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Introduction 1

Evolutions of Compute l
Computers are everywhere: at work, at school, and at home. People use all types and
sizes of computers for a variety of reasons and in a range of places. While some
computers sit on top of a desk or on the floor, mobile computers and mobile devices are
small enough to carry. Mobile devices, such as many cell phones, often are classified as

Computers are a primary means of local and global communication for billions of people.
Consumers use computers to correspond with businesses, employees with other
employees and customers, students with classmates and teachers, and family members
and military personnel with friends and other family members. In addition to sending
simple notes, people use computers to share photos, drawings, documents, calendars,
journals, music, and videos. Through computers, society has instant access to
information from around the globe. Local and national news, weather reports, sports
scores, airline schedules, telephone directories, maps and directions, job listings, credit
reports, and countless forms of educational material always are accessible. From the
computer, you can make a telephone call, meet new friends, share opinions or life
stories, book flights, shop, fill prescriptions, file taxes, take a course, receive alerts, and
automate your home. At home or while on the road, people use computers to manage

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schedules and contacts, listen to voice mail messages, balance checkbooks, pay bills,
transfer funds, and buy or sell stocks. Banks place ATMs (automated teller machines) all
over the world, so that customers can deposit and withdraw funds anywhere at any time.
At the grocery store, a computer tracks purchases, calculates the amount of money due,
and often generates coupons customized to buying patterns.


For simplifying and providing a framework for discussion of the growth of computer
industry, it is customary to break it into generations of growth. Originally, the term
'generation’ was used to distinguish between varying hardware technologies. But since
1968, both hardware and software advances are considered in the generations
classification. These generations represent major advances in computing technology.

There are totally five computer generations known till date. Each generation has been
discussed in detail along with their time period and characteristics. Here, approximate
dates against each generation have been mentioned which are normally accepted.

The following are the main five generations of computers:

First Generation
The period of first generation was 1946-1959. The
computers of first generation used vacuum tubes
as the basic components for memory and circuitry
for CPU (Central Processing Unit). These tubes,
like electric bulbs, produced a lot of heat and
were prone to frequent fusing of the installations,
therefore, were very expensive and could be
afforded only by very large organizations. In this
generation, mainly, batch processing operating
system were used. Punched cards, paper tape,
and magnetic tape were used as input and output
devices. Computers in this generation used
machine code as programming language.

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Some computers of this generation were:
• ENIAC — Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer
□ EDVAC -Electronic Discrete Variable Computer
□ UNIVAC - Universal Automatic Computer
□ IBM-701
□ IBM-650

Second Generation
The period of second generation was 1959-1965. In this generation, transistors were
used that were cheaper, consumed less power, more compact in size, more reliable and
faster than the first generation machines made of
vacuum tubes. In this generation, magnetic cores were
used as primary memory and magnetic tape and
magnetic disks as secondary storage devices. In this
generation, assembly language and high-level
programming languages like FORTRAN and COBOL
were used. The computers used batch processing and
multiprogramming operating system.

Some computers of this generation were:

□ IBM1620
□ IBM 7094
□ CDC1604
□ CDC3600
□ UNIVAC 1108

Third Generation
The period of third generation was 1965-1971. The
computers of third generation used integrated circuits
(IC's) in place of transistors. A single IC has many
transistors, resistors and capacitors along with the
associated circuitry. The IC was invented by Jack Kilby.
This development made computers smaller in size,
reliable and efficient. In this generation, remote

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processing, time-sharing, multi-programming

operating system were used. High-level languages
ALGOL-68 etc.) were used during this generation.

Some computers of this generation were:

□ IBM-360 series
□ Honeywell-6000 series
□ PDP(Personal Data Processor)
□ IBM-370/168
□ TDC-316

Fourth Generation
The period of fourth generation was 1971-1980. The
computers of fourth generation used Very Large Scale
Integrated (VLSI) circuits. VLSI circuits having about 5000
transistors and other circuit elements and their associated
circuits on a single chip made it possible to have
microcomputers of fourth generation. Fourth generation
computers became more powerful, compact, reliable, and
affordable. As a result, it gave rise to personal computer
(PC) revolution. In this generation, time sharing, real time,
networks and distributed operating system were used. All
the high-level languages like C, C++, DBASE etc. were
used in this generation.
Some computers of this generation were:
□ DEC 10
□ STAR 1000
□ PDP11
□ CRAY-1 (Supercomputer)
□ CRAY-X-MP (Supercomputer)

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Fifth Generation
The period of fifth generation is 1980-till date. In the fifth
generation, the VLSI technology became ULSI (Ultra
Large Scale Integration) technology, resulting in the
production of microprocessor chips having ten million
electronic components. This generation is based on
parallel processing hardware and AI (Artificial Intelligence)
software. AI is an emerging branch in computer science,
which interprets means and method of making computers
think like human beings. All the high-level languages like
and C++, Java, .Net etc. are used
C in this generation.
All includes:
□ Robotics
□ Neural networks
□ Game Playing
□ Development of expert systems to make decisions in real life situations.
□ Natural language understanding and generation.
Some computer types of this generation are:
□ Desktop
□ Laptop
□ Notebook
□ Ultra Book
□ Chrome Book

The digital revolution is an ongoing process of social, political and economic change
brought about by digital technology, such as computer and internet. Technology driving
the digital revolution is based on digital electronics and the idea that electrical signals
can represents data, such as numbers, words, pictures and music. Without digital
electronics, computers would be huge machine. Digitization is the process of converting
text, numbers, sound, photos and video into data that can be processed by digital
devices. The digital revolution has evolved through four phases, beginning with big,
expensive, standalone computers a progressing to today’s digital world in which small,
inexpensive digital devices are everywhere.

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Phases of Digital Revolution

> Data processing is the computing model for the first

phase of the digital revolution. The concept of large
computers performing tasks based on the
inputprocessing-output cycle represents were used
from the 1940’s through 1970’s. Example: a batch of
employee time cards is entered into a payroll
computer system; the payroll data is processed to
calculate take-home pay, deductions, and taxes;
paychecks are output.

o EDP (Electronic Data Processing)

Is the processing of data by

computer or any other machine
and its programs in an
environment involving
electronic communication. EDP
evolved from "DP” (data
processing) a term that was
created when most computing
input was physically put into
the computer in the punched
card form or in ATM cards form and output as punched cards or paper

> Personal Computing, the model for the

second phase of the digital revolution, is
characterized by small, stand alone
computers powered by local software.
Local software refers to any software that
is installed on a computer hard drive.

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During this phase of the digital revolution, personal computers were not
connected to networks, so they were essentially self-contained units that allowed
users to interact with installed software

> Network Computing, the third

phase of the digital revolution
materialized as computers became
networked and when the Internet
was opened to public used. A
computer network is a group of
computers linked together to share
data and resources.

As the third phase of the digital revolution unfolded, network technology became
consumer-friendly; allowing homeowners to connected multiple computers,
exchanges files, and most importantly, share an Internet connection. Internet is
a global computer originally developed as a military project, and was then
handed over to the National Science Foundation for Research and academic

When historians look back on the digital revolution, they are certain to identify the
Web as a major transformative influence. The Web (short for World Wide Web) is
a collection of linked documents, graphics, and sounds that can be accessed
over the Internet.

> Cloud computing provides

access to information,
applications, communications and
storage over the Internet. Before
cloud computing, your computer
typically ran software based
locally. E-mail,
documents, photos, and music all
resided on your computer’s hard
disk or flash drive. With cloud
computing, you can use

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your browser to access word processing applications that run from the
Internet, instead of software that you have installed on your local hard

The expansion of cloud computing is due in part to convergence, a

process by which several technologies with distinct functionalities evolve
to form a single product. Your computer plays movies. Your cell phone
has a camera. Your clock has a radio. Convergence worked its magic on
cell phones, computers, portables media player, digital cameras, GPSs,
watches, and e-book readers. It is important to the digital revolution
because it created sophisticated mobile devices whose owners demand
access to the same services available from full-size computer on their

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Chapter 1
What Is a Computer?
In basic terms, computer is an electronic device that is designed to work with Information.
The term computer is derived from the Latin term ‘computare’, this means to calculate
or programmable machine. Computer cannot do anything without a Program. It
represents the decimal numbers through a string of binary digits.

Charles Babbage is called the "Grand Father” of the computer. The First mechanical
computer designed by Charles Babbage was called Analytical Engine. It uses read-only
memory in the form of punch cards.

Computer can be defined as an electronic device that performs rapid computations and
generates desired output for users based on input data and programs. Computer can
capture, store, retrieve and process data. The data may be numbers, characters, audio,
video, images etc. IT is an advanced electronic
device that takes raw data as input from the user
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Computers process data into information. Data is a

Figure 1-2 A computer piocesses data into information In this simplified
collection of unprocessed items, which example, the item ordered, item price, quantity ordered, and amount
received all represent data The computer processes the data to produce the
cash register receipt On formation)

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include text, numbers, images, audio, and video. Information conveys meaning and is
useful to people. Many daily activities either involve the use of or depend on information
from a computer. As shown in Figure 1-2, for example, computers process several data
items to print information in the form of a cash register receipt.


Com puter is a versatile device. It can be designed to do any kind of activity provided all
data and instructions are made available to it in digital form. The important
characteristics of computer are:

1. Speed

Modern computers have incredible speed of processing. Computer speed is measured in

units of millisecond (one thousandth of a second), microsecond (one millionth of a
second), nanosecond (one billionth of a second), and picoseconds (one trillionth of a
second). Advanced computers, including recent microcomputers called super
microcomputers, operate in nanoseconds and can carry out millions of instructions per
second (MIPS).

2. Accuracy

Computer can ensure consistently very high degree of accuracy in computations. It

processes data according to the sequence of instructions. Hence, if input data and
procedures are correct, the output will be consistently accurate.

3. Huge storage and fast retrieval

Computer has huge storage capability. For a personal computer, 128 MB RAM is almost
a standard today. The main memory can be upgraded further by inserting RAM chips
that are available in modules of 64 MB, 128 MB and so on. Cache memory is also
available in Pc. Cache memory is faster access memory device and hence it improves
processor’s performance.

Secondary or auxiliary storage devices are used for permanent storage. Modern
computers have enormous secondary storage capacity, e.g., a PC hard disk can store
more than 80 GB of data. Pen drives, DVDs, CD-ROMs, CD-Rs, magnetic tapes etc. are

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other secondary storage devices. A CD-ROM can store 650 MB and more of data on a
single disk. Huge storage and fast retrieval capability makes computer a very special tool
for data processing and communications.

4. Versatility

Though computers are basically designed to carry out only arithmetic operations, yet
they are capable of performing almost any task that has a series of finite logical steps

5. Fatigue-free

Computer is free from fatigue. It does not get tired of work and never loses concentration.
It can perform basic arithmetic operations with the same degree of speed and accuracy
for any extent of time continuously, with the same amount of efficiency as the first

6. Programmable

Computer can be programmed to function automatically and this differentiates it from any
other calculating device. It functions as programmed for any stretch of time until the
condition to terminate is satisfied.

7. Networking Capability

Computers can be interconnected into a network. Network in turn can be connected to

other networks. Networks extend the capability of computers. Networks provide the basic
infrastructure for electronic communications, electronic commerce, and online trading
and information services.

Categories of Computers

Industry experts typically classify computers in six categories: personal computers

(desktop), mobile computers and mobile devices, game consoles, mainframes,
supercomputers, and embedded computers. A computer’s size, speed, processing
power, and price determine the category it best fits. Due to rapidly changing technology,
however, the distinction among categories is not always clear-cut. This trend of
computers and devices with technologies that overlap, called convergence, leads to
computer manufacturers continually releasing newer models that include

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similar functionality and features. For example, newer cell phones often include media
player, camera, and Web browsing capabilities. As devices converge, users need fewer
devices for the functionality that they require. When consumers replace outdated
computers and devices, they should dispose them properly.

Personal Computers

A personal computer is a computer that can

perform all of its input, processing, output, and
storage activities by itself. A personal computer
contains a processor, memory, and one or more
input, output, and storage devices. Personal
computers also often contain a communications
device. The term, PC-compatible, refers to any
personal computer based on the original IBM
personal computer design. Companies such as
Dell, HP, and Toshiba sell PC-compatible computers. PC and PC-compatible computers
usually use a Windows operating system. Apple computers usually use a Macintosh
operating system (Mac OS). Two types of personal computers are desktop computers
and notebook computers.

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Desktop Computer

A desktop computer is designed so that

the system unit, input devices, output
devices, and any other devices fit entirely on
or under a desk or table. In many models,
the system unit is a tall and narrow tower,
which can sit on the floor vertically — if
desktop space is limited. Some desktop
computers function as a server on a
network. Others, such as a gaming desktop
computer and home theater PC, target a specific audience. The gaming desktop
computer offers high-quality audio, video, and graphics with optimal performance for
sophisticated single-user and networked or Internet multiplayer games. A home theater
PC (HTPC) combines the features of a high-definition video/audio entertainment system
with a desktop computer that is designed to be connected to a television and includes a
Blu-ray Disc, digital video recorder, and digital cable television connectivity. These high-
end computers cost more than the basic desktop computer. It is known as a
workstation is specialized, single user computer that typically has more power and
features than a standard desktop PC.

• Mobile Computers and Mobile Devices

A mobile computer is a personal computer you can carry from place to place. Similarly,
a mobile device is a computing device small enough to hold in your hand. The most
popular type of mobile computer is the notebook computer. The following sections
discuss the notebook computer and widely used mobile devices.

Notebook Computers

A notebook computer, also called a laptop

computer, is a portable, personal computer often
designed to fit on your lap. Notebook computers
are thin and lightweight, yet they can be as
powerful as the average desktop computer. A
netbook, which is a type of notebook computer, is
smaller, lighter, and often not as powerful as a
traditional notebook computer. Most netbooks cost
less than traditional notebook computers. An ultra-
thin is another type of notebook computer

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that is lightweight and usually less than one-inch thick. Some notebook computers have
touch screens, allowing you to interact with the device by touching the screen, usually
with the tip of a finger.

On a typical notebook computer, the keyboard is on top of the system unit, and the
monitor attaches to the system unit with hinges. These computers weigh on average
from 2.5 to more than 10 pounds (depending on configuration), which allows users to
transport the computers from place to place. Most notebook computers can operate on
batteries or a power supply or both.

Tablet PC’s

Resembling a letter-sized slate, the Tablet PC, or

tablet computer, is a special type of notebook
computer that you can interact with by touching
the screen with your finger or a digital pen. A
digital pen looks like a small ink pen but uses
pressure instead of ink. Users write or draw on a
Tablet PC by pressing a finger or digital pen on
the screen, and issue instructions by tapping on
the screen. One design of Tablet PC, called a
convertible tablet, has an attached keyboard.
Another design, which does not include a
keyboard, is called a slate tablet and provides
other means for typing. Some Tablet PCs also
support voice input so that users can speak into
the computer.

Tablet PCs are useful especially for taking notes in lectures, at meetings, conferences,
and other forums where the standard notebook computer is not practical.

Mobile Devices

Mobile devices, which are small enough to carry in a pocket, usually do not have disk
drives. Instead, these devices store programs and data permanently on special memory
inside the system unit or on small storage media such as memory cards. You often can
connect a mobile device to a personal computer to exchange information between the
computer and the mobile device.

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Some mobile devices are Internet-enabled, meaning; they can connect to the Internet
wirelessly. With an Internet-enabled device, users can chat; send e-mail and instant
messages, and access the Web. Because of their reduced size, the screens on mobile
devices are small, but usually are in color.
Popular types of mobile devices are smart phones and PDAs, e-book readers, handheld
computers, portable media players, and digital cameras.

Smart Phones and PDAs

Offering the convenience of one-handed

operation, a smart phone is an Internet-enabled
phone that usually also provides personal
information management functions such as a
calendar, an appointment book, an address book,
a calculator, and a notepad. In addition to basic
phone capabilities, a smart phone allows you to
send and receive e-mail messages and access
the Web—usually for an additional fee. Some
smart phones communicate wirelessly with other
devices or computers. Many also function as a
portable media player and include built-in digital
cameras so that you can share photos or videos
with others as soon as you capture the image.
Many smart phones also offer a variety of
application software such as word processing,
spreadsheet, and games, and the capability of
conducting live video conferences. Many smart
phones have keypads that contain both numbers
and letters so that you can use the same keypad
to dial phone numbers and enter messages.

A PDA (personal digital assistant), which often

looks like a smart phone, provides personal
information management functions such as a
calendar, an appointment book, an address book, a calculator, and a notepad. A PDA
differs from a smart phone in that it usually does not provide phone capabilities and may
not be Internet enabled, support voice input, have a built-in camera, or function as a
portable media player. As smart phones and PDAs continue a trend of convergence, it

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is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between the two devices. This has led
some manufacturers to refer to PDAs and smart phones simply as handhelds.

E-B ook Readers

An e-book reader (short for electronic book reader),

or e-reader, is a handheld device that is used
primarily for reading e-books. An e-book, or digital
book, is an electronic version of a printed book,
readable on computers and other digital devices. In
addition to books, users typically can purchase and
read other forms of digital media such as newspapers
and magazines. Most e-book readers have a touch
screen and are Internet-enabled. These devices
usually are smaller than tablet computers but larger
than smart phones.

Handheld Computers

A handheld computer, sometimes referred to as an

Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC), is a computer small enough
to fit in one hand. Many handheld computers
communicate wirelessly with other devices or computers
and also include a digital pen or stylus for input. Some
handheld computers have miniature or specialized
keyboards. Many handheld computers are industry-
specific and serve the needs of mobile employees, such
as meter readers and parcel delivery people, whose
jobs require them to move from place to place.

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Portable Media Players

A portable media player is a mobile device on which you can

store, organize, and play digital media. For example, you can listen
to music; watch videos, movies, and television shows; and view
photos on the device’s screen. With most, you download the digital
media from a computerto the portable media player or to media that
you insert in the device.

Some portable media players are Internet enabled so that you can
access Web sites and
send e-mail messages directly from the device. Many offer personal
information management functions such as a calendar and include
and address book, a variety of games and other application software.

Digital Cameras

A digital camera is a device that allows users to take

pictures and store the photographed images digitally,
instead of on traditional film. While many digital cameras
look like a traditional camera, some are built into smart
phones and other mobile devices. Although digital
cameras usually have some amount of internal storage
to hold images, most users store images on small
storage media such as memory cards.
Digital cameras typically allow users to review, and sometimes modify images while they
are in the camera. Some digital cameras connect to or communicate wirelessly with a
computer or printer, allowing users to print or view images directly from the printer.

□ Game Consoles
A game console is a mobile computing device designed
for single-player or multiplayer video games. Standard
game consoles use a handheld controller(s) as an input
device(s); a television screen as an output device; and hard
disks, optical discs, and/or memory cards for storage.
Weighing on average between two and nine pounds, the
compact size of game consoles makes them easy to use at
home, in the car, in a hotel, or any location that has an
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outlet. Three popular models are Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Nintendo’s Wii (pronounced as
wee), and Sony’s PlayStation 3.

A handheld game console is small enough to fit in one hand, making it more portable
than the standard game console. With the handheld game console, the controls screen,
and speakers are built into the device.

□ Mainframe Computers

A mainframe is a large, expensive, powerful

computer that can handle hundreds or thousands of
connected users simultaneously. Mainframes store
tremendous amounts of data, instructions, and
information. Most major corporations use mainframes
for business activities. With mainframes, enterprises
are able to bill millions of customers, prepare payroll
for thousands of employees, and manage thousands
of items in inventory. One study reported that
mainframes process more than 83 percent of
transactions around the world. Mainframes also can
act as servers in a network
environment. Servers and other mainframes can access data and information from a
mainframe. People also can access programs on the mainframe using terminals or
personal computers.

□ Supercomputers
A supercomputer is the fastest, most
powerful computer — and the most
expensive. The fastest supercomputers
are capable of processing more than one
quadrillion instructions in a single second.
With weights that exceed 100 tons, these
computers can store more than 20,000
times the data and information of an
average desktop computer. Applications
requiring complex, sophisticated
mathematical calculations use

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supercomputers. Large-scale simulations and applications in medicine, aerospace,

automotive design, online banking, weather forecasting, nuclear energy research, and
petroleum exploration use supercomputer.

□ Embedded Computers

An embedded computer is a
special-purpose computer that
functions as a component in a
larger product. Embedded
computers are everywhere — at
home, in your car, and at work.
The following list identifies a
variety of everyday products that
contain embedded computers.

• Consumer Electronics: mobile and digital telephones, digital televisions,

cameras, video recorders, DVD players and recorders, answering machines.
• Home Automation Devices: thermostats, sprinkling systems, security monitoring
systems, appliances, lights.
• Automobiles: antilock brakes, engine control modules, airbag controller, cruise
• Process Controllers and Robotics: remote monitoring systems, power monitors,
machine controllers, medical devices.
• Computer Devices and Office Machines: keyboards, printers, fax and copy

Because embedded computers are components in larger products, they usually are
small and have limited hardware. These computers perform various functions,
depending on the requirements of the product in which they reside. Embedded
computers in printers, for example, monitor the amount of paper in the tray; check the
ink or toner level, signal if a paper jam has occurred, and so on.

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