Charles Babbage's "Analytical Engine" (1830s), a mechanical calculator design that anticipated the logical features of today's general purpose computers.

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Mobile phones: 1G 2G 3G 4G

1G
1G is short for first-generation wireless telephone technology. This generation of phones and networks is represented by the brick-sized analog phones introduced in the 1980’s. Subsequent numbers refer to newer and upcoming technology.

2G
2G phones use digital networks. Going all-digital allowed for the introduction of digital data services, such as SMS and email. 2G networks and their digital nature also made it more difficult to eavesdrop on mobile phone calls.

3G
3G networks are an in between standard. 3G is seen more as pre4G instead of a standard of its own. The advantage 3G networks have over 2G networks is speed. 3G networks are built to handle the needs of today’s wireless users. This standard of wireless networks increases the speed of internet browsing, picture and video messaging, and handheld GPS use.

4G
4G (AKA Beyond 3G) is like the other generations in that its advantage lies in promised increased speeds in data transmission. There is currently no formal definition for 4G, but there are objectives. One of these objectives is for 4G to become a fully IP-based system, much like modern computer networks. The supposed speeds for 4G will be between 100 Mbit/s and 1 Gbit/s.