First Generation of Computers (1951 – 1959)
Vacuum tubes were used to build computers of first generation. These computers were so large in size because of using thousands of diode, triode, transistors, capacitors etc. and also used to use a lot of electricity. These computers of first generation used to produce a lot of heat, so those were more expensive to support by setting up cooling systems. Maintenance of these huge sized computers were complex and expensive. Following are some of the characteristics of the computers of first generation.
Characteristics of First Generation of Computers
- Use of vacuum tubes to make circuits
- Use of magnetic drums
- Use of machine language and symbols in instructions
- Very small amount of storage space
- Use of punch cards as I/O devices
- Huge in size and poor in mobility
- Very slow and less reliable output
- Use of high electricity
- Generates too much heats
- Complex and expensive to maintain
Example: UNIVAC I, IBM 650, MARK II, MARK III etc.