Journey of Computers

July 27, 2018 Author: Shubham Yadav
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“If you want to progress, you have to evaluate”; Today not only the humans but the computers have evaluated as well, in terms of their performance, usability and stability. In the earlier days when the computer was invented it was supposed to do basic tasks like computations and today almost all of our daily life work is handled by the computers. This journey of computers from a single task calculator to game changer is a tremendous journey and today we are going to focus on that journey.


What is Computer?

Current Computer

A computer is nothing but an electronic device that performs processes calculation and operation on the basis of given instructions [1]. Computation consists of three commands as input, process, and output at where the input is the instructions that we are providing to the computer through our input devices such as keyboard, mouse, and joystick. Then as receiving the input, the computer hardware starts processing the input and after completing the process it produces the output to the user using the output hardware such as a monitor, printer etc.


How did it start?

Computer in Beginning

Who first thought about the computer? Who invented this ultrasmart device? The computer was invented in the 19th century by Sir Charles Babbage. In the beginning, the size of the computer was about the size of the room.  In the earlier days, the computer was supposed to the basic and simple task like computations and then with the time the size of computer got reduced and the performance of the computer has increased.


Generations of Computers:

The journey of the computer from the size of a room to a palm-sized computer is divided into four generations. With each generation, the computer has become smarter and reliable and faster, this is the way the human evolves with generations and thus the future possibilities of the computing world are infinite.  As with the human evolution at the beginning, the computer was huge in size in the first generation, but now the time has come where we are carrying computers in our pockets.

The four generation of computers are as following:

  1. First Generation
  2. Second Generation
  3. Third Generation
  4. Fourth Generation
  5. Fifth Generation


First Generation (Vacuum tubes) [2]:

first generation computer[3]

In the first generation of the computer, the size of the computer was about the size of a room and thus the computer was very expensive at that time. The setup was very tricky and messy and even if a small component of the system fails then the entire system fails. The systems developed in the first generation were unreliable and unstable. The operations that first generation computers can perform were a single level operation like computations. The starting of the first-generation vacuum tube computer was in the 1940 ’s.


Second Generation (Transistors) [2]:

Second generation computer[3]

The use of transistors was a great replacement in place of the vacuum and due to the use of the transistors the size of the second generation computers were reduced and the performance were increased in comparison to the first generation heavy computers.  The decrement in size has provided simplicity in the design of the computer and the computer has become more reliable.


Third Generation (Integrated Circuits) [2]:

Third generation computer[3]

In the third generation computers, the transistors were replaced by the Integrated Circuits aka IC’s.  The idea behind the replacement of the transistor to IC has succeeded because a single IC is consist of many transistors, capacitors, and resistors. The main change that was visible in the third generation was in the shape of a computer, the size of the computer has reduced drastically in comparison to the first generation computers. In the third generation, they have started getting the shape of computers of today’s date.


Fourth Generation (Microprocessor) [2]:

Fourth Generation Computer[3]

The computers that we are using today are the fourth generation of computers. The fourth generation computers consist of microprocessor, which was turned out to be the game-changer in the ways of size and performance and reliability. With the microprocessors, the size of computers has reduced to fit in our palms. With the microprocessor, the task that was being performed by the single processor is now divided into multiple processors and hence the performance has boosted a lot. The fourth generation computers are considered as the most stable computers.


Fifth Generation(Artificial Intelligence) [2]:

fifth generation computer[3]

The development of futuristic computer has been started and the voice recognition and face recognition are just a small step towards the future of ultrasmart computers, future of infinite possibilities. Virtual reality is the one concept of futuristic computation, where we can capture and view moments in 360 degrees.





[1] “What is Computer,” techopedia, [Online]. Available: [Accessed 27 July 2018].
[2] V. Beal, “The Five Generations of Computer,” webopedia, 06 February 2018. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 27 July 2018].
[3] “Computers Generations,” tutorialspoint, [Online]. Available: [Accessed 27 July 2018].


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