Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Google celebrates the Manchester Baby and the birth of computer memory (video)

Google celebrates the Manchester Baby and the birth of computer storage video

As part of its efforts to promote the unsung heroes of computing history, Google is celebrating the Manchester Baby's 65th birthday. Despite the cutesy nickname, the Manchester Small Scale Experimental Machine was the first computer to use electronic memory rather than punchcards for programming, heralding the software revolution. The secret was in the Williams-Kilburn cathode-ray tube, which could store a (then) staggering 128 bytes worth of data. Of course, that's not much by modern standards, but given that the 5-meter machine weighed in at over a ton, we still think it could take your fancy laptop in a bar-room brawl. If you're curious to learn more and hear the immortal quips of Professor F.C. Williams, head on past the break for the video.

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