views updated May 29 2018

generations of computers. An informal system of classifying computer systems as advances have been made in electronic technology and, latterly, in software. Since the design of digital computers has been a continuous process more than five decades – by a wide variety of people in different countries, faced with different problems – it is difficult and not very profitable to try and establish where ‘generations’ start and finish. See first generation, second generation, third generation, fourth generation, fifth generation.