From 1946 to 1959 Computers are called first generation computers. The first generation of computers was very different from today’s computers. At that time computers were based on batch-processing operating system and vacuum tubes were used as processors.
The vacuum tube was a glass tube that you can see in the picture above. The vacuum tube was invented by Lee De Forest in 1906.
Since first-generation computers used a large number of vacuum tubes, these computers generated a lot of heat.
Their size was very large, as well as they consume a lot of electricity, so they were also expensive to operate.
First-generation computers required many people to operate and required frequent maintenance.
At present, thousands of programming languages like C/C++, Java, Python, etc. are available to simplify our tasks, but programming language was not developed at the time of first generation computers, at that time only machine language was used.
All input was provided in machine languages known as 1GL (First Generation Languages).
First-generation language was machine-level language, so the first generation computers worked only on machine language code And they were difficult to program.
First generation computers were not made for general markets because first-generation computers were costly and only large organizations or rich people could buy them.
The first generation computers used magnetic drums as storage and used punch cards, paper tapes, and magnetic tapes as input and output devices.
The first generation computers did not have multitasking support. Depending on the complexity of the operation, computers took days or even weeks to complete them.
Features of First Generation Computer
The first generation computers have the following characteristics:
1) Use of vacuum tube -: Vacuum tubes were used in the circuit of these computers.
2) Bulky size -: 1st generation computers were very large in size and heavy, so large rooms were required to keep them.
3) Use of punched card -: The work of input and output operation was done by punch card.
4) Use of magnetic memory -: Magnetic tape was used as external storage and magnetic drum was used as internal storage.
5) Limited applications -: Since these computers were difficult to program and use, they have limited applications.
6) Speed -: Their processing speed was very less. These computers could only execute hundred instructions per second.
7) Power consumption -: These computers used to consume more energy and generate a large amount of heat.
8) Programming in machine -: The programming capability in these computers was very limited. In these, machine language was used for programming.
9) Reliability -: These computers were not very reliable due to frequent circuit failures.
10) Cost -: The cost of these computers was very high.
11) Operating system -: Batch operating system was used in the computers of this time.
Examples of First Generation Computers
The first generation computers are:
- MARK I
- MARK II
ENIAC, which stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, was the first successful electronic computer, developed in 1946 by J. Presper Eckert and J. W. Mauchly.
In this computer paper tape, magnetic tape, punch card were used as input and printout as output.
A total of 17,000 vacuum tubes, 10,000 capacitors and 70,000 resistors were used to make this computer. It had 15,000 square feet of space, and weighed 30 tons. It seemed as if the whole room was there.
ENIAC was about 5000 times faster than MARK-1. MARK-1 is considered to be the first large electronic machine.
EDVAC, whose full name is Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer, was developed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly. It was one of the oldest electronic computers.
UNIVAC, which stands for UNIVersal Automatic Computer, was the first commercial computer invented by J. Presper Eckert and J. W. Mauchly. In 1951, UNIVAC was given to the US Census Bureau. It was also the end of the first generation of UNIVAC computers.
Advantages of First Generation Computer
The first generation computers had the following advantages:
- The advantage of first generation computers was that these computers could perform calculations in milliseconds.
- The first generation computers used vacuum tubes as basic components, which were the only electronic components present at that time.
- They were completely scientific.
- Due to the use of machine language in the first generation computers, they were relatively faster.
- The first generation computers were used in calculations related to the development of atomic bombs.
Disadvantages of First-Generation Computer
The first generation computers had the following disadvantages:
- First generation computers were very expensive.
- The size of these computers used to be very large. To keep them, it took the space of a large room.
- Due to their large size, these computers were quite heavy.
- A lot of electricity was consumed by these computers, due to which they generated a lot of heat.
- The first generation computers used vacuum tubes, so a large cooling system was needed.
- The storage capacity of first generation computers was limited, so only small amounts of information could be stored in them.
- These computers were not very reliable, and they were also difficult to use.
Limitations of First Generation Computers
- The first generation computers were limited to large calculations and simple calculations.
- This computer could solve only one problem at a time.
- It was not able to do multi-tasking.
- There was very little storage, due to which large programs could not be stored.
- The first generation computers were very expensive as well as large in size.
- A lot of electricity was used by those computers.
- The speed of doing any work was very less.
So friends, these were some of the limitations of the first generation computer, removing which the second generation computer was developed.
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