Pioneers Posters & Videos

Posters

Pioneers Posters & Videos Exhibit, New Computer Museum v. 1.5

The Computer Museum hosted a historic series entitled Computer Pioneers, and a series of posters were created as advertisements for that series. The actual physical posters were donated to the New Computer Museum by Brian Silverman, and they hang on the walls of the New Computer Museum and serve as links to the corresponding videos of the lectures on YouTube. There is also a page on The Computer Museum’s site that describes the lecture series and links to the videos. The Computer Museum: Videos

Overview

Here is a two part video on YouTube of a lecture by Gordon Bell that provides an overview of the history covered in the series.

Here is an extremely helpful image from Gordon Bell that shows the relationships among the earliest computers discussed in the series, and it is also hanging in the New Computer Museum. It originally appeared in the booklet authored by Gordon Bell entitled Computer Generations that was published by the Digital Equipment Corporation Museum Project in 1975.

NSF Computer Tree Bell additions 2015

NSF Computer Tree Graphic, Bell Additions (Click to see the picture and use built-in tools to magnify it.)

Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC)

Dr. John Vincent Atanasoff The ABC Machine: Atanasoff-Berry Computer November 11, 1980

Dr. John Vincent Atanasoff The ABC Machine: Atanasoff-Berry Computer November 11, 1980

The Atanasoff-Berry Computer In Operation (Iowa State)

Related sites
The John Vincent Atanasoff Virtual Archive US Federal court says this is the 1st electronic digital computer (Iowa State)
The Man Who Invented the Computer — an Interview with Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Jane Smiley (Todd Miller, SFGate)
Atanasoff-Berry Computer (Computer History Museum)
The ABC of John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry (Georgi Dalakov, History of Computers)
Atanasoff-Berry Computer (Wikipedia)

Zuse (Z1)

Konrad Zuse Z1, Z2, Z3, 1936-1947 March 4, 1981
Charles Babbage, Konrad Zuse and the Computer (Milestones of Science)

Zuse Z1 simulation (Institute of Computer Science, Freie Universität Berlin)
Related sites
Konrad Zuse Biography (Zuse Institute Berlin)
Konrad Zuse Biography (Jürgen Schmidhuber’s Web site)
Konrad Zuse (Computer History Museum)

Bell Labs Relay Computers

Dr. George Stibitz The Bell Labs Relay Computers May 8, 1980

Dr. George Stibitz The Bell Labs Relay Computers May 8, 1980

Related sites
George Stibitz (Computer History Museum)
Relay computers of George Stibitz (Georgi Dalakov, History of Computers)

Colossus

Tom Flowers The Colossus, WWII Code-Breaking Machine October 15, 1981
Tom Flowers The Colossus, WWII Code-Breaking Machine October 15, 1981

Colossus: Creating a Giant

Uncovering Colossus (Brian Randell)

Related sites
Colossus (Computer History Museum)
Colossus computer of Max Newman and Tommy Flowers (Georgi Dalakov, History of Computers)
Lorenz ciphers and the Colossus (Tony Sale)

SSEM

Small-Scale Experimental Machine a.k.a. SSEM or the “Baby”
Dai Edwards on Early Manchester Computers September 9, 1981

Dai Edwards on Early Manchester Computers September 9, 1981

Manchester Baby: world’s first stored program computer

Related sites
Manchester Mark 1 “The Baby” Mark 1 History: World’s first stored-program computer (Brian Napper / Toby Howard, Computer 50)
Manchester Small Scale Experimental Machine aka Baby & The Stored Program (Computer History Museum)
SSEM computer of Frederic Williams and Tom Kilburn (Georgi Dalakov, History of Computers)

ENIAC

John Brainerd Development of the ENIAC Project June 25, 1981
John Brainerd Development of the ENIAC Project June 25, 1981

ENIAC: The First Computer


Related sites
John W. Mauchly and the Development of the ENIAC Computer (University of Pennsylvania)
ENIAC: Celebrating Penn Engineering History (University of Pennsylvania)
ENIAC : Proposal to reconstruct the original ENIAC as a public historical exhibit in Philadelphia
ENIAC Story (Martin H. Weik, Ordnance Ballistic Research Laboratories, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD)
ENIAC (Computer History Museum)
The Minds Behind ENIAC (Computer History Museum)
The ENIAC of John Mauchly and John Eckert (Georgi Dalakov, History of Computers)

The first useful stored-program computer was EDSAC of Cambridge University, built by Maurice Wilkes’ group; Wilkes also invented the micro-programming concept, Wilkes was at the University of Pennsylvania where Eckart, Mauchly and von Neumann worked to conceive the stored program computer, which we now call the von Neumann computer. — Gordon Bell (Computer Generations, Digital Equipment Corporation Museum Project, 1975)

EDSAC

Maurice Wilkes The Birth and Growth of the Digital Computer September 23, 1979
Maurice Wilkes The Birth and Growth of the Digital Computer September 23, 1979

The EDSAC Film, presented by M.V. Wilkes 1951

The EDSAC Simulator (Martin Campbell-Kelly, University of Warwick)

Related sites
Volunteers aid pioneering Edsac computer rebuild (BBC News)
Museum switches on historic computer (BBC News)
EDSAC (The National Museum of Computing)
Maurice V. Wilkes, 2001 Fellow (Computer History Museum)
First draft of a report on the EDVAC (Computer History Museum)
The Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (Computer History Museum)

Bombe

The Turing Bombe in Action – Bletchley Park – 28th July 2012


UNIVAC

Univac1

UNIVAC – Then and Now


See more UNIVAC & UNIVAC I Videos on YouTube…
Related sites
The Univac I Computer Exhibit (The Computer Museum)
UNIVAC Memories (John Walker, Fourmilab)
UNIVAC I (Wikipedia)

Whirlwind

Jay Forrester The Whirlwind Computer June 2, 1980

Whirl1

Jay Forrester The Whirlwind Computer June 2, 1980

Related sites
The Whirlwind Computer (The Computer Museum)
Whirlwind computer of Jay Forrester (Georgi Dalakov, History of Computers)

If we look at the ancestry of the minicomputer, it is clearly MIT’s Whirlwind. These machines and people had a profound effect on DEC. Ken Olsen, Dick Best, George Gerelds and several others of DEC are Whirlwind alumni, and I even wrote a program for it once. The PDP-1 was very much like Lincoln Lab’s TX-0 (one of the earliest transistorized machines), and TX-0 like Whirlwind. Beginning with Whirlwind, we can see four generations of minicomputers. It was operational in 1950 and was packaged in a two-story building. The second, our own PDP-1, was packaged in only four six-foot cabinets. The third generation PDP-8/I occupied about eight cubic feet and in the fourth generation, we have the single board-LSI-11, which is ½ X 8” x 10”, but it also has over ten times the calculating power of Whirlwind. Most important, the price has come down by a factor of nearly 200 in 15 years, which amounts to about 41% compounded per year; that is, every two years the price has halved. This permits new uses of the computer that are in the scale of the application. — Gordon Bell (Computer Generations, Digital Equipment Corporation Museum Project, 1975)

Jan Rajchman’s Memories

Jan Rajchman Memories: 1945-1950 March 7, 1985

This “Memories” poster from The Computer Museum hangs in the New Computer Museum.

TCM_Memories_Poster

Related sites
Birth of the Computer (Computer History Museum)
Memory & Storage (Computer History Museum)
Inventing the Computer (Engineering and Technology History Wiki)
The History of Early Computing Machines, from Ancient Times to 1981 (Vincze Miklós)

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