Rebuilding Computer History: First Parts of the EDSAC Replica Unveiled

Computers & Mobile
Rebuilding Computer History: First Parts of the EDSAC Replica Unveiled


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.

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.

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Alasdair Allan is a scientist, author, hacker and tinkerer, who is spending a lot of his time thinking about the Internet of Things. In the past he has mesh networked the Moscone Center, caused a U.S. Senate hearing, and contributed to the detection of what was—at the time—the most distant object yet discovered.

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