UNIVAC stands for Universal Automatic Computer. UNIVAC computer were invented on March 31 1951 The UNIVAC I was the first ever electronic digital computer for commercial use. It was designed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly. They were also designer of ENIAC computers world’s first ever general computer. The UNIVAC I was designed as a commercial data processing, for the purpose of replacing the punch card accounting machines of that time.
First generation Computer
The period of first generation computers was 1946 – 1954. The first ever computer ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and calculator) was developed at University of Pennsylvania in 1947. This computer had vacuum tube as switching tubes. Von Neumann introduced the concept of stored program by around 1947 EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator) was announced.
UNIVAC is also a first generation computer is one of the five, first generation computers.
Advantages of UNIVAC Computers
UNIVAC computers were the first one to implement vacuum tubes with electronic circuit. UNIVAC computers were able to perform instructions within fractions of seconds, It was able to read 7,200 decimal digits per second (it did not use binary numbers), making it by far the fastest business computer yet built. The speed of the computer also made the concept of calculator possible. UNIVAC’s speed surpass all its rivals, it was thousand times faster then its competitor. It was one of the first stored program computers, using magnetic tape instead of punch cards to collect and manage data, capable of storing and accessing one million characters on the magnetic tape.
UNIVAC computers was the first computer which introduced the low level language (ones and zeros), low level language made the further development of the computer possible. UNIVAC computers were easily available and were cheaper than present computers.
Disadvantages of UNIVAC computers
UNIVAC computers were one of the earliest computers introduced in the world, therefor it had plenty of drawbacks. UNIVAC computers consisted of thousands of vacuum tubes which radiated significantamount of heat, which in result required air conditioning rooms in order to keep the room and computers cool. UNIVAC were not reliable as one of the tube could heat up and melt causing an error in instructions. The vacuum tube had to be replaced daily making the maintenance hectic. UNIVAC computers consumed a lot of space, it requires about 14.5 by 7.5 by 9 feet which is a lot of space compared to present computers today occupy.
UNIVAC computer another drawback is that it is not portable, it took a lot of time and effort to move it from one place to another making it hectic to install and move. UNIVAC computers did not have the feature of multitasking that are provided in second generation computer, therefor it could only perform one task at a moment.
Further Generation of Computer
UNIVAC computer was one of first generation computers, there are five generations in total. In accordance with the methodology for assessing the development of computer technology, the first generation was considered to be vacuum tube computers, the second uses transistor computers, the third generation is based on computers on integrated circuits, the fourth generation uses microprocessors, and the fifth generation computers is based on ULSI technology integrating Artificial intelligence. Fifth generation is the most advanced faster than all previous generations.