In the second generation of the computers, the vacuum tubes were replaced by state-of-the-art transistors which were developed by Bell laboratories. The transistor was much of a better device as compared to vacuum tubes because the transistors used the concept of electron and proton efficiency or deficiency rather than depending on the mechanical parts of a bulb which not only overheated the complete entire circuits but also required day to day maintenance and malfunctioned easily.
When the transistors have developed the idea for storing the data in the magnetic core was also introduced. Therefore this led to the development of the magnetic tape, a magnetic disc which was then widely used as auxiliary storage. The magnetic disk was a layer of iron oxide which made it possible for the data to be accessed directly. This increased the speed of computers accessing the data along with increased processing speed because of transistors.
Due to all of these reasons the second generation of the computer became a viable commercial product and which was used by the businessman in applications such as building payroll processing and updating inventory.
Advantages of 2nd generation of computer [ second generation computers ]
- when the vacuum tubes were replaced by a far superior transistor it allowed the computer to become smaller cheaper faster and more energy-efficient as well as reliable and hence it can become a commercially viable product, therefore, the business started offering for the computer to be used in day to day work
- A significant increase in the processing capacity of the computer from the result of using transistors.
- The heat that was generated by the vacuum tubes was eliminated as the transistor did not work on the method of cathode and anode which required generation of heat and electricity and hence the requirement of the air conditioning room was also eliminated.
- The computer became less expensive, the first generation of the computers because that did not require maintenance and the transistor can work for a long period as well as it did not malfunction because of the heating that was produced which also increased its precision and accuracy.
- The size of the computers in the second generation reduced quite significantly because the vacuum tubes were up to the size of a bulb and there were around 70 to 80 thousand words in a room which required a completely dedicated vacuum tube therefore the transistor was only fingernails size, therefore, it reduced the computer size drastically.
- The second generation of computers also introduced us to a higher-level programming language such as COBOL and FORTRAN rather than dealing with coding in BITS and bytes in the first generation of computers.
- With the increase in the processing capability of the computer the input and the output function speed also increased and the system of memory card programming was replaced by command-line programming.
- The main storage capacity of the computers also increased as the computers now used magnetic cores as the primary internal storage medium.
Disadvantages of 2nd generation of computer [ second generation computers ]
- The cooling system was required in the second generation of computers.
- Constant maintenance was required.
- The computers were only programmed for specific tasks.