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EDSAC was Cambridge University’s first computer. Designed in the early years after the Second World War in 1947, construction of the machine was completed in 1949. It operated for almost 10 years, and was the first general purpose computer built for other people to use, to solve real problems.

The EDSAC Replica project aims to rebuild an authentic replica, and on Wednesday, which was the centenary of the birth of Sir Maurice Wilkies, widely regarded as the father of British computing, they have unveiled the first working parts of the restored machine.

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The demonstration of working components in the partially reconstructed EDSAC during Wilkes’ centenary celebration on Wednesday included; the clock pulse generator and digit pulse generator, the Half Adder, and address de-coding. Begun in 2011, the project to rebuild EDSAC is not expected to be completed until 2015.

Alasdair Allan

Alasdair Allan is a scientist, author, hacker, tinkerer and co-founder of a startup working on fixing the Internet of Things. He spends much of his time probing current trends in an attempt to determine which technologies are going to define our future.

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