Computing Pioneer Dies
dave.g4ugm at gmail.com
Fri Nov 10 11:35:32 CST 2017
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brian L. Stuart [mailto:blstuart at bellsouth.net]
> Sent: 10 November 2017 15:45
> To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
> <cctalk at classiccmp.org>; Dave Wade <dave.g4ugm at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: Computing Pioneer Dies
> On Fri, 11/10/17, Dave Wade via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
> > https://www.theguardian.com/global/2017/nov/08/geoff-tootill-obituary
I should point out there is a technical error in the Guardian. The Baby was the first Electronically Stored Program in what today we would call RAM. ENIAC had been configured in stored program mode earlier in the year and had run a program stored in the function switches, e.g. ROM a couple of months before baby. Despite the fact that when running stored programs ENIAC's parallel processing features were not available, it was exclusively in this mode from 1948 onwards. Note both machines are theoretically "Turing Complete" but having only 32 words of 32 bits the Baby was not of any practical use for a further 18 months whilst major surgery was carried out to add extra store and instructions to the machine leading the emergence of the Manchester MK1.
> This raises the question, is there anyone still alive from those first-generation
> projects? I had guessed that at age 101, Harry Husky was the last one still
> alive when he passed away earlier this year. To put a finer point on the
> question, is anyone who was involved with the original designs of the ENIAC,
> the Baby, the EDSAC, the Pilot ACE, the Z1, or the Harvard Mark I still with us?
Whilst I am not sure that any of the designers are still alive, I am sure that there are perhaps one or two who physically worked on the machine still with us.
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