What is the current generation of computers?

on Preparation the 23rd Mar, 2010 2 comments

PIM/k Computer I asked all of a sudden after a brief pause “What is the current generation of computers?”  Most of my intelligent students fired the answer even without second thought – FOURTH. The voice when many students spoke, was rhythmic. But are you sure?

I understand. It is written there in your book. Its in SLC book, its in your college book and everywhere about the classification of computer generation. There are five generations – three already passed, fourth on which we are now and fifth – the future generation.

An international conference of scientists in 1962 divided the development process of computers into 5 distinct generations with respect to the main electronic components and the technology they use.

First Generation Computers used Vacuum Tubes

Second Generation Computers used Transistors, Diodes

Third Generation Computers used Integrated Circuits

Fourth Generation Computers are using Very Large Scale Integrated Circuits

Fifth Generation Computers are supposed to use Ultra-Large Scale  Integrated Circuits

Is this what you were studying and still believing? No, no, its not wrong. What you studied and are believing is correct, but I’d like to add one more information.

After hearing confident answer of my students I triggered another question just with a faint smile, “Give an example of fifth generation computer”

There was a momentary silence. Muffled whispers started to spread and very few bold students counter questioned “Are there any computers really developed from fifth generation?”

PIM/p Computer This is where most of the students who rely upon teacher and never do any research fail. Go check “International Conference on Fifth Generation Computer Systems”. Wondered to know that it was 1988 when this conference was held? I almost everyday ask my students to visit Wikipedia for each and every topic they study. They had not checked “Fifth Generation Computers” on Wikipedia, otherwise they would answer:

PIM/m, PIM/p, PIM/i, PIM/k, PIM/c are the computers developed as fifth generation of computers.

You too! update your knowledge and don’t get surprised if you see any of these names in your question paper as fifth generation computers.

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2 Responses to “What is the current generation of computers?”

  1. clement b says:

    fifth generation, eg robotics etc


  2. Cathy says:

    I actually remember when computers were huge monstrosities that took up a very large room. And you had to keep the room cold. My first job after high school was as a punch card operator and a few years later I was a computer operator back in the early 80′s. To tell you the truth, I don’t know what generation those computers were.
    .-= Cathy @ portable inkjet printer´s last blog ..HP all-in-one Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web =-.


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