The Modern Computer Turns Sixty Today

Ask the trivia question: What was the first computer? Most people would immediately answer: ENIAC. But ENIAC wasn't really the prototype of the modern computer, as it couldn't be reprogrammed to perform different tasks without taking it apart and rewiring it. A much more likely candidate for the first computer that resembles what we think of today when we say "computer" was a British behemoth called "Baby," and it's sixty years old today.

The memory gave programmers a total of 1024 bits, or 128 bytes, to play with. This had to store both the program and all of the data to be crunched. By comparison, a modern 1GB DRAM chip can store around 8 billion bits. However, the size of the memory did not prevent the Manchester University team writing relatively complex programs.

"You can write very sophisticated and interesting programs even with that limitation," said Mr Burton. "They're not efficient, but nobody was talking about efficiency it was about feasibility."


Hmm. I'm not sure, but I don't think 128 bytes would run Vista. Happy Birthday, anyway, Baby.
Via:  BBC
Tags:  mod, computer, XT, COM
Comments
amdcrankitup 6 years ago

 

Charles Babbage (1791-1871), computer pioneer, designed the first automatic computing engines. He invented computers but failed to build them. The first complete Babbage Engine was completed in London in 2002, 153 years after it was designed. Difference Engine No. 2, built faithfully to the original drawings, consists of 8,000 parts, weighs five tons, and measures 11 feet long.

Just an interesting article!

recoveringknowitall 6 years ago

Props on dropin some knowledge yo! lol

That thing is insane lookin... what exactly does it do, do you know?

Super Dave 6 years ago

If that thing is 11 feet long then it must be nearly 10 feet tall, and those look like hand-cranks on either end, too! What a crazy-looking contraption!

amdcrankitup 6 years ago

 If that was their version of a computer back then I would hate to be an accountant!

recoveringknowitall 6 years ago

 Well... that thing does sorta look like a "fangled" meat grinder. lol

Super Dave 6 years ago

[quote user="amdcrankitup"]

 If that was their version of a computer back then I would hate to be an accountant!

[/quote]

Yeah, me too (especially if YOU had to crank the thing)! To overclock it, they could've hooked it to a water wheel!

 

 

ice91785 6 years ago

Wasn't babbage's design partially funded by the military? Something about how it was supposed to help generals calculate angles/distances/wind resistance when it came to artillary......

amdcrankitup 6 years ago

[quote user="ice91785"]

Wasn't babbage's design partially funded by the military? Something about how it was supposed to help generals calculate angles/distances/wind resistance when it came to artillary......

[/quote] 

 He did receive funding  and credit for his work in military ballistics, also for design of mechnical gearing which gave the Royal Navy its superiority for the time and deciphoring cryptic code for the military!

Super Dave 6 years ago

[quote user="amdcrankitup"] He did receive funding  and credit for his work in military ballistics, also for design of mechnical gearing which gave the Royal Navy its superiority for the time and deciphoring cryptic code for the military![/quote]

You've got a lot of knowledge in that noggin, AMD! Are you a history buff?

amdcrankitup 6 years ago

[quote user="Super Dave"]You've got a lot of knowledge in that noggin, AMD! Are you a history buff?[/quote] 

 

Ive always been interested in history but all in all its more curiousity on how things work! How did we get from point A to B.

Most of the time its driven out of necessity, I was in the automotive field for near about 30 yrs as a mechanic and that was before and after computer controll and emission control sytems so I had to relearn things to be competitve and of course make the bucks! So you had your good ole boy auto mechanic and your Auto Technition. I did not want to a mechanic! Curiosty driven my necessity!

amdcrankitup 6 years ago
It was the 1st computer (mechanical computer)machine for calculating and printing mathematical and astronomical tables.
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