Zuse later supervised a reconstruction of the Z3 in the s, which is currently on display at the Deutsches Museum in Munich. Hundreds of allied bombes were built in order to determine the daily rotor start positions of Enigma cipher machines, which in turn allowed the Allies to decrypt German messages. The basic idea for bombes came from Polish code-breaker Marian Rejewski's "Bomba. After successfully demonstrating a proof-of-concept prototype in , Professor John Vincent Atanasoff receives funds to build a full-scale machine at Iowa State College now University.
The machine was designed and built by Atanasoff and graduate student Clifford Berry between and The legal result was a landmark: Atanasoff was declared the originator of several basic computer ideas, but the computer as a concept was declared un-patentable and thus freely open to all. The replica is currently on display at the Computer History Museum. The US Army asked Bell Laboratories to design a machine to assist in testing its M-9 gun director, a type of analog computer that aims large guns to their targets.
Mathematician George Stibitz recommends using a relay-based calculator for the project. The Relay Interpolator used relays, and since it was programmable by paper tape, was used for other applications following the war. A total of ten Colossi were delivered, each using as many as 2, vacuum tubes. A series of pulleys transported continuous rolls of punched paper tape containing possible solutions to a particular code. Colossus reduced the time to break Lorenz messages from weeks to hours. Most historians believe that the use of Colossus machines significantly shortened the war by providing evidence of enemy intentions and beliefs.
The Mark 1 produced mathematical tables but was soon superseded by electronic stored-program computers. In a widely circulated paper, mathematician John von Neumann outlines the architecture of a stored-program computer, including electronic storage of programming information and data -- which eliminates the need for more clumsy methods of programming such as plugboards, punched cards and paper. Hungarian-born von Neumann demonstrated prodigious expertise in hydrodynamics, ballistics, meteorology, game theory, statistics, and the use of mechanical devices for computation.
Under the leadership of MIT's Gordon Brown and Jay Forrester, the team first built a small analog simulator, but found it inaccurate and inflexible. News of the groundbreaking electronic ENIAC computer that same year inspired the group to change course and attempt a digital solution, whereby flight variables could be rapidly programmed in software. Completed in , Whirlwind remains one of the most important computer projects in the history of computing.
Because of its electronic, as opposed to electromechanical, technology, it is over 1, times faster than any previous computer. ENIAC used panel-to-panel wiring and switches for programming, occupied more than 1, square feet, used about 18, vacuum tubes and weighed 30 tons. It was believed that ENIAC had done more calculation over the ten years it was in operation than all of humanity had until that time.
Their first program, consisting of seventeen instructions and written by Kilburn, ran on June 21st, This was the first program in history to run on a digital, electronic, stored-program computer. These tables were later confirmed by using more modern computers for the actual flights. The SSEC was one of the last of the generation of 'super calculators' to be built using electromechanical technology.
It was transferred to the Department of Physics at the University of Melbourne in and remained in service until The first practical stored-program computer to provide a regular computing service, EDSAC is built at Cambridge University using vacuum tubes and mercury delay lines for memory. Wilkes' ideas grew out of the Moore School lectures he had attended three years earlier. This type of computer is useful in performing many of the mathematical equations scientists and engineers encounter in their work.
It was originally created for a nuclear missile design project in by a team led by Fred Steele. It used 53 vacuum tubes and hundreds of germanium diodes, with a magnetic drum for memory. Tracks on the drum did the mathematical integration. The Manchester Mark I used more than 1, vacuum tubes and occupied an area the size of a medium room. The , designed by ERA but built by Remington-Rand, was intended for high-speed computing and stored 1 million bits on its magnetic drum, one of the earliest magnetic storage devices and a technology which ERA had done much to perfect in its own laboratories.
The design packed vacuum tubes into a relatively compact 12 square feet.
The hobbyist magazine Radio Electronics publishes Edmund Berkeley's design for the Simon 1 relay computer from to Let us call it Simon, because of its predecessor, Simple Simon Simon is so simple and so small in fact that it could be built to fill up less space than a grocery-store box; about four cubic feet.
It was built in Washington DC as a test-bed for evaluating components and systems as well as for setting computer standards. It was also one of the first computers to use all-diode logic, a technology more reliable than vacuum tubes. SWAC was used to solve problems in numerical analysis, including developing climate models and discovering five previously unknown Mersenne prime numbers. A British government contract spurred its initial development but a change in government led to loss of funding and the second and only other Mark I was sold at a major loss to the University of Toronto, where it was re-christened FERUT.
The Univac 1 is the first commercial computer to attract widespread public attention.
One biblical scholar even used a Univac 1 to compile a concordance to the King James version of the Bible. After the success of the first LEO, Lyons went into business manufacturing computers to meet the growing need for data processing systems in business.
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The Institute of Advanced Study IAS computer is a multi-year research project conducted under the overall supervision of world-famous mathematician John von Neumann. The IAS computer was designed for scientific calculations and it performed essential work for the US atomic weapons program. The bit machine used 92 point-contact transistors and diodes.
During three years of production, IBM sells 19 s to research laboratories, aircraft companies, and the federal government. Programmer Arthur Samuels used the to write the first computer program designed to play checkers. It was named after John von Neumann, a world famous mathematician and computer pioneer of the day. Johnniac was used for scientific and engineering calculations.
It was also repeatedly expanded and improved throughout its year lifespan. Many innovative programs were created for Johnniac, including the time-sharing system JOSS that allowed many users to simultaneously access the machine.
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IBM establishes the as its first mass-produced computer, with the company selling in just one year. The Model was also highly popular in universities, where a generation of students first learned programming. Over 30 were completed, including one delivered to Australia. Typically, computer users of the time fed their programs into a computer using punched cards or paper tape. Doug Ross wrote a memo advocating direct access in February.
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Ross contended that a Flexowriter -- an electrically-controlled typewriter -- connected to an MIT computer could function as a keyboard input device due to its low cost and flexibility. An experiment conducted five months later on the MIT Whirlwind computer confirmed how useful and convenient a keyboard input device could be. For easy replacement, designers placed each transistor circuit inside a "bottle," similar to a vacuum tube. DEC is founded initially to make electronic modules for test, measurement, prototyping and control markets.
Headquartered in Maynard, Massachusetts, Digital Equipment Corporation, took over 8, square foot leased space in a nineteenth century mill that once produced blankets and uniforms for soldiers who fought in the Civil War. The mill is still in use today as an office park Clock Tower Place today. The is built on a 'building block' concept which allows it to be highly flexible for many different uses and could simultaneously control up to 63 tape drives—very useful for large databases of information.
For many business users, quick access to this huge storage capability outweighed its relatively slow processing speed. Customers included US military as well as industry. Its task was to detect incoming Soviet bombers and direct interceptor aircraft to destroy them. Operators directed actions by touching a light gun to the SAGE airspace display. Its large scope intrigued early hackers at MIT, who wrote the first computerized video game, SpaceWar! More than 50 PDP-1s were sold. It was sold exclusively in Japan, but could process alphabetic and Japanese kana characters.
Only about thirty NEACs were sold. It managed Japan's first on-line, real-time reservation system for Kinki Nippon Railways in The last one was decommissioned in At the top of the line was the Model , also known as "Stretch. The mainframe, the first in the series, replaces earlier vacuum tube technology with smaller, more reliable transistors. By the mids, nearly half of all computers in the world were IBM s. Minuteman missiles use transistorized computers to continuously calculate their position in flight. The computer had to be rugged and fast, with advanced circuit design and reliable packaging able to withstand the forces of a missile launch.
When the Minuteman I was decommissioned, some universities received these computers for use by students. The US Navy Tactical Data System uses computers to integrate and display shipboard radar, sonar and communications data. This real-time information system began operating in the early s. System control was provided through the Atlas Supervisor, which some consider to be the first true operating system. The Control Data Corporation CDC performs up to 3 million instructions per second —three times faster than that of its closest competitor, the IBM supercomputer.
The retained the distinction of being the fastest computer in the world until surpassed by its successor, the CDC , in Instead of designing a custom controller, two young engineers from Digital Equipment Corporation DEC -- Gordon Bell and Edson de Castro -- do something unusual: they develop a small, general purpose computer and program it to do the job.
A later version of that machine became the PDP-8, the first commercially successful minicomputer.
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Because of its speed, small size, and reasonable cost, the PDP-8 was sold by the thousands to manufacturing plants, small businesses, and scientific laboratories around the world. At the same press conference, IBM also announced 40 completely new peripherals for the new family. Operational by , it was not the first computerized reservation system, but it was well publicized and became very influential.
It was the world's first commercial bit minicomputer and systems were sold. This printing programmable calculator was made from discrete transistors and an acoustic delay-line memory. The Programma could do addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, as well as calculate square roots. It was developed as a versatile instrument controller for HP's growing family of programmable test and measurement products. It interfaced with a wide number of standard laboratory instruments, allowing customers to computerize their instrument systems.
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The A also marked HP's first use of integrated circuits in a commercial product. A year later, it steered Apollo 11 to the lunar surface. Astronauts communicated with the computer by punching two-digit codes into the display and keyboard unit DSKY. The AGC was one of the earliest uses of integrated circuits, and used core memory, as well as read-only magnetic rope memory. The astronauts were responsible for entering more than 10, commands into the AGC for each trip between Earth and the Moon.
The Nova line of computers continued through the s, and influenced later systems like the Xerox Alto and Apple 1. Designed by John V. Blankenbaker using standard medium-- and small-scale integrated circuits, the Kenbak-1 relied on switches for input and lights for output from its byte memory.
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