Friday, February 24, 2012

Fifth Generation of Computers

Earlier Generations of Computing

The first generation of computing is generally opinion of as the "vacuum tube era." These computers used large vacuum tubes as their circuits, and large metal drums as their memory. They generated a titanic amount of heat and, as any computer professional can tell attest, this led to a large amount of failures and crashes in the early years of computing. This first generation of computer lasted for sixteen years, between 1940 and 1956, and was characterized by heavy computers that could fill an whole room. The most notable of these large, and yet quite basic, computers, were the Univac and Eniac models.

Invention Of The Vacuum

Second-generation computing was characterized by a switch from vacuum tubes to transistors, and saw a primary decrease in the size of computing devices. Invented in 1947, the transistor came to computers in 1956. Its popularity and utility in computing machines lasted until 1963, when integrated circuits supplanted them. However, transistors remain an prominent part of modern computing. Even modern-day Intel chips contain tens of millions of transistors - although slight in size, and not nearly as power-draining as their much earlier predecessors.

Fifth Generation of Computers

Photographic Prints of Evans Vacuum Cap advertisement, 1906 from Mary Evans Best

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Photographic Prints of Evans Vacuum Cap advertisement, 1906 from Mary Evans Feature

  • This 10x8 Print features an image chosen by Mary Evans. Estimated image size 254x171mm.
  • High quality RA4 prints. Printed on Kodak Endura and Edge papers
  • Image Description: Advertisement for the Evans Vacuum Cap, an invention intented to promote the re-growth of hair, 1906.
  • For any queries regarding this item please contact Mary Evans c/o Media Storehouse quoting Media Reference 4371778
  • © Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans

Photographic Prints of Evans Vacuum Cap advertisement, 1906 from Mary Evans Overview

10x8 Print, Evans Vacuum Cap advertisement, 1906. Advertisement for the Evans Vacuum Cap, an invention intented to promote the re-growth of hair, 1906. Chosen by Mary Evans. High quality RA4 prints. Printed on Kodak Endura and Edge papers.

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Between 1964 and 1971, computing began to take baby steps toward the modern era. During this third generation of computing, the semiconductor increased the speed and efficiency of computers by leaps and bounds, while simultaneously shrinking them even further in size. These semiconductors used miniaturized transistors which were much smaller than the original transistor found in earlier computers, and put them on a silicon chip. This is still the basis for modern processors, though on a much, much smaller scale.

In 1971, computing hit the big time: microprocessing. Microprocessors can be found in every singular computing expedient today, from desktops and laptops to tablets and smartphones. They contain thousands of integrated circuits that are housed on a singular chip. Their parts are microscopic, allowing one small processor to cope many simultaneous tasks at the same time with very slight loss of processing speed or capacity.

Because of their very small size and large processing capacity, microprocessors enabled the home computing industry to flourish. Ibm introduced the very first personal computer in 1981; three years later, Apple followed with its wildly victorious Apple line of computers that revolutionized the industry and made the microprocessor industry a mainstay in the American economy.

Chip manufacturers like Amd and Intel sprouted up and flourished in Silicon Valley alongside established brands like Ibm. Their mutual innovation and contentious spirit led to the most rapid advancement of computer processing speed and power in the history of computing; and enabled a marketplace that is today dominated by handheld devices which are infinitely more remarkable than the room-sized computers of just a half-century ago.

Fifth Generation of Computing

Technology never stops evolving and improving, however. While the microprocessor has revolutionized the computing industry, the fifth generation of computer looks to turn the whole industry on its head once again. The fifth generation of computing is called "artificial intelligence," and it is the goal of computer scientists and developers to finally create computers than outsmart, outwit, and maybe even outlast their human inventors.

The fifth generation of computer has already beaten humans in a amount of games - most notably a 1997 game of chess against the man who was then the game's world champion. But where it can beat humans in very methodical gameplay, fifth generation computing lacks the quality to understand natural human speech and affectation. Synthetic brain is not yet as intriguing as it needs to be in order to interact with its human counterparts and - more importantly - truly understand them.

But strides have been made. Many computers and smartphones on the market contain a rudimentary voice recognition highlight that can translate human speech into text. However, they still wish slow, very punctual dictation - otherwise words become jumbled or erroneous. And they're still not receptive to human affectation which might indicate the needs for capital letters, request marks, or things such as bold and italicized type.

As microprocessors continue to growth their power by leaps and bounds, it will becoming possible for these hallmarks of Synthetic brain to become easier to manufacture and implement. It's easy to underestimate the complexity of human language and patterns of communication, but the uncomplicated fact is that translating those things into raw computing power and quality requires a great deal of time and resources - in some cases, resources that have yet to be fully developed and put into a computer chip.

Fifth Generation of ComputersHomemade Table Tennis Ping Pong Robot Video Clips. Duration : 2.93 Mins.

Click "watch in hi-quality" in blue text! I invented this mechanical "Ping Pong Robot" because I'm a mechanical engineering student at Georgia Tech and I love Table Tennis. It is a purely mechanical alternative to the electro-mechanical robots currently available. Ben Beck, Jay Johnson, Ryder Winck, and I chose this device for our Modeling and Simulation project Spring 2008. The results were put into practice when I built it later in the semester. In Spring 2008 the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets competed for their first time in the NCTTA National Championships. The men came in at 16th in the Nation. The women, 4th. This machine is dedicated to the 2008 Nationally Ranked Georgia Tech team. For more information about: Georgia Tech Table Tennis the Modeling and Simulation Project and other Table Tennis Projects visit

Tags: Georgia, Tech, table, tennis, ping, pong, robot, launcher, invention, contraption, engineering, project

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