[SIGCIS-Members] EDSAC display opens & commissioning begins

Brian Randell brian.randell at newcastle.ac.uk
Thu Nov 27 02:50:04 PST 2014


> EDSAC display opens & commissioning begins
> Entrepreneur Hermann Hauser has officially opened the EDSAC display at The National Museum of Computing and, as key parts of the reconstruction of one the most influential computers ever built were commissioned, the sights, sounds, heat and sheer size of computing in the late 1940s were brought to life. Already the machine is proving to be a very popular exhibit and is a marvel and an inspiration to visiting educational groups.
> EDSAC, the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator, was originally built in the University of Cambridge immediately after World War II by a team led by Sir Maurice Wilkes. It was the first practical general purpose computer and marked the beginning of computer programming as a distinct profession. EDSAC was so successful that it was used in Nobel prize-winning scientific research and its design was later developed to create LEO, the world's first business computer.
> After two years of research and re-engineering by a team of about 20 volunteers, the EDSAC reconstruction is now becoming a reality that is already fascinating visitors to the Museum.
> At the official opening of the exhibit, several key elements of EDSAC were demonstrated. Bill Purvis showed how a program would be input before the advent of keyboards and how the result would be output before screens became commonplace. Peter Linnington revealed how, at the start of the computer age, delay lines were used as stores. As the climax, Chris Burton switched on the EDSAC clock, the beating heart of the machine.
> The three-year project is on schedule for completion late next year and computer historian Martin Campbell-Kelly gave a preview of what is in store by outlining the importance of EDSAC in marking the beginnings of computer programming. He revealed plans for young people to create and run their own programs on one of the world’s most influential early computers.

Full story at: http://www.tnmoc.org/news/news-releases/edsac-display-opens-and-commissioning-begins


Brian Randell

School of Computing Science, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU
EMAIL = Brian.Randell at ncl.ac.uk   PHONE = +44 191 208 7923
URL = http://www.ncl.ac.uk/computing/staff/profile/brian.randell

More information about the Members mailing list