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History of First Generation Computers and Its Characteristics [LENGKAP]

Computers are tools that can be used to process data quickly, efficiently and are designed based on procedures that have been formulated so that they can automatically store and receive data (input data), process them, and output data based on instructions from the function devices contained in it.

Initially computer was interpreted in describing people who did a job counting either using or without tools, for example arithmetic. But the meaning of the word computer has evolved into a tool / machine that is a computer, as we know it today.

Well, how did the first generation of computers start? The following will be explained about the first generation of computers.

First Generation Computers

The development of technology especially computers has been far more sophisticated from time to time. In the old days, a user interacted only passively (using a mouse and keyboard). However, at this time there have been many changes, users can even use the touch screen feature on a computer screen and can be said to be able to interact naturally with the virtual world.

Computers were developed starting from its function as abacus counting tools (used in China around 2000 years ago) then continued to be developed into the first generation of computers with mechanical-based to electronic-based. The first generation computer was Universal Automatic Computer I (UNIVAC I) bolted without a monitor (visual support) in 1951.

1. History of First Generation Computers

 History of First Generation Computers

UNIVAC I or first generation computers have the characteristics of ENIAC which is a vacuum tube. This tube was still in use until 1950. Then computers were developed continuously such as random access, binary aritmetic, and concepts in saved programs.

The U.S. Bureau of Cencus (1951), installed the first commercial computer, namely UNIVAC I (Universal Automatic Computer). This computer was developed by Eckert and Mauchly as Remington-Rand Corporation.

The first generation of computers was unique in that the instructions on the operating system were specifically designed for the purpose of carrying out certain tasks. Each computer has a different binary code program. This binary code program is known as " machine language / machine language ". As a result, computers have limitations in program and speed.

First generation computers had vacuum tubes which were many for processing or storing instructions or commands (so the size of the first generation computers was very large), having a magnetic cylinder (as a place data storage), consuming a lot of electricity.

Using the first generation of computers was quite difficult, besides that the computational power was also slow. Ordinary people who are experts who can use it.

In 1942-1959 was the era when the first generation computers were used in large sizes. Examples are Colossus, Z3, ENIAC, EDSAC, EDVAC, UNIVAC I.

2. The characteristics of the first generation computer

 The characteristics of the first generation computer

The characteristics of the first generation computer are as follows:

  • This type of computer emits a lot of heat
  • The vacuum tube has a vacuum functions in the installation of electronic components.
  • Requires a large amount of electricity when operating this computer.
  • Programs that have been created and are stored in computer memory are Machine language / machine language.
  • For programs only form Assembler (machine language) can be made.
  • Computer operating process is slow.
  • Capacity to store data is limited because it is very small and uses a magnetic cylinder.
  • Its size and shape is very large, so it requires a large space to place it.
  • Its main orientation is a business application.
  • Magnetic disk and magnetic tape systems are in use.

Types of first generation computers namely: ADVAC, EDSAC, ENIAC, IBM 650, UNIVAC I, UNIVAC II, MARK II, MARK III. The following is an explanation of the characteristics of the first generation of computers:

1. Very large size

The size of the first generation computer is very large so that to place it requires a large space, about the size of a bedroom. So it can be said to be inefficient for its layout.

2. Eating large electrical power

In addition to its large size and takes up a large place. When operating the first generation computer also requires a large amount of electricity to run. That is because the capacity for memory storage consists of tens of thousands of large and large tubes.

3. Fast Heat

When operating this computer it will heat up quickly, so it requires a lot of air-conditioning so that the heat generated can be reduced and the computer can be used properly.

4. The processor is slow

When operated, it turns out this computer also has a slow speed when processing instructions / information made. Requires patience while waiting for the process.

5. Hard disk capacity small

Although it has tens of thousands of large tubes for storage, it turns out the memory capacity is very small. The small memory capacity is not very comparable when seen in size and amount used.

6. The program is in the form of machine language

Those who can operate first generation computers are usually experts because they use machine language for their programs. The program is very complicated, even more complicated than the DOS operating system . If someone can run this computer can be categorized as an engineer.

7. The main orientation is business

The function of the first generation of computers is more directed to the business world. And can not be used for personal gain as it is today. Nowadays computer functions are multifunctional, and are far more developed than the first generation computers.

8. Limited ownership

First generation computers are very rarely owned by many people, unlike today where computers have become a necessity for some people. Usually who have this computer are among the rich people, and companies that use it as a medium for business. In addition, other reasons why ownership is limited is because of the large cost, the way to operate is difficult, and must have a large room as a place.


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