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How Computers Evolved: A look at all the generations

Team StoryWeavers|September 30, 2019| 123

It’s 1795 and you’re the captain of a ship at sea. The sea in front of you is inky black. How do you know which direction your ship is going in? Simple! You estimate your location by the position of the stars above! You have a mathematical book that helps you with this, but there’s only one problem. These calculations are made by human mathematicians and they’re not always accurate. Wouldn’t that frustrate you?

That’s exactly what the British scientist Charles Babbage, the father of computers, thought too. Babbage wanted to build a machine that could perform accurate calculations quickly to avoid errors in navigation and engineering. This is when he came up with the design for the first computer called the Difference Engine in 1822.

But did you know that Babbage never actually built a computer? Babbage’s design for the computer was built nearly 120 years after he designed it! Today, computers are indispensable and help us in almost every aspect of our lives. Using the mathematical language called binary (which only uses the digits 0 and 1), computers store huge amounts of information and help us make lightning-fast calculations which we could have not done ourselves.

Let’s look at the journey of the computer right from the start and see how it has evolved to help us practically do everything.

 First-generation computers were built using vacuum tubes as the main technology. These computers were very fragile and were as big as a room! They could roughly perform 5000 additions or subtractions per second! These computers consumed a lot of electricity and produced a lot of heat. The heat generated by the computer would also attract insects into the machine which would make the machine malfunction. This is why when computers have an error we still say “There’s a bug in it!”. These computers were used during the Second World War to calculate the aim of ballistic weapons and decode messages.

Second-generation computers were built using transistors. Most of the development of transistors happened in Santa Clara Valley in the USA. And because transistors used silicon, this place was soon called Silicon Valley! Second-generation computers could perform roughly 5000 additions in a second but they were way more accurate! The only way to make transistor computers more powerful is to keep adding more transistors. This meant that a good transistor computer would need thousands of discrete parts to work well. 

Third-generation computers used integrated circuits that were made by fitting many transistors onto one chip. The development of ICs also gave rise to Moore’s Law that believes that every two years, twice the number of transistors can be fitted into ICs while the cost of the ICs reduces by half. Since the circuits in the ICs are very close to each other, the electricity in the circuit needs to travel a very small distance. This led to faster calculations! The computer still needed an air-conditioned environment to function in.

Fourth-generation computers run on microprocessors which are stamp-sized chips that contain all the important circuits needed for the computer to run. One of the earliest companies that made microprocessors was formed by combining the words integrated and electronics – Intel! These computers were also sometimes called microcomputers because they were so small compared to the computers in the past. The Apple II made by Apple is one of the earliest fourth-generation personal computers ever made and was hugely popular for personal use.

Fifth-generation computers may use neural networks and artificial intelligence and try to make decisions that mimic human beings. They can interpret information and make decisions. Since these computers can learn on their own, we are still figuring out the full extent of how to control them. These computers are used everywhere from entertainment, medicine, research and more. The world’s smallest computer (that can measure the temperature of cell clusters) is smaller than a grain of rice.

With computers going from the size of a room to being smaller than a grain of rice, what do you think will come next in modern computing? Would you like to be a future computer scientist?

Let us know in the comments.

About the Author


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Deepthi Chakravarthy

Deepthi is an ambivert who is on a steady diet of good food, filter coffee, and self-improvement. Being an ardent reader, storytelling has been her first love and she enjoys exploring how to convey stories compellingly. Having studied psychology and experienced the learning and development field, Deepthi is driven to understand human behavior and to know what makes each of us unique. You are most likely to find her tucked into a cozy corner at a local cafe with a Kindle or a book in hand. If you find her there, stop by and say hello, she'd be eager to learn your story too. Until then, you can ping her at [email protected] for anything you may like to share.

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Comments



Lakshya

September 30, 2019

In future computers will be like human beings.
And they will be our friends.


Pavithra Iyengar

October 3, 2019

Very true. It’s like robots will emerge from nowhere and become friends of ours


Armaan khan

October 3, 2019

Good information


shabreen

October 3, 2019

Having a good dears thanks you for telling me
This facts about computer


Anurag roy

October 3, 2019

Interested to see this, thanks for posting


Sai sujan

October 3, 2019

Good information thank u


Hariprasad

October 3, 2019

Yeah I do agree


Harshit

October 3, 2019

Future computers will be portable that we can take them anywhere


Sai Akshit

October 3, 2019

Yes because artificial intelligence would be developed


Anuj Bhat

October 3, 2019

The future ? computing was very surprising??


Sairaman

October 3, 2019

Seriously . . . ?


Harsh

October 3, 2019

is the A.I technology distorting human resources


sampurnakumar

October 3, 2019

Even a Computer Graduate,I cant say that in coming days a computer can replace a Human abilities,
because i believe that “Creator(humans) are powerful than creations (computers)


Sarthak

October 3, 2019

Yes I would like to meet the ase robot computer and artificial intelligence computers


Shreya singh

October 3, 2019

Good knowledge


Barira

October 4, 2019

Thank you ? byju’s learning tree ?
For sharing evolution of everything
🙂 computer?.
? Love you byju’s ?


Bansi

October 4, 2019

That’s good


Shreshtha

October 4, 2019

I love computers


Subhra Chakraborti

October 4, 2019

Thanks team BYJU’S…
I love computers and in the future there would be possibility of both computers and humans working together…


Kristi

October 4, 2019

Do you know that abacus was invented in China


Priyanshu Bishnoi

October 4, 2019

Really interesting evaluation of computers. we can imagine of coming 50 years for technology….


Dhwani Tiwari

October 4, 2019

I’m really thankful to byjus for giving me such wonderful knowledge ideas.
I have never thought that I’ll get experiences like these but byjus helped me for my learning my way

Thanks byjus ?


Dipesh Chaturbhai Patel

October 4, 2019

I think that next generations will be of robots and all the computers will be replaced by robots. Must watch 2.0 which is best example of technology.
I want to be a future computer scientist.I am really inspired by Stephen Hauking and Satya Nadella


Daksh

October 4, 2019

True


MANIDEEPIKA

October 4, 2019

Very informative and intresting


Swastika

October 4, 2019

Maybe future computers would make telepathy and teleporting possible?


Sahil

October 4, 2019

If the sixth gen computer is developed….. It will be a living thing but some technical stuffs in it.


Sanjay Dhiman

October 4, 2019

According to me the generation of
computers will nowhere be seen in future.
As the technology is growing drastically,
robots and other AI gadgets will take over
computers.


Aastha

October 4, 2019

Now also computers are our friends aren’t they?


Pragya

October 4, 2019

The future computers could working on the nerve impulses.These computers would be a ring whose screen appears when we need it.


Priyanka Parida

October 4, 2019

Thanks byjus for sharing such wonderful and interesting knowledge..!?


Mrityunjay

October 4, 2019

Yup of course I would love to become a future computer scientist


Anunay naman

October 4, 2019

Next computer is quantum computer.
or Next computer will link with humans and give humans the power and skills of a super computer


Amey chavan

October 4, 2019

I like the most 4th generation computers
As they are the friends of us and the most
Important “fom this generation thier will be
a change a kind of vice versa now no human
will be needed to make ideas of new
gen. Computers now the best is that
computers will make there own new
Technology and population”and my words
No one can stop them. So thanks for giving
Knowledge .


Nasa

October 4, 2019

Oh that’s from wher our computer origined?


Kalyanbrata Chandra

October 4, 2019

I think very powerful but little computers will be embedded inside human brains. It will make our mind more capable of super intelligence, super memory, intelligent communication etc. Eventually we will become an interstellar species.


Prakhar

October 4, 2019

A time might come where computers rule over us and this would be an example of Terminator-Genesis.

Computers overruling us…

The thought only is so scary.


Mili taneja

October 4, 2019

Excellent information! I really liked the article


Karan Sharma

October 4, 2019

Yes but I want to make an armar of iron man and the processor like zarvis which can talk with us and do our work without going to site we are only command to make this or any other thing ??


Abhinav

October 4, 2019

So wonderful


Abhinav

October 4, 2019

Is this true!


Om kolhe

October 4, 2019

In future computer will not only be our friends but also they will be caretaker of us seeing all our needs by online fulfilment


Shweta

October 4, 2019

Thanks byjus for giving this knowledge about computer evolution


Karthik

October 4, 2019

It’s true because the systems and informative.and welly developed in computerised world


Shagun

October 4, 2019

Thanks Byju’s for such a great information ?????✨?


Yuvraj

October 4, 2019

interesting fact


Shivansh

October 4, 2019

According to me, modern computers in the future are going to be small
chip sort of thing, similar to the size of a grain. These computers
will be attached to you body and they can interpret our impulse generated
inside our brain. These will help us to control many electronic gadgets.


Jesvi Maria

October 4, 2019

Wooow!!!The only thing is that emergence of robotic kind of computers our brain may start
To disfunction as we can get everything with in few touch or words!!!
But it will be cool if it become so…..
Awaiting for the super duper kind of comp..
Thank you Byjus


Kiran M.V

October 4, 2019

Can put articles on time travel theory


Adwita Gupta

October 4, 2019

I think computers is the technology that will change our current scenario of lifestyle and also the concept of smart cities will be far different.
There is a whole lot of scope in the upcoming future for artificial intelligence and computer micro nano chips .? Will be glad to contribute to the new gen of upcoming technological era


Paawanjot kaur

October 4, 2019

Hey that’s not a future thing it’s there today only- they are robots.
We are taking work from them and numerous are manufactured for just entertainment of people.
Might have seen 2.0 film.


Paawanjot kaur

October 4, 2019

They are smartphones itself we’ve already invented?


Aakash

October 4, 2019

Quantum computers will be the future of computers. Already Google has taken the lead in creating Quantum computers. There are super computers too which only a few nation’s have. India has a super computer too. Amazing right?


Yash Srivastava

October 4, 2019

It’s really true…..


Yash Srivastava

October 4, 2019

I want to be next computer scientist………


Vaibhav sharma

October 4, 2019

Really the generation of all the computers are good I think 1st generation computers are hard to use that and the 5th generation of computer is fantastic I don’t know is this really true about 5th generation of computer.


Pranjal Banthia

October 4, 2019

Is this true about fifth generation computer.


Deeksha

October 4, 2019

This information is truly useful.I am planning on working with computers by choosing IT engineering.


Sanjana

October 4, 2019

Now humanoid robots will rule……


Mohammad Ameen

October 5, 2019

Robots can also be dangerous sometimes and may harm us.


K surya

October 5, 2019

Computer was everything in those days


Harsh

October 5, 2019

I don’t think so 4th generation computer will work so powerfully.It may also be just a small modification
Like its shape or size or it’s compact hardware model.


Hardik sharma

October 5, 2019

Please tell me the software for beginners because I am new in using computer and I don’t know the softwares


Hashmi Insha

October 5, 2019

In future we will probably see byjus teaching through robot.


Souhardya Ojha

October 5, 2019

In past they’ve been our friend,In present they are already,in future they will be our friends too!??


Sibansha mishra

October 5, 2019

That’s good


Vijay ganesh

October 5, 2019

It may be like that


Irish

October 5, 2019

I like the computers of 4gen ?


Prerna Sinha

October 6, 2019

No I don’t want to be a scientist because I want to be a child specialist.But thanks for this information about our past and now computers


Prateek

October 6, 2019

Artificial intelligence will be useful? This can not harm to humans? It is safe? Can I said yes but No anyone can watch a video of facttechz based on A.I means artificial intelligence


Shashank Deodhar

October 6, 2019

so true


Razin Keelath

October 6, 2019

Future computers might be or more like AI robots which are available nowadays, and perform just like human beings or top of humans. And if we’re lonely, we make them as a friend.


Onam

October 6, 2019

I like Future computer


Harini s

October 6, 2019

Yes, the above explanation is absolutely correct…


Sakshi Singh

October 6, 2019

Now the smallest computer today we know is smaller than a grain of
Rice ….. According to my imagination it may be as small as a bacteria
But who knows……. Today AI (artificial intelligence) is in great
demand……. If I being a future computer scientists I would like to work
on AI technology…..??????????


Abhidha Joshi

October 6, 2019

Computers are still our friends and in future will be so handy to use like a real intelligent freind


Mythresh

October 6, 2019

It’s good thing to know this information


Mohit J.

October 6, 2019

Future of computers are almost there like wearable operating system
AND voice sensing accessories. So because future generations computers
are no more future.
Thank you


Sarthak

October 6, 2019

Computers will converted in robot but it could dangerous.


Harini

October 6, 2019

Is it possible to have a computer like humans with our feelings ???????


Sahil Malhotra

October 6, 2019

You’re right
Computers are the future of this universe
Humans aren’t everlasting
Technology isn’t also
But technology has a larger life then humans


Mimansha Sharma

October 6, 2019

In future if robots will do all the things then what we would do?


Drushti Partole

October 6, 2019

Next the computer will turn into robots and they will help human beings for their work. Actually the robot computers will be like human beings but in machines type


Sanskriti Kushwaha

October 7, 2019

Our future computer will be a robot with
all computer functions….. ?


Rafeh

October 7, 2019

I think this will lead to the formation of cyborgs


Tejaswee Raj jha

October 7, 2019

No it will not be like that it will be very harmful to us as the robots will have AI means artificial intelligence
And they will rule us as they can learn things.


Gautam jha

October 8, 2019

Right 5th generation very good life ?


Pragati

October 8, 2019

Wow I didn’t know about these computers that make our lives easier that computers are also made for us


Ajay (LW)

October 8, 2019

The future computers will be in holograms which can talk to us and will give us a 3d bison of objects and many more other things which will be fun ???


Sundareshwara

October 8, 2019

Computer as such a wonderful Invention for the human ?


Nishok krishna shibu

October 8, 2019

Yeh, in future i think computer will lead our life


B. Paul Agnes Shaphir

October 9, 2019

Information is really good!!


Aryan Ahmed

October 9, 2019

Yes I would like to do so


Akhand Pratap Tiwari.

October 9, 2019

Quantum computer is now the upcoming future tech. Much faster, much complex.


Rudra Laheri

October 12, 2019

Not to mention there could also be a few disasters due to ai. As much as I appreciate ai, it’s ability to learn and perform could also be a threat to us humans such as lack of job opportunities, malfunctioning which could cause problems and it’s high susceptibility to hackers as all must be connected why a connection which is usually done through wireless mediums:)


Harsh

October 13, 2019

Actually there is gonna be a equalisation of Power between us nd robots


Praharsh

October 13, 2019

Hi all
Thanx a lot for this wonderful and inspiring information
And thnx a lot BYJU’S team for the Learning Tree


Rudvik V

October 19, 2019

Thanks for the information


V. Pravalika

October 20, 2019

That’s great. Thanks to the entire team of BYJU’S


Saksham Patidar

October 26, 2019

Yahh! It’s very good learning for Computer.


Prapal

October 31, 2019

Ya right I think that they will speak to us like humans nd We find everything easy and simple


Sairaj ingulkar

November 3, 2019

Yeahhh!!!
In future the computers will be working like a human beings…
And they will the computers of fifth generation!!!
The given information about computers is very useful..!
Thank you!


Sachin

November 3, 2019

Can you please send me a clear picture of 5 generation computer


Jyotishmaan gogoi

January 14, 2020

You’re right…


Yatharth

March 11, 2020

I think that in future the humans brain works like a computer brain


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