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First Generation Computer

History of UNIVAC:

John Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, after leaving the academic environment of The Moore
School of Engineering to start their own computer business, found their first client was the
United States Census Bureau. The Bureau needed a new computer to deal with the exploding
U.S. population (the beginning of the famous baby boom). In April 1946, a $300,000 deposit was
given to Eckert and Mauchly for the research into a new computer called the UNIVAC short
form of UNIVERSAL AUTOMATIC COMPUTER. It was in 1948 that the design was finalized
and in 1951 it was delivered.


UNIVERSAL AUTOMATIC MACHINE i.e. UNIVAC was designed by John Presper Eckert
and John Mauchly also the designers of ENIAC. The UNIVAC was the world's first
commercially available First Generation computer.

The UNIVAC handled both numbers and alphabetic characters equally well. The UNIVAC was
unique in that it separated the complex problems of input and output from the actual computation

It was a self checking computer and could work 24 hours a day. The machine was 25 feet by 50
feet in length, contained 5,600 vacuum tubes, 18,000 crystal diodes, and 300 relays. It utilized
serial circuitry, 2.25 MHz bit rate, and had an internal storage capacity 1,000 words or 12,000

It utilized a Mercury delay line, magnetic tape, and typewriter output. The UNIVAC was used
for general purpose computing with large amounts of input and output.

Power consumption was about 120 kva. It’s reported processing speed was 0.525 milliseconds
for arithmetic functions, 2.15 milliseconds for multiplication and 3.9 Milliseconds for division.

The UNIVAC was also the first computer to come equipped with a magnetic tape unit and was
the first computer to use buffer memory.


The UNIVAC was used to calculate company payrolls, sales records, analysis of sales
performance and other company business. The UNIVAC could perform 90,000 transactions per
month. In 1952 it was also used for the prediction of U.S presidential elections.


The first commercially successful machine was UNIVERSAL AUTOMATIC COMPUTER. It
was made operational in 1951.It was a self checking computer and could work 24 hours a day.
UNIVAC used magnetic tape as input media.


   inventors.about.com
   wikipedia.org

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