The First Generation (1942-1955)

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The First Generation (1942-1955) 2018-03-20T09:54:37+00:00

The first generation computers used the concept of ‘stored program’ and were characterized by vacuum tubes. A vacuum tube is a delicate glass device that can control and amplify electronic signals. The first generation computers were made using thousands of vacuum tubes and were the fastest calculating devices of their time. These computers were very large in size, consumed lot of electricity and generated lot of heat. UNIVAC 1 was the first electronic computer of this generation and was used for business applications.

Salient features of First generation computers:

1. Used vacuum tubes to control and amplify electronic signals

2. Huge computers that occupied lot of space

3. High electricity consumption and high heat generation

4. Were unreliable since they were prone to frequent hardware failures

5. Commercial production was difficult

6. They were very costly and required constant maintenance

7. Continuous air conditioning was required

8. Programming was done in machine language although assembly language also started at the end of this generation Example : ENIAC , EDVAC , UNIVAC 1


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