Evolution of Computers: From Vacuum Tubes to Artificial Intelligence


Added on  2019-09-24

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Brief History of Computer TechnologyComputers is defined as a machines that has helped in automating processes in which data acts asa input, which is then processes and display the result as output. However, this process ofcomputer has not be established at one go and has seen evolution with time. Computer has seen along history that includes introduction of wide range of devices such as the use of ancientChinese abacus, the Jacquard loom, Charles Babbage and others. All these types of devices areseen to introduce over time since 1800s. Further, there has also been evolution in the architectureof mechanical, analog and digital computing system. All this together has helped in the evolutionof computers that everyone uses in today’s world. 1960s saw the development of mechanicaldevices which was known as Marchant calculator and played an important role in calculating.This device is still found in some of the areas of science and engineering. During the early yearsof development of the computers there was various arguments seen in relation to the merits thatdigital and analog computers has on the society. The first half of the 1960s witnessed the use ofanalog computers in many areas, however, in the late 1960s digital computers took to powerbecause they had the economics and scalability is necessary for large scale computations. Sincethen digital technology and computing took over the computing world and has been operating inall areas from hand calculator to the super computer. There are different versions of computers that has evolved over time and each had differences inits functionality, cost, size and others. The very beginning saw the introduction of the Mainframecomputers that was costly and very different to handle. This computer was huge and requiredmore staffs to handle the operation. This model was suspended and replaced by theMinicomputer that was introduced with improvement in software system that can help supportmultiple tasks. This was an improved version with a reduced size and cost. This was followed by
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other types of computer such as microcomputers that appeared to be the advanced version withmicroprocessors. the most advanced version of the computer used today is the supercomputerswhich is smaller is size, however, heavily powerful and can be used for many types of tasks. Thedevelopment is also seen in the hardware and software device that is installed in the computerdevice. There has been two types of software development over time with the evolution ofcomputer such as application software and system software. Thus, the evolution has been seen inboth the computers along with its internal systems. The evolution of computers that is seen in digital technologies is often referred as generations ofcomputers. There are sixth generation computers that has evolved over time and each of themhas different characteristics and has gained improvements from the previous generations. Thedifferences lies in the ways each generations are built, the internal computing system used andthe programming languages installed. Thus, each of the new generation is seen to be an advancedversion of its previous ones and led to the evolution in the computing system. Generations of ComputersFirst Generation Computers The first evolution of the computers after the mechanical era is the first generation computer thathad three main features such as use of vacuum tubes, were expensive and use of machinelanguage for computing. These computers were the bulkiest computers from all the generationsand were also expensive. Further, such computers were seen to be slow and was able to solveonly one problem at a time. Further, these computers lacked the capability of multi-tasking orhandle complex task at a time. In the time of first generation computers it was seen that 1937saw the development of concept theoretical turning machine. In the same year there were other
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