EDSAC


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EDSAC

(Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator) Developed by Maurice Wilkes at Cambridge University in England and completed in 1949, it was one of the first stored program computers and one of the first to use binary digits. Its memory was initially 512 36-bit words of liquid mercury delay lines, and its input and output were provided by paper tape. The EDSAC could do about 700 additions per second and 200 multiplications per second. It was in routine use at the university until 1958. See delay line memory.


The EDSAC
Using liquid mercury memory, the EDSAC could perform a mind-boggling 700 additions per second. It was one of the first computers to perform calculations in binary. (Image courtesy of Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge,www.cl.cam.ac.uk)
References in periodicals archive ?
EDSAC stands for Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator -- a machine that was designed to help mathematicians and scientists do complex calculations quickly.
EDSAC was built by a team led by Sir Maurice Wilkes, a professor at University of Cambridge in U.K.
The EDSAC team is rebuilding the first computer using these earliest computing elements -- the vacuum tubes.
The Edsac is comprised of more than 3,000 valves held on 140 separate shelves.
The springs and coils required to build Edsac are no longer carried by modern day component manufacturers.
The small amount of original Edsac parts which survive today, including parts of the chassis, are being recreated in digital design programs before being recreated by manufacturers.
"Edsac was the first to go into regular service to help the people Sir Maurice saw in Cambridge, researchers struggling with computation using desk calculators," the BBC quoted Dr David Hartley, chairman of the CCS, as saying.
Ignoring the rarefied allusion to the 1950s-era EDSAC I, he provides a footnote that explains that "E n F = Branch to instruction at n if accumulator = 0 else perform next instruction." Aren't you glad he told us that?
While there in 1956 I wrote my first computer program; it was on the EDSAC. Of course EDSAC made history.
Maurice Wilkes, developer of EDSAC, was recognized for his pioneering contributions.