Social And Ethical Changes Of Computers Throughout Generations

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1. The hardware, or the physical parts of a computer, is one factor that has been constantly changing throughout the development of computers. Two elements of hardware in particular have progressed as generations go on: data transfer and storage. One challenge for computer engineers from the start was deciding how to transfer data through the computer. The first computer, the ENIAC, required 18,000 vacuum tubes to do so, and weighed about 20 tons. Because of its huge size, its power consumption was 150,000 watts (Piguet). Evidently, size and power consumption were major issues from the start. Vacuum tubes were a continuous source of difficulty due to expenses, and the fact that they were constantly burning out. Eventually, the invention of …show more content…
Considering social and ethical changes of computers throughout generations, function is the main factor that has been evolving. The computer user has a purpose when they use a computer, and these purposes have changed significantly over time. The first generation of computers is known as the data processing era because computers were used to calculate missile trajectories as well as break codes, and said to have made “important contributions to the military needs during wartime”, (Rees). Later on, computers began to be sold commercially, but most people who bought these computers were actually trained in code-making and code-breaking establishment since there were not many computer functions other than calculations (Rees). Computers were used to census populations, and at this time many people felt dehumanized by the seemingly robotized machines. Nevertheless, simple games were invented soon after, and a gaming revolution took over. In the second generation, the personal computing generation, large businesses and corporations adopted mainframe computers to host servers and store large amounts of information. People began buying computers for their own personal use. Once the Internet came about, the third generation of network computing began, and computers could be used for just about anything. The fourth generation expanded the use of the Internet to cloud computing, meaning computer users had access to several applications, communications, and storage on the Internet. The impact of computers on society is giant in magnitude, being that almost all businesses, schools, and other institutions rely on them whether it’s for purchase records, research, document storage, or anything else within a computer’s capabilities. Social media is also a prominent concept in the present generation; people connect globally every day over the Internet. In a broad sense, our world cannot survive today without our technology. Comparing computers from the beginning of their

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