Generations, Computers - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences

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First Generation (1945–1959)

The vacuum tube was invented in 1906 by an electrical engineer named Lee De Forest (1873–1961). During the first half of the twentieth century, it was the fundamental technology that was used to construct radios, televisions, radar, X-ray machines, and a wide variety of other electronic devices. It is also the primary technology associated with the first generation of computing machines.

The first operational electronic general-purpose computer, named the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), was built in 1943 and used 18,000 vacuum tubes. It was constructed with government funding at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Engineering, and its chief designers were J. Presper Eckert, Jr. (1919–1995) and John W. Mauchly (1907–1980). It was almost 30.5 meters (100 feet) long and had twenty 10-digit registers for temporary calculations. It used punched cards for input and output and was programmed with plug board wiring. The ENIAC was able...

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This section contains 1,623 words
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Buy the Generations, Computers Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences
Generations, Computers from Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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