What is First Generation Computer? - Explained


IBM 701, First Generation Computer. Image by IBM.

First generation computers were in the period of 1946 to 1959. After the pre-generation computers, first generation computer were invented.


First generation computers used vacuum tubes as the basic component for each and every part of computers. Vacuum tubes does carry a electrical current from a vacuumed environment inside the glass tube. 

These glass tubes with vacuumed environment in it used as the memory of the computer, CPU and as well as circuitry because the latency and delay which occurs in converting the current to copper wires. 

Due to almost each and every vacuum tube is fused, and the since vacuum tube generates more heat, the circuitry got fused at many times in operational hours and this occurred mal-functioning of the computer. 

As the operating system, first generation computers used batch processing operating system which allows the users to process a task in batches. Punch Cards and paper tapes were used as the input devices and magnetic tapes were used as output devices in first generation computers.

Machine code used as the programming language in first generation computers, which also known as the low level computer language. 

Due to large size in circuitry and high heat, the first generation computers needed air conditioning to keep the computer cool.

The prices were much higher and only the large enterprises were able to use the first generation computers.