In about 1966 I asked Professor Kilburn, why is it whenever I open a computer science textbook I get the
American origins of computers but the Brits are nowhere? So Tom took his pipe out of his mouth
and said those who need to know do know What was special about the Baby was that
such a computer can be used for a wide variety, perhaps almost
an infinite variety of problems It was an engineering testbed to test out the reliability of
a memory invention The central problem of the computer was recognised to be the
problem of storage and so the problem was quite simply brought to my notice Cathode ray tubes were used widely during the
second world war for radar purposes It’s a way of displaying electronic
signals on a screen that you can see In a Williams and Kilburn storage tube each little element of the screen was excited by the electrons
and became charged and each area of stored charge was made to
represent a binary digit, a 1 or a 0 F.C. was a member of the telecommunication
research establishment which was called TRE At the end of the war he was offered a
post at Manchester university and he accepted with enthusiasm and he took one of his chaps, Tom Kilburn
and also asked for other bright young men, so I was the next one It was a very exciting time, there were a very small number of people who
worked together very closely indeed Tom Kilburn worked on the CRT memory and in about a year
he’d actually moved from one bit of storage to one thousand to two thousand
bits of storage In December ’47 what had arrived was a memory which could show
static pictures now what we needed to check was
that those pictures could actually change, be recorded properly, and do that
at electronic speeds. That’s really why the Baby was built It consisted of 6 ft 6″ high post office racks, 23 inches wide all round the laboratory It was just a simple room It had no air conditioning so we always
had windows open and things in those days, you know, to keep the temperature sensible This was the centre of Manchester
and in with the fresh air came the dirt Tom and I wore lab coats a long coat down to your mid-thighs or knees We avoided electric shocks by the
classic artifice of keeping one hand in your pocket all the
time and never to touch anything with both hands at once We had a couple of technical staff
who did did the actual building One of the best wiremen we had was Ida Fitzgerald I think was her surname She delivered the chassis wired to our diagram and we would look at it and say oh dear, I
didn’t mean to do that and we would proceed to alter Ida’s neat wiring Tom Kilburn and Geoff Tootill had
been struggling for some days The machine kept failing, perhaps it was a
wiring error or some soldered joint had failed and then one day it all held together and
worked not just once but twice but three times and they realised we’ve made it Finally when we pressed the start button it set off on this usual dance of death and then suddenly it stopped and there in the expected line was the expected answer so we’d built a computing machine We went out to lunch in the canteen as
usual, and we were actually having lunch instead of having brought in sandwiches, that
was the way we celebrated What was needed now was to develop both
the programming side and the arithmetic side to develop
this universal machine The Baby was then expanded over the next
18 months to create the Manchester University Mark 1
computer. It was made about three times bigger, it had a lot
more store and so on By then, as far as the engineers were concerned,
the Baby computer was old hat There’s nothing left at all of the Baby or the expanded Baby In fact the racks that the Baby and the
expanded Baby were built on were used for the next machine that we built In 1994 I realised that in four years time it
would be the 50th anniversary of the Baby computer. I put together a
proposal as to how we could build a replica of that original machine Tom Kilburn and I both vetted it
and approved it and as we said to each other when we
saw it, oh this is all wrong of course, it’s nice and clean We completed the replica build
and re-enacted the running of the world’s first program They operated the switches, the program ran,
they stood back, watched it on the display tube, saw the answer was correct
and then turned away and grinned at the audience, as if to say
there we can do it again Normally the people who did
the original work tend to fade into obscurity In England it’s scientists and theoreticians
who tend to get the glory It’s good that we remember the
contribution of the electronic engineers to the information age, to the
second industrial revolution if you like Manchester University now has a
Tom Kilburn building which in fact contains two laboratories
known as the Tootill laboratories Computers are everywhere today in places unimaginable to the pioneers The Baby started off with a thousand
bits of storage and now there’s so much storage everywhere, you know a million million million amount of storage, that in my terms
is science fiction How do you foresee the development of computers
over the next decade? I’m not really interested in computers,
I made one and I thought one out of one was a good score
so I didn’t make any more

Manchester Baby: world’s first stored program computer
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78 thoughts on “Manchester Baby: world’s first stored program computer

  • June 21, 2013 at 11:32 am
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    I did my computer science degree at Manchester and was always aware of the technical heritage around me. The department was decorated with bits of experimental hardware from Manchester's illustrious past.

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  • June 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm
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    Beautiful. These people aren't -like- heroes, they -are- heroes.

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  • June 21, 2013 at 5:11 pm
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    thanks

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  • June 22, 2013 at 1:38 am
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    Great video, thanks

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  • June 22, 2013 at 10:45 am
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    Proud to be a graduate from Manchester Uni computing.

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  • June 23, 2013 at 2:44 pm
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    This is to me far more fascinating than the production and development of nano technology to be found at microprocessor fabs. These people are the true fathers of computers, along with some other great minds later in the 60/70s, such as Noyce and Moore.

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  • June 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm
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    Thank you for making this video. It's really interesting to see how all of this started.

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  • June 25, 2013 at 11:46 am
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    In the UK next week ? See the modern history of computing in action with a range of vintage and modern computers on display and running.

    10am-4pm, Friday 5th and Saturday 6th July 2013, at the University of Salford MediaCityUK campus, MediaCityUK, England, M50 2EQ

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  • June 25, 2013 at 3:29 pm
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    ui Admirable

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  • June 25, 2013 at 5:29 pm
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    Can't belive how much we achieved in such a short time
    Science is amazing

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  • October 14, 2013 at 9:05 pm
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    This is best gaming computer in the world!

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  • December 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm
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    Thousand thanks to them for the creation of such a great device!

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  • January 11, 2014 at 2:02 am
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    It'd be funny to see them playing Crysis 3  on it later that day. 😀

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  • February 3, 2014 at 9:20 am
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    even my laptop is better than that massive ass 😛

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  • February 13, 2014 at 10:58 pm
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    Can this computer run minecraft on highest graphics?

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  • February 28, 2014 at 4:47 pm
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    Interesting!!!

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  • March 9, 2014 at 12:38 pm
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    Still better than Windows Vista!

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  • March 27, 2014 at 4:48 pm
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    I love that line .

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  • March 29, 2014 at 12:10 am
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    "those who need to know do know"

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  • March 30, 2014 at 11:20 pm
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    Is it weird that I can sit and watch these videos multiple times?

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  • April 4, 2014 at 5:56 am
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    That baby computer is too much problems The bank card sized computer is never problem. 😉

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  • May 11, 2014 at 1:28 am
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    bagus sekali

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  • June 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm
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    That's a giant CPU……. more bigger than Processor in minecraft that made of giant redstone contraption!

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  • July 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm
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    Love the video and the computer.

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  • August 8, 2014 at 6:49 am
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    great baby..

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  • August 29, 2014 at 5:16 pm
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    I saw this today at MOSI, loved it. Not as tidy as the EDSAC rebuild, but served a different purpose.

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  • September 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm
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    i love william (not gay) cuz i fukin love computers

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  • November 28, 2014 at 10:35 pm
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     "Tʜᴏsᴇ ᴡʜᴏ ɴᴇᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ᴅᴏ ᴋɴᴏᴡ" Pʀᴏғᴇssᴏʀ Tᴏᴍ Kɪʟʙᴜʀɴ  {ᴘᴜᴛ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ɪɴ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴘɪᴘᴇ ᴀɴᴅ sᴍᴏᴋᴇ ɪᴛ}

    Reply
  • December 31, 2014 at 10:44 pm
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    But can it run one of my cell phone app

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  • January 9, 2015 at 12:14 pm
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    Does it support 4K ?

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  • January 26, 2015 at 11:06 am
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    I wonder what my 64gig phone would cost back then?

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  • February 27, 2015 at 3:05 pm
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    This video makes me cry on their struggle you did great…

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  • March 1, 2015 at 2:16 pm
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    Excellent, very well done. 🙂

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  • April 2, 2015 at 9:01 pm
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    Im friggin 1 and my iq is 2000 thats why 1 can type hhehhehehwheh

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  • May 2, 2015 at 10:32 am
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    but can it run crysis ?

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  • May 12, 2015 at 4:22 pm
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    How basically a few handful of smart people change the course of history. Its absolutely amazing.

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  • June 25, 2015 at 6:01 pm
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    Here is the invention of the earliest computer memory. At 5:43 and 5:48 there are close ups of the computer display – a cathode ray tube, similar to Radar displays – showing bits lit up with gaps in between. This display existed first. It was realised that the image of the dot on the phosphorescent screen persisted for a distinct period, longer than the electronic cycling of the machine. So if the charge wells of a CRT screen, caused by the electron beam, could be picked up, the values could be made to persist into the next cycle, allowing the computer to "remember" binary values. At 6:40 you see how this was achieved in the unit labelled STORE. In this unit is the same circular CRT screen as for display (also shown if you start two seconds earlier at 6:38), but this one is covered with a wire mesh which "read" the dots sent to the screen and refreshed the memory values. Possibly the mesh is a modern adaptation created for greater reliability, I believe originally it was a solid metal plate.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 8:27 pm
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    Actually, a German by the name of Konrad Zuse is credited with inventing the first modern computer. There were lots of people who added to the leaps computers have taken, but like usual, Americans and the British try to rewrite history and take credit for everything.

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  • November 24, 2015 at 5:47 pm
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    Can this run fallout 4, on max settings??

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  • January 23, 2016 at 3:47 pm
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    How many people have been less than a metre away from baby

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  • March 3, 2016 at 8:12 pm
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    There's one before that

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  • March 6, 2016 at 10:47 pm
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    alright now all you have to do is put the computer into a microchip add 50 more and you got yourself a phone

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  • March 16, 2016 at 4:36 am
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    1 bit = 8 Bytes. Bits are usually notated for memory storage, bytes are usually denoted for transfer speed. In case someone wanted to know! 😉

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  • May 30, 2016 at 1:49 am
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    can it run doom (1993) well?

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  • June 9, 2016 at 8:36 pm
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    Want to see a computer display that WE ARE IN? see my facebook and g+ Yes we are nothing but a 3D projection of pixels.

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  • June 10, 2016 at 5:21 pm
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    All of this is wrong the first computer was made in 1940 and was invented by Alan Turing. It was used in the war to break enigma and they did!

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  • June 12, 2016 at 10:13 am
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    Think if he have this big gaming computer with 1000 titan x graphic. Cards and 100 intel xeon processors

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  • September 26, 2016 at 2:22 am
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    So i assume this cannot run black ops 2? on highest settings>

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  • September 27, 2016 at 8:20 am
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    as stated in the title This the first STORED PROGRAM computer. it doesn't claim to be the first computer. The von neuman computer or IAS computer developed at princeton university used the same memory used with this one, the Williams tube. it stored a grid of "spots" 32 wide by 32 down becoming the ubiquitious 1032 bits (1k) of storage.
    [from the book by G.Dyson Turings cathederal]

    The work of Turing being very important to all stored program concepts

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  • February 16, 2017 at 7:11 pm
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    Can it run minecraft at 200000000000 fps

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  • May 1, 2017 at 4:54 pm
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    Dragon professional individual marker USA Lucille Green [email protected] Com cast network Home Business Lucille

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  • July 8, 2017 at 11:38 am
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    Can this run witcher 3 on max settings?

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  • July 10, 2017 at 12:56 am
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    Fuck i did make Facebook xD

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  • August 10, 2017 at 11:41 pm
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    can it run battlefield 1 tho?

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  • August 21, 2017 at 3:26 pm
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    can it run minesweeper

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  • September 7, 2017 at 8:54 pm
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    I have been to mosi ( the museum of science and industry) and I saw the baby replica and I have to say the volentiers are amazing I had the chance to talk to one who was taught by one of the men who worked on it thinks like this make you proud to be from Manchester

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  • October 7, 2017 at 11:56 pm
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    how much fps on gta V ?

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  • November 17, 2017 at 9:59 pm
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    El video es muy interesante

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  • December 16, 2017 at 10:34 pm
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    Does the camera looks new

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  • December 27, 2017 at 11:51 am
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    but can it run minesweeper?

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  • January 12, 2018 at 9:08 am
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    Can it run PUBG with max setting and awesome graphics

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  • January 13, 2018 at 8:13 pm
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    6:02 this smile…

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  • April 1, 2018 at 1:06 pm
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    We love nature and science with honesty and happiness with lots of greatings and pride…..

    Reply
  • April 1, 2018 at 1:07 pm
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    We love nature and natural resources for our Earth and geography and …….

    Reply
  • April 27, 2018 at 3:46 pm
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    Ace stuff!

    Reply
  • May 27, 2018 at 1:54 pm
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    How they makes first software for first device without device can anyone tell

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  • July 20, 2018 at 1:41 pm
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    Showcases the pragmatic attitude of the Electronic Engineer. Idea..Design..Prototype..{1..N} × Debug…Finish. But to recreate EXACTLY after decades = an even higher achievement!!

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  • July 24, 2018 at 2:26 am
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    Some comments here shows that some people do not make difference between a calculator and a computer …. someone even claimed that the computer was invented in ancient Greece… Do Egyptians and Chinese agree with that ?

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  • August 8, 2018 at 7:48 pm
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    Respect

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  • August 28, 2018 at 6:51 pm
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    23 inches wide ,that's what she said

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  • September 30, 2018 at 4:12 am
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    1:18 those graphics tho

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  • January 4, 2019 at 4:43 am
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    I was outside that place the other day….

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  • February 11, 2019 at 4:54 pm
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    Can it run crysis

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  • February 15, 2019 at 9:36 pm
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    Salute…….

    Reply
  • May 9, 2019 at 11:49 pm
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    I just love the old “ BIG IRON “ computers!

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  • June 27, 2019 at 10:10 am
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    How foes it work

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  • September 22, 2019 at 2:43 pm
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    Computer is came so far from its took the whole room to fit one computer to nowadays we can fit the powerful computer in our pocket.

    Reply

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