Usually components from old computers are considered useless junk and simply discarded. But there are times when an old piece turns into a real rarity.
So it was in this case, in the US, where it was found the item from EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Computer) – the computer, which was built at Cambridge University (UK) in 1949. The creation of this computational monster that included 3,000 vacuum tubes, it took almost two years. The machine is 20 square meters. meters, consume 12 kW and has a high capacity for the time 15 000 operations per second. It consisted of 12 uprights 14 in each chassis. EDSAC functioned until 1953, when it was replaced by a more advanced EDSAC-2.
EDSAC was the world’s first computer with a Stored Program. Engineers are no longer required to engage a plurality of switching toggle switches and wires in order to get the computer to make the necessary calculations. This greatly simplified operation, which allowed the use EDSAC glad to solve a scientific question.
However, after the creation of a more perfect device obsolete computers simply dismantled for parts and sold them at auction, which is called “for parts”. Then no one could imagine that within a few decades, computers achieved a fantastic performance and the first devices will be remembered as the unique museum exhibits.
So find some Robert Little of Pennsylvania, USA is truly unique. In 1969, he received it from the chassis EDSAC from the hands of the scientist Robert Clark, who bought one of the racks of computers with the intention to turn it into a bookshelf. For several decades, the item lying in the barn Little, rust, and generally lost “marketability.” But all this is fixable.
Finding yourself in a long-forgotten curiosity, Little contacted a group of scientists who are now engaged in the restoration of EDSAC, also by coincidence detection circuit half a century ago. So the reconstruction of the famous computer will be used one historical detail.
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