitted by Second generation computers due to transistors which made the computers smaller in size, faster, cheaper, energy efficient and more reliable. In second generation computers, transistors took over the vacuum tubes but still generated huge amount of heat that caused damage to the computers. Generally the language used by second generation computers was assembly language. The assembly language is also called 2GL. This language is not directly processed by microprocessor. A translator converts assembly language into machine language is called assembler. Assembly language is very fast. Second generation computers are smaller and faster in comparison of first generation computers.  


*   Third Generation (1964-1971)


The third generation computers were the enhanced version of second generation computers, here the computers used integrated circuit and these were smaller as well as cheaper from the previous generation computers. The computers of third generation used parallel processing to improve the processing efficiency.   


*   Fourth Generation (1971-Present)


Fourth generation computers were introduced after third generation computers which generally used microprocessor. Microprocessor generally consists of thousands of integrated circuit which is built on a single chip known as silicon chip. (See Figure 6.1.2)  









*  Fifth Generation (Present)


After the invention of fourth generation computers, the fifth generation computers were introduced. The fifth generation computers or modern day computers are based on an artificial intelligence and are still in their developmental phase. The FGCS (Fifth Generation Computer System) was invented by Japan in 1982. This generation computers are based on microelectronic technologies with high computing speeds and parallel processing.  





 Charles Babbage is called the father of the computer. He developed a counting machine. What this counting machine is called?

(A) Analytical Engine                                      

(B) Difference Engine

(C) Charles's counting machine                 

(D) Abacus

(E) None of these  


Answer: (b)


Correct Option:

(B) Charles Babbage developed a counting machine called difference engine.

Incorrect Options:

(A) Analytical Engine is a storage machine.

(C) Charles's counting machine is not invented yet. It is a wrong name.

(D) Abacus is a counting machine which was developed in China.    



 Second generation computers are faster and cheaper in comparison of first generations computer. They used:

(A) Transistor and microprocessor           

(B) Magnetic core and silicon clip

(C) Transistor and magnetic core              

(D) Vacuum tube

(E) None of these


Answer: (c)


Correct Options:

(C) Second generation computers basically used two types of devices which are transistors and magnetic core. Magnetic core is used for memory storage.

Incorrect Options:

(A) Second generation computers were not used transistors only.

(B) Second generation computers were not used magnetic core only.

(D) First generation computers used vacuum tube.  



  All generations of computers were based on different technologies such as vacuum tubes, transistors and microprocessor. Which one of the following generation computers used integrated circuits?

(A) First Generation                                       

(B) Second Generation

(C) Third Generation                                     

(D) Fourth Generation

(E) None of these  


Answer: (c)


Correct Option:

(C) The third generation computers were the enhanced version of second generation computers they used integrated circuit.

Incorrect Options:

(A) First generation computers used vacuum tubes.

(B) Second generation computers used transistors.

(D) Fourth generation computers used microprocessor.

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