10 Gigabyte Hard Drive disk
3 " 1.44 Mb Micro Disk Drive
32X CD ROM
512 Kb Level II Cache
b. History. It may surprise you to know that electronic computer systems have been
around for about 50 years. The first electronically digital computer was designed and built in the
winter of 1937-38. This machine, the Atanasoff-Berry-Computer or ABC, provided the
foundation for the next advances in electronic digital computers. The first computer system put
into use was ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). The ENIAC weighted 30
tons, contained 18,000 vacuum tubes, and occupied a 30 by 50-foot space.
(1) First System. In 1951-52, after much discussion, IBM made the decision to add
computers to their line of business equipment products. This led IBM to become a dominant
force in the computer industry, and the public awareness of computers increased when the
UNIVAC I correctly predicted that Dwight D. Eisenhower would win the presidential election
after analyzing only five percent of the tallied vote. Also, in 1952, Dr. Grace Hopper, a
mathematician and commodore in the U.S. Navy, wrote a paper describing how to prepare a
computer program with symbolic notation instead of the detailed machine language that had
(2) Inventions Progress.
(a) Fortran (FORmula TRANslation) was introduced in 1957. This programming
language proved that efficient, easy-to-use computer language could be developed. FORTRAN
is still in use.
(b) In 1958, computers built with transistors marked the beginning of the second
generation of computer hardware. Previous computers built with vacuum tubes are called first-
generation machines. By 1959, over 200 programming languages had been created.
(c) In 1960, COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language), a business
application language, was introduced. COBOL, which uses English-like phrases, can be run on
most brands of computers, making it one of the most widely used languages in the world. From
1958 to 1964, it is estimated that the number of computers in the U.S. grew from 2,500 to
(d) The third-generation computers were introduced in 1964. Their controlling
circuitry is stored on chips. The families of IBM System 360 computers were the first third-
(e) Digital Equipment Corporation introduced the first minicomputer in 1965,
and the development of the BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instructional Code)
programming language, which is the most commonly used language on microcomputers.