Around early fifties the analog approach was overtaken by the rapide
pace of de digital concept. Further on the improved technology arose
several new programming languages as: the binary automatic computer,
or “BINAC”, the electronic automatic computer or “SEAC”
as well as a very large scale data-processing system based on storage
tubes and magnetic-tape sotrage as know as “BIZMAC”.
Toward mid fifties engineers realized that digital computing techniques
were needed for the real-time analysis and as a result of such new
trend in the computer science was a 5000 valves, 11000 diodes built
machine that operated on 15 binary digits, christened as “Whirlwind”
Improvement in the magnetic-core technology offered large, fast
and economical memory to computer designers and it revolutionized
their work. The commercial development of the computer soon turned
into one of the most spirited competitions in the electronic industry
arising a core of manufacturers, which among the most relevant ones
are: the British Ferranti Ltd delivering one of the first commercial
computer, the Mark I system; Remington Rand developed its universal
automatic computer, or “UNIVAC”, a serial synchronous
machine that operated at 2.25 MHz rate and contained around 5000
thermionic valves. IBM, International Business Machine, launched
the parallel synchronous computer model 701, which employed 4000
valves and 12000 Germanium diodes operating with a master clock
frequency of 1 MHz.
Since its invention in 1948, it is interesting to note it took almost
ten years for the industry joined the switch to transistor logic
circuits. Thus, the American compnay, Control Data Corporation made
the model 1605. It was one of the first solid-state computers ever
made, which employed circa 25000 transistors as well as 100000 diodes.
The machine was equipped with magnetic-core storage also. In spite
of so many technological innovations the electronic calculator was
still extremely expensive. In later sixties engineers concentrated
their efforts to lower the price range of computers by announcing
the development of the first programmed data processor, the type
As aforementioned all over the entire fifties efforts were concentrated
almost in the improvement of the computer hardware. Therefore, one
problem plaguing the computer industry at the end of the 1950s was
the lack of standard programming languages.
Back early in 1957 the industry was already looking forward for
reliable proposal to be used in the preparation of programs for
electronic digital computers. In this way very soon it was developed
the first microprogramming languages using algebraic notation and
algorithms, which the most representatives one are indicated in
the following Table 5.
|TABLE 5 - COMPUTER PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES DEVELOPED
IN EARLY FIFTIES
||FORTRAN = FORMULA TRANSITION
||EUA / GERMANY
||ACM= ASSOCIATION FOR COMPUTING MACHINES
GAAM= GERMAN ASSOCIATION FOR APPLIED MATHEMATICS
||US ARMED FORCES
||COBOL = COMON BUSINESS ORIENTED LANGUAGE
The continuous advancements in the solid-state technology around
mid-sixties led to the launching of the first integrated circuits.
When compared with the transistor, the IC was lower in size, faster
|Fig 359 - A modern computer using last generation
processing as well as an energy saver.
Those advantages dramatically changed the computing
science by decreasing even more the size of the hardware. The fourth
generation of computer appeared around 1982 by the introduction of
more advanced integrated circuits as known as VLSI - Very Large Scale
Integrationg - operating in conjunction with more elaborated programming
languaes, which gave birth of the modern personal computer. Fig 359
|Fig 359A - A modern computer as known as laptop,
provided with LCD video monitor screen.
It is just amazing that after 40 years since the pioneering researches
of Astnasoff the modern computer was duly incorporated in the modern
society. In the reality it was an incredible invention due to the
mankind perennial search for a better world.