Computer Fundamentals | Basics of Computers

Computer Fundamentals | Basics of Computers

In this post you will learn about Computer Fundamentals | Basics of Computers .Here you will also learn about all generations of computers. So must read the complete blogs. 

Computer- Computer is an electronic device.Which convert data into information.

Data- Data is a raw Fact.

Example- 10,100,500 (there is no meaning so it is called as numbers only)

Information- Meaningful Data is called information.

Example- 10 Rs,100 Rs, 500 Rs

(there is meaning added so it is called as 10 rupees,100 rupees and 500 rupees only)

Classification Of Computer

Analog Computer

Analog computer are special types of computer. They work on the basis of special signals like t.emperature,pressure,speed etc.

Computer Fundamentals | Basics of Computers

Digital Computer

  • Digital computers present all data in digits and perform all activities on the basis of digits. These computers perform all the functions using the digits 0 and 1. They take the necessary date as input, perform mathematical operations and display the result on the screen. These computers are of four types.

Types Of Digital Computer

  • Digital Computers are generally classified by size and power as follows
  1. Micro Computer
  2. Mini Computer
  3. Mainframe Computer
  4. Super Computer

1. Micro Computer-

In the year 1971, Intel Corporation invented Microprocessor Chip for the first time. The first Micro Computer was developed by E.D. Robert. All those computers who use the microprocessor as main components are called Micro Computers. Desktop Computer, Personal Computer, Note Book, Tablet PC, Handheld (PDA & Smart Phone) is the common examples of Micro Computer.

Computer Fundamentals | Basics of Computers

Example Of Micro Computer

  • Desktop- Most modern desktop computers have separate screens and keyboards.

  • Laptop- A laptop is a portable computer that has same capabilities as a desktop, but is small enough for easy mobility.

Computer Fundamentals | Basics of Computers

2.Mini Computer

Mini Computer is also known as mid-range computer. Mini Computers are more powerful as compared to Micro Computers. Their processing capacity is quite high as compared to Micro Computers. They are normally used in time sharing and distributed data processing system. They are bigger than Micro Computers and small than Main Frame in shape.

Computer Fundamentals | Basics of Computers

3.Mainframe Computer

  • The processing capacity of Main Frame computer is more than Mini Computers. It is used as server in computer network and they are made for multi-user environment. Therefore, it has more storage and processing capacity.
  • Mainframe computers can also process data at very high speeds, i.e., hundreds of million instructions per second and they are also quite expensive.
  • Normally, they are used in banking, airlines and railways, etc. for their applications.

Computer Fundamentals | Basics of Computers

4.Super Computer

  • The processing capacity of Super Computer is very high as compared to other computers. It is used for new and complex calculations. They have multi-processing capacity and they are the most powerful computers. They are expensive; therefore these are used for special tasks. Indian PARAM and IBM’s Blue Zene is the example of Super Computers.

Hybrid Computer-

  • These computers are the combination of Digital and Analog computers. So, they work on the signals of temperature, pressure, electric flow. They work on the basis of digits also.

Evolution of Computer?

The history of computer is 2500 years old. Abacus, a calculating device was discovered in China. It is a mechanical device. It has many parallel wires attached in a wooden frame with five or more beads. In the beginning traders used this device for calculation, in 1642, Blaise Pascal a great mathematician of France invented world’s first mechanical arithmetic calculating device. This machine was also called adding machine. This machine of Blaise Pascal was also called Pascaline and it was the first mechanical calculator. Babbage greatly contributed to the development of computer. Analytical engine was the first programming computer. It was the first computer that calculated on the basis of instruction. For this reason Charles Babbage is known as the father of computer. In the year 1939, Aiken along with four engineers if IBM developed a machine named Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator. Later this machine was named Mark-1. it was the first electronic mechanical computer. In the year 1946, scientists named J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly made a computer named ENIAC. This was the world’s first electronic computer made for common objective. UNIVACI was developed in 1951. It was the first digital computer. It was used for business works. It was the advanced form of ENIAC.We can understand the history of development of computers in 5 generations based on the technology development during that time period. Each generation is defined by a significant technological development that changes fundamental values and technological advancement in any of its part.

First Generation Computers: Vacuum Tubes (1940-1956)

  • The technology behind the primary generation computers was a fragile glass device, which was called vacuum tubes. These computers were very heavy and really large in size.
  • Main first generation computers are:
  • ENIAC:Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, built by J. Presper Eckert and John V. Mauchly was a general-purpose computer. It had been very heavy, large, and contained 18,000 vacuum tubes.
  • EDVAC:Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer was designed by von Neumann. It could store data also as instruction and thus the speed was enhanced.
  • UNIVAC:Universal Automatic Computer was developed in 1952 by Eckert and Mauchly.
  • Examples of the first generationIBM 650, IBM 701, ENIAC, UNIVAC1, etc.

Main characteristics of first generation computers are:-

Main electronic component Vacuum tube.
Programming language Machine language.
Main memory Magnetic tapes and magnetic drums.
Input/output devices Paper tape and punched cards.
Speed and size Very slow and very large in size (often taking up entire room).

Second Generation Computers: Transistors (1956-1963)

  • Second-generation computers used the technology of transistors rather than bulky vacuum tubes. Transistors were invented in Bell Labs. Programming language was shifted from high level to programming language and made programming comparatively a simple task for programmers. Languages used for programming during this era were FORTRAN (1956), ALGOL (1958), and COBOL (1959).
  • Examples of second generation
  • PDP-8, IBM1400 series, IBM 7090 and 7094, UNIVAC 1107, CDC 3600 etc.

Main characteristics of second generation computers are:-

Main electronic component Transistor.
Programming language Machine language and assembly language.
Memory Magnetic core and magnetic tape/disk.
Input/output devices Magnetic tape and punched cards.
Power and size Smaller in size, low power consumption, and generated less heat (in comparison with the first generation computers).

Third Generation Computers: Integrated Circuits. (1964-1971)

  • During the third generation, technology envisaged a shift from huge transistors to integrated circuits, also referred to as IC. Here a variety of transistors were placed on silicon chips, called semiconductors. A single IC, has many transistors, registers, and capacitors built on one thin slice of silicon. The value size was reduced and memory space and dealing efficiency were increased during this generation. Programming was now wiped out Higher level languages like BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). Minicomputers find their shape during this era.
  • Examples of third generation
  • IBM 360, IBM 370, PDP-11, NCR 395, B6500, UNIVAC 1108, etc.

Main characteristics of Third generation computers are:-

Main electronic component Integrated circuits (ICs)
Programming language High-level language
Memory Large magnetic core, magnetic tape/disk
Input / output devices Magnetic tape, monitor, keyboard, printer, etc.

Fourth Generation Computers: Micro-processors (1971-1980)

  • In 1971 First microprocessors were used, the large scale of integration LSI circuits built on one chip called microprocessors. The most advantage of this technology is that one microprocessor can contain all the circuits required to perform arithmetic, logic, and control functions on one chip.
  • he computers using microchips were called microcomputers. This generation provided the even smaller size of computers, with larger capacities. That’s not enough, then Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) circuits replaced LSI circuits.

Examples of fourth generation

IBM PC, STAR 1000, APPLE II, Apple Macintosh, Alter 8800, etc.

Main characteristics of Fourth generation computers are:-

Main electronic component Very large-scale integration (VLSI) and the microprocessor (VLSI has thousands of transistors on a single microchip).
Memory semiconductor memory (such as RAM, ROM, etc.)
Input/output devices pointing devices, optical scanning, keyboard, monitor, printer, etc.

Fifth Generation Computers

  • The technology behind the fifth generation of computers is AI. It allows computers to behave like humans. It is often seen in programs like voice recognition. The speed is highest, size is that the smallest and area of use has remarkably increased within the fifth generation computers.
  • Example of fifth generation

Desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.

Main characteristics of Fifth generation computers are:-

Main electronic component Based on artificial intelligence, uses the Ultra Large-Scale Integration (ULSI) technology and parallel processing method (ULSI has millions of transistors on a single microchip and Parallel processing method use two or more microprocessors to run tasks simultaneously).
Language Understand natural language (human language).
Size Portable and small in size.
Input / output device Trackpad (or touchpad), touchscreen, pen, speech input (recognize voice/speech), light scanner, printer, keyboard, monitor, mouse, etc.

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