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Discussion of how business use of IT has evolved during the past 50 years.

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Discuss how business use of IT has evolved during the past 50 years. Address the evolution of hardware, languages, etc., and how these developments have led to new technologies, new applications, new roles of IT.

Think about the changing role of IT within organizations.

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Solution Summary

The 954 word solution provides a good explanation of the four generations of the development of computers. Included in the explanations are the benefits that became possible as a result of hardware improvements.

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First Generation of computers (1945-1956)

The real usage of computers started for defense purposes. In 1943, the British completed a computer called Colossus to decode German messages. In 1944 IBM produced an all-electronic calculator to create ballistic charts for the U.S. Navy. It used electromagnetic signals to move mechanical parts. The machine was slow and inflexible, but it could perform basic arithmetic and more complex equations. Another computer was the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, produced by U.S. government and the University of Pennsylvania. That was the first general-purpose computer.
First generation computers were heavy and inflexible and could not be used for general purposes; they were built to perform specific operations. Each computer had a different binary-coded program called a machine language that told it how to operate. This made the computer difficult to program and limited its versatility and speed. For data storage first computers used vacuum tubes (responsible for their breathtaking size) and magnetic drums.

Second Generation Computers (1956-1963)

By 1948, the invention of the transistor greatly changed the computer's development. Using transistors, computers became smaller, faster, more reliable and more energy-efficient. The first large-scale machines with transistor technology were early super-computers made by IBM and Sperry-Rand. These computers, both developed for atomic energy laboratories, could handle an enormous amount of data, a capability much in demand by atomic scientists.
These computers were expensive and too powerful for the ...

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