Reply to post: Re: A small correction.

Worcestershire's airborne electronics warfare wonderland

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: A small correction.

"The weasel words being used in a number of places are that EDSAC was the first "practical" computer."

The weasel words are more than usually weaselly in this case, because the Manchester Mk 1 was a full scale practical computer and it was in service before EDSAC. Both machines were high tech marvels in their day, both were very useful, and neither of them was fully developed when first put in to service. But Manchester beat Cambridge to the post, if only by a few weeks.

The Manchester Baby was indeed a true stored program electronic general purpose digital computer, but it was built purely to test the technologies intended to power a full scale machine. From what I've read, the main aim was to ensure that the Williams-Kilburn storage tube would work in practice as part of a computing machine, and also to demonstrate that the theoretically functional computing circuitry actually performed as intended, with useful reliability.

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