A Quick Overview

The following sections take you on a journey through the young roots of the computer industry. A different approach is taken from that of a lot of historical computing textbooks. Instead of concentrating on the facts and dates, the patterns of the evolving computer are presented with an emphasis on the three distinct periods of computers: first-generation, second-generation, and third-generation computers.

The First Generation

The early computers were huge. They were known as first-generation computers. The first-generation computers, developed in the late 1940s, were tube based. If you have ever looked inside an old television set, you may have seen components that look like little light bulbs. These are tubes—also known as ...

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