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Uploaded on Oct 7, 2014
Recorded: September 9, 1981
In 1949, Professor Dai Edwards of Manchester University began working with Tom Kilburn on the prototype of the Manchester Mark I. The Mark I was arguably the first stored program computer, put into service in April 1949. Professor Edwards covers the evolution of computing devices and technologies of the late 1940s and early 50s. Edwards worked closely with F.C. Williams, developer of the Williams Tube, and he details Williams' work at the University and also points out other significant contributors to Manchester's computer program, including Alan Turing. He discusses Manchester's “problem of memory” and describes the use of the Williams Tube. Edwards outlines the design of the early Manchester computers, starting with the “Baby” machine, followed by the Manchester Mark I, and then the Ferranti commercial computers based off the Manchester University designs. He goes through the methods of programming the Manchester computers and the problems using the machines. The lecture concludes with questions from the audience.