First Generation of Computer (1940 - 1959)

The first generation of computer were huge, slow, expensive and often unreliable. In 1946, two Americans, Presper Eckert and Willian Mauchly build the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). It use vacuum tube instead of mechanical switches of the MARK 1.

Presper Eckert and Willian Mauchly and Vacuum Tube


In 1951, Eckert and Mauchly build the UNIVAC, which could calculate at the rate of 10,000 addition per seconds.



Hardware Technology :

New invention of hardware were needed with the new computer technology.


The vacuum tube was an extremely important step of the advancement of computers.In a computer, a vacuum tube which is an electronic tube about the size of light bulbs, was used as the internal computer components. Thousands of them were used.


Punched card was used to store data.


Magnetic tape was introduced in 1957. It was a faster and a more compact method of storing data. Using magnetic tape became more reliable and cost-effective

Problems :

  • the vacuum tubes generated a great deal of heat causing many problems in temperature regulation and climate control
  • the tubes also burnt out frequently
  • people operating the computer did not know that the problem was in the programming machine
  • the second generation computer scientists invented something new due to lots of problem created by vacuum tubes


Guessing that you're an American, trying to change history again. The first computer worthy of the name was built by Alan Turing. Check your facts ;)

hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)

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Introduction to Computers & Information Technology

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