The computer age

Computer age

Until the early 1950s, electronic computers were the exclusive tool of scientists, engineers, and the military. The early machines had been built in military and academic settings with massive support from the government. No electronic computer had yet served a role in commerce. With the success of machines such as ENIAC, EDSAC, AND EDVAC, however, big business was ready to enter the field as both a producer and a user of computers. This history of commercial computing often is separated into four distinct generations. What primarily distinguishes each generation is the main electronic logic element in use at the time. The term logic element refers to the principal electronic components used to facilities the circuit functions within the computer. The four generations and their logic elements are as follows- first generation 1951 to 1958: vacuum tube second generation 1959 to 1964: transistor third generation 1965 to 1970: integrated circuit fourth generation 1971 -? : micro miniaturized integrated circuit each new logic element led to improvements that made computers significantly faster, smaller, cheaper, more flexible, and capable of more storage than those of past generation.