[SIGCIS-Members] Semi-rare John Mauchly document

evan at snarc.net evan at snarc.net
Thu Jul 30 15:00:32 PDT 2009

Hi all. I received this document from Bill Mauchly today. I asked him if it's okay to share freely; he said yes.

File is attached.

Bill added: "In 1979, just a few months before he died, John Mauchly had a letter published in DATAMATION.  Examples of his writing are rare, but here he clearly wanted to have his say.  In it he laid out very clearly how he and Eckert, in the wee hours of 1944, worked out the stored-program architecture of EDVAC, the successor to ENIAC.  Later they told von Neumann, and he published it as his own work.  He also talks about BINAC.  This was at the time that Burks and Goldstine were trying to drain as much credit away from Eckert and Mauchly and towards von Neumann as they could.I've attached a copy of the letter; it a good read if you like this sort of thing.  This short essay does not seem to be available on the web.  I typed it in from a copy I had that was among my mother's things, apparently a draft from his TRS-80 word processor, on the prompting of Jean Bartik.  Enjoy.Bill Mauchly"
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