The 3rd Generation Computers were generally much smaller in size than the 2nd and 1st generation computers. This is because these newer computers made us of integrated circuits and semiconductors (a type of material that had the properties of an insulator and a conductor). 3rd generation computers also contained operating systems, which acted as overseers to the performance of a computer and which allowed computers to run different programs at once. Another function of operating systems is to make sure everything is flowing smoothly inside the computer. The 3rd generation computers made the transition from transistors to integrated circuits and from punch cards to electronic computer systems.
The IBM 360 was introduced by IBM (duh!) in April of 1964, and was finally delivered in 1965. It was not actually a single computer, but was rather a family of six computers and their peripherals. These computers were all mutually compatible and all worked together. The first models of the IBM 360 used transistors, but later these computers made a transition from transistors to integrated circuits.
The PDP-8 was a successor to the PDP-1. Because it was the first computer to successfully make use of integrated circuits, it was much smaller and cheaper compared to other computers available at the same time. When it first entered the minicomputer market, it sold for about $20,000. Five years later, this price was reduced to only $3,000. The PDP-8 was relatively simple in design-physically, logically, and electronically. It only had 4,096 words of memory, and its word length was only 12 bits. This machine became the first commercially successful minicomputer because of its reasonable cost, speed, and small size. Minicomputers are medium-sized computers that were much cheaper than the larger and bulkier mainframe computers.
Courtesy of the "http://www.computer-museum.org/index.html"ComputerMuseum of America
With the invention of the HP-2115, the company Hewlett Packard enters the computer business.
At the AT & T Bell Laboratories, programmers Kenneth Thompson and Dennis Ritchie developed a new type of operating system known as UNIX. UNIX is a multi-user operating system able to perform multiple tasks. In addition, UNIX is written in the C language, which allows it to be less machine-specific than other available operating systems. C was specifically designed for UNIX. Because UNIX used C, it was able to be used in any computer system. This was a big achievement at the time!
GUI (graphical user interface, pronounced gooey) was designed by the Xerox
Corporation. GUI allowed users to be able to "point and click."
In other words, the computer screen was designed to resemble a desktop. It
had click-able folders, calculators, etc. which were represented by images
known as icons. Users could click on these icons to move and manipulate the
folders and other tools. GUI made using computers much easier and is currently
found in modern-day computers.