Computer Science

Download Alan Turing and His Contemporaries: Building the World's by Martin Campbell-Kelly, Chris Burton, Simon Lavington PDF

By Martin Campbell-Kelly, Chris Burton, Simon Lavington

Mystery wartime tasks in code-breaking, radar and ballistics produced a wealth of rules and applied sciences that kick-started the improvement of electronic desktops. Alan Turing took an early lead at the conception part, besides fellow mathematicians on each side of the Atlantic. this can be the tale of the folk and initiatives that flourished within the post-war interval. via 1955 the pcs produced by way of businesses resembling Ferranti, English electrical, Elliott Brothers and the British Tabulating computing device Co. had all started to seem within the market-place. the knowledge Age was once dawning. prior to the marketplace handed to the americans, for a quick interval Alan Turing and his contemporaries held centre level. Their impact remains to be discernible deep down inside today's and software program.

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Extra resources for Alan Turing and His Contemporaries: Building the World's First Computers

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Technical comparisons are given in more detail in Appendix A. A magnetic drum store was added to the Pilot ACE in 1954. 17 Alan Turing and his contemporaries The Pilot ACE computer at the National Physical Laboratory in 1950. Three of the design team are shown (left to right): G G Alway, E A Newman and J H Wilkinson. ‘DSIR’ stood for Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, the government body responsible for funding the NPL. Much of the Pilot ACE can be seen today at the Science Museum in London.

From 1953 the laboratory organised summer schools in programming for newcomers to the computer scene. Most of the students went on to play important roles in the early academic and industrial institutions of computing. The EDSAC was used by researchers throughout the university. For example, the molecular biologist John Kendrew used EDSAC for the calculations in investigating the 31 Alan Turing and his contemporaries molecular structure of the protein myoglobin for which he won a Nobel Prize. This was a stepping stone towards the discovery of DNA.

There was a need for a cheaper and more Simple representation of a magnetic drum store robust storage technology. One way of providing this was via a magnetic drum store. Electronic pulses can be made to record sequences of binary digits on a magnetic surface. The problem is how to read back these digits at high speeds. If a spinning disk or drum is coated with magnetic material, recording and reading heads can be placed close to the spinning surface, and binary information can be ‘written to’ and ‘read from’ the surface.

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