Computer History Its Evolution and Generations


The history of the computer, rather than the history of the telephone and other devices widely used today, is a relation of necessity, not just a few specific inventors or scientists.

But a large number of people, even anonymous ones, who, since the development of very old tools, such as the abacus, have contributed to the history of this incredible invention.


The computer is one of the most used tools today, and it has also had a long journey throughout history, being worked on in different ways until it reached the performance we have today. With various features, in the models considered to be the fourth generation and that allows you to do different activities in a single device.

computer history

Nowadays, it has become an indispensable material for students and professionals from different areas, since they depend on this tool to carry out the various necessary activities.

Being something that occurs quickly, allowing access to the Internet and with ease, running several types of apps and making human life easier.

So that you can better understand the history of the computer from the evolution of simple tools to what we have today in this specific equipment, we have prepared this complete material with everything about it. Want to know all about this story? So stay with us until the end.

Background of the computer in history:

To make the story much more complete, let's talk specifically about its antecedents throughout history, as it is necessary to take into account that it is a tool that works at programming language in a genuine way. And that's why all the tools throughout history that bring programming ideals, such as calculus, for example, are antecedents of the computer.

One of these tools, considered a true pioneer in the development of the study of calculations in history, and which brings its anonymous creators, is the abacus.

Being considered as the first machine developed for calculation, using a very simple but efficient tool for the time, dating from 5,500 BC, built by the Mesopotamian peoples.

The inventions of machines that allowed calculation throughout history grew, working the slide rule some time later and following in 1642 with the first mechanical calculator in history.

Pascal's machine, developed by the French mathematician Bleise Pascal. However, until a certain moment, in history there was no idea of a functional programming, but only mechanics focused on calculation.

From the year 1822 this idea changed, where the publication of a scientific article that promised to revolutionize electronic calculation, made by Charles Babbage, dates.

That affirmed the capacity of development of a machine that would work the calculation, as trigonometry and logarithm in a simpler way, being called Difference Machine.

In 1837, Charles launched an idea of an even more advanced machine that was already presented, being called an analytical device, but which at the time did not have enough financial or technical resources to develop the model presented.

So his ideas were contained only on paper, but managed to greatly influence the next machines that would precede the computer.

From then on, many researchers used their ideas and technical knowledge that they had over the years to develop more technical models of machines, using the radio concepts presented by Charles.

But incremented with the idea of binary numbers in a very old programming language, let's say, presented by Bush, in 1931, worked on a machine at the time.

It was from that date that the ideas of the pre-modern era began to develop, where more efficient machines could develop complete activities through an intelligent language. Being widely used in the second war, as a way of intercepting and sending messages.

Among the projects that were developed during the Second World War, the ones that stood out the most were the Mark I, created in 1944 by Harvard University in the United States and also the Colossus, developed in 1946, with Alan Turing as its creator. .

Several other people, scholars, mathematicians, scientists, among other professionals focused on the field of building intelligent machines, contributed in history so that today's computer had the format and functionality that it can achieve.

Moving from the pre-modern era to the modern era of computing, where computers with analog components are found, which are divided into four generations.

First generation:

The first generation of computers dates from 1946 to the year 1959 starting with Colossus, developed by Alan Turing, and from there taking on new formats and applications through the contribution of other developers.

The computers of the time had as their main characteristics the use of electronic valves and still very large dimensions, it was necessary more than one compartment for the whole equipment to be allocated.

Reaching very hot temperatures that sometimes ended up compromising the operation of the machine, with kilometers of wires to reach the desired objective.

All programs developed on these machines were made with the machine's own language, so to use the tool at that time it was necessary to have specific knowledge in the area. To actually be a developer or someone who at least knew how the language worked, the main one being the ENIAC machine at the time.

The acronym ENIAC stands for Electrical Numerixal Integrator and Calculator, which indicates the machine as an integrated electrical numbering system that had the ability to perform calculations and activities inherent to it automatically.

The main evolution of this machine, developed in 1946 in relation to past machines, was the possibility of requesting commands without having to move parts manually.

The commands on the machine were developed through data entries inserted in the computer's control panel, which responded with the desired activity, thus making operations easier to access compared to previous machines, in standard configurations.

As previously mentioned, the machines of that time were very large and needed several rooms to be allocated, where, for example, the ENIAC needed the equivalent of a full span of an entire floor of a building.

And if this one were separated into rooms, it would end up filling them all, with the very large canvas measuring approximately 25 meters long by almost 6 meters high, weighing 30 tons.

Second generation:

Moving on from the first generation, we arrived at the second generation that took place between the years 1959 to 1964. The main evolution felt from this generation to the previous generation showed the no longer need to use electronic valves, which were now replaced by transistors, reducing the machine hardware size.

The machine's circuits were also improved, no longer needing to allocate complex rooms just to place scattered wires from the machine, since the technology of printed circuits was developed. The main computers of the second generation that stand out are the IBM 7030 and the PDP-8.

O IBM 7030, developed by the company that gave the name to the invention, had a very reduced size compared to the highlight of the first generation, and could be hosted in just one common room.

And that's why it started to be used by large companies, costing around 13 million dollars at the time, having as its main capacity to perform calculations much faster, being able to perform up to one million operations per second.

At that time, a variety of programming languages were developed that were used specifically in the machines of the time, which allowed computers to have a leaner working language. Thus enabling software to be developed as a greater facility at the time.

The other highlight of the second generation was the PDP-8, being considered a mini computer, one of the best known for the generation, bringing with it a more simplified form of the previous model and therefore costing hundreds of millions of dollars less. But still occupying a good space where it is installed, despite being smaller than its predecessor, bringing its most basic settings.

Third generation:

The third generation of computers developed from 1964 to 1970, being recognized at the time as models of machines that brought integrated circuits.

Being a technology that precedes the fourth generation, the current ones, where the same board stores several circuits that communicate with the different hardware in an integrated way.

The speed of these machines became greater due to the possibility that they presented in relation to the completeness of their circuits, with greater functionality and even with a lower price.

Becoming then much more attractive to the market, having as the main example of generation the IBM 360/91, which became a real fever at the time, heating up the market, since its launch date, in 1967.

Among the main possibilities that this model brought was the input and output of modern devices, such as disks and even storage tapes, with the chance to print the results you had on your screen on paper, guaranteeing great functionality.

Fourth generation:

The fourth generation of computers dating from 1970 to the present day, it brings a great evolution in relation to its predecessor generation. With varied functionalities and the possibility of using different machines, contexts allowing constant evolution and great competitiveness in the market.

Unlike the third generation, software has become more important than the hardware of the machine, and there are several companies that still invest directly in programming within these devices, making their functionality even more effective in everyday life in different contexts.

The main mark that the equipment developed in this generation brought was the advent of microprocessors and the possibility of using personal computers. Which greatly reduced the size of these pieces, making it even more affordable and anyone with that amount could invest in buying one.

Among the main machines developed at that time are big names that currently still work in the field of computing, in machine production, such as Apple and Microsoft.

Responsible for revolutionary computer models, but still preceded by other models and companies that will help in these advances with their ideas.

Among the models of the time that were so successful is the Altaïr 8800, which was launched in 1975, intensely revolutionizing the world of computers.

Bringing desktop microcomputers in a rectangular format with a much faster processor for the time bringing the 8080 from Intel. At the time, Bill Gates was very interested in this machine, making his own language known as Altair Basic.

Even with the possibilities brought by Altair in 1975, these machines still lacked a facilitated language and functionalities that would allow an ordinary person to have the opportunity to use such equipment.

Being a hypothesis raised by Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, who developed the Apple I at the time, in 1976, considered in history as the first personal computer, with a graphic monitor that displays what was happening on the PC.

Due to the great success that this model had in the market, Steve Jobs launched a second model, known as the Apple II, a machine that preceded the Lisa, created in 1893, and the Macintosh, created in 1984, both models that brought the mouse, folders, menus and even the famous desktop.


So the history of the computer has not stopped evolving, and from there, various hardware, software, programming models, more powerful processors, among other features that leave the machines with the possibility of using various activities, greater performance, greater storage capacity, among other diversities of functionalities.

Arriving at the models we know today, ending the revolutions with the most functional notebooks and cell phones that bring complete tools in the palm of the hand.

Well, that's all for today, we hope you enjoyed learning about this story, its evolution and all its generations. Let's stop here, a big hug and success?