Original Publication Date: 1993-Sep-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Software Patent Institute
GEOF BOWKER: AUTHOR [+3]
THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.
Copyright ©; 1993 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Through many of the most important developments in computer science took place in Manchester -- the first stored-program computer, commercial applications of computers, compiler design, novel computer architectures, Britain's first and largest computer science department, to name but a few -- very little is known about the story of computing in this city.
Who or what is the hero of this story? Is it the machines themselves that were designed and manufactured here? Tom Kilburn tells us about the origins of the Manchester Mark I, the world's first digital stored-program electronic computer. Simon Lavington provides a masterly account of the varied Manchester computer architectures. Geoff Tweedale describes the Ferranti computers. Yet none of these articles is just about the machines. Tweedale also tells a fascinating organizational tale, as does Richard Giordano: the one looking at computers in industry and the other at the Department of Computer Science at Manchester University. Perhaps the pioneers should be our heroes. Mary Croarken's meticulous research highlights the people involved in the early years at Manchester, and their interactions. P.T. Saunders uncovers another side of the mercurial genius Alan Turing and casts new light on his final work at Manchester.
Or perhaps in some symbolic way, the city of Manchester itself, with its rich industrial and scientific heritage, is our hero. For, as Manchester grew by combining industry and science, computers themselves combine hardheaded engineering with the most intricate mathemati...