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One of the Original Computers Turns 53

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posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 01:48 PM
Today is the 53rd birthday of the UNIVAC

A little bit of history
In 1946 J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly started a company whose goal was to release the first computer to the commercial world. Though they took awhile to build this was considered the first mass produced computer. The first of 46 Univac I computers was delivered to the U.S. Census Bureau in 1951.

Eckert and Mauchly had been the principal designers of the ENIAC computer.

Remington Rand provided the money to finish the UNIVAC and his firm took over manufacturing of this giant.

The UNIVAC had the ability to store the certain values in memory. Ths allowed branched program flow in and out of subroutines.

The CBS television and radio networks used their Univac to predict the outcome of the 1952 presidential election. CBS television announcers praised the UNIVAC highly, pointing out that while it had produced an accurate prediction, they had been afraid to believe it.

Source URLs:

For those of you who may still program on this legend here are some tips and tricks:

[EDIT]: Just joking about "those who may still work on this legend." You'd need a factory putting out thousands of tubes per week to keep this thing running.

[edit on 6/14/2004 by titian]

posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 10:27 PM
That is ne gigantic computer!! Wow! Thats big. Wonder how much energy it used...

posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 11:10 PM
Now that’s what i call a computer with staying power
. We all have these little comps but wouldn’t it be great to have computer that makes you look like you’re out of a sci-fi film.

All joke aside what a great achievement in history they made in constructing that thing that we all benefit from today in some direct or indirect way. Happy birthday big fella and thanks

posted on Jun, 15 2004 @ 12:26 AM
Came a long way from the counting machine...It's nice to think of the family tree of computers, that would be an interesting resource.

posted on Jun, 15 2004 @ 01:46 AM
It's mind boggling, really.
I remember being told that at my college, they (back in the seventies) had four-function calculators recessed into the desks in calculus/diffeq classes. It was to keep students from stealing these three/four hundred dollar adding/dividing/subtracting/multiplying machines.

Before this, though, even ENIAC - which took up literally a floor of a building - could complete only very minor functions. The calculator watch you're wearing? Yeah, that has more computing power than thte entire lower floor of MIT in the 1940s.
I think we're seeing a real telescoping of technology. There's a name for that relationship, between time and's supposedly growing at what's resembling an exponential rate...

I have Handspring Visor that has a scientific function. It can do logarithsm, exponants, variables of e, etc. And it's about .4 inches thick.
Wild stuff.

posted on Jun, 16 2004 @ 03:28 AM
Moore's law states that every 18 months the amount transistors inside of microprocessors will double.

Even the developments in compute technology in my lifetime have amazed me, and I'm only 17. I remember having to use Apple II's back in elementary school, the only way to actually run a program on one of those was to boot it from a 5.25 inch floppy disk. The first computer I ever owned had a 386 processor, 4mb of EDO RAM, a 280mb hard drive, 1mb video card, and ran Windows 3.1. It seems hard for me to believe now that I used to consider that machine an awesome piece of hardware. Right now I'm running an Athlon XP processor overclocked to 2.2ghz (equivalent to a 3.2ghz pentium 4), 512mb of 400mhz DDR-SDRAM, and 80gb and a 40gb hard drive, and a 128mb Radeon 9600 Pro video card. Despite how nice this computer seems now, it blows my mind when I think about how obsolete it will be in another year or two. Anymore, I'm building a new computer every year just to keep up with the latest technology...

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