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newb.
25-10-2006, 10:46 AM
am i correct in saying that the first ever computer was built by IBM and its purpose was to break the enigma?

i just need to clarify this.
thanks.

R2x1
25-10-2006, 10:55 AM
Nope, not even warm. (Although IBM's first computer WAS made by IBM . . .):thumbs:

newb.
25-10-2006, 10:59 AM
so, who built the very first computer then?

Pete O'Neil
25-10-2006, 11:00 AM
Depends what you define a computer as?

newb.
25-10-2006, 11:06 AM
the personal computer. or anything really that uses a computer; computer being something that processes and stores information.

Greg
25-10-2006, 11:21 AM
Depends what you define a computer as?That's the moot point. There were many 'computing' devices long before electronics came into it. The furthest back I know about is mechanical computers used in WW2 submarines for calculating angles for firing torpedoes. But I'm pretty certain computing machines were made long before then.

Chris Randal
25-10-2006, 11:24 AM
This gentleman here http://www.thocp.net/biographies/babbage_charles.html is widely regarded as having built the first computer.

Pete O'Neil
25-10-2006, 11:55 AM
That's the moot point. There were many 'computing' devices long before electronics came into it. The furthest back I know about is mechanical computers used in WW2 submarines for calculating angles for firing torpedoes. But I'm pretty certain computing machines were made long before then.
Exactly, your average calculator today proberly has more computational power than most of the early "computers" yet there not refered to as computers. Im sure wikipedia would throw up a individual or device regarded as the first.

Billy T
25-10-2006, 12:06 PM
Colossus (http://www.codesandciphers.org.uk/lorenz/rebuild.htm) was probably the first true electrical and digital computer, beating the US ENIAC by a few years. Its predecessors were mechanical and or analogue.

It is working again after a ground-up rebuild.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

R2x1
25-10-2006, 12:06 PM
Probably the first general purpose computer available for sale, was the Bell Labs Model V (5) in 1946. ($500,000 a copy, delivered.).
IBM's Mark 1, 1943 was not really a computer, 8' tall, 2' deep, and 51' long. 5 tons of it, batteries not included. The peripherals were rather large too. It was not for sale. It was mechanical.
The ENIAC was the first electronic computer but without a stored program, "programming ENIAC was a one-way ticket to the madhouse." It was finished in 1945, and delivered in 1946 The PSU must have been impressive, delivering 174,000 watts.
The Enigma code was "cracked" by an electronic decoder, Colossus, at Bletchley Park, England. It wasn't a computer or a calculator, it scanned and compared code at high speed. First went into operation in 1943.
The first stored program fully electronic computer was the Manchester Mark I, Manchester University, England, June 1948. First useful program, a search for the factors of a number, ran 21-June 1948.

pctek
25-10-2006, 12:14 PM
the personal computer. or anything really that uses a computer; computer being something that processes and stores information.

Steve Wozniack invented the first "personal" computer. There were mainframes and such around but as a small home use PC with a screen and keyboard - he was first.

There was a enthusiast group called the Homebrew club were people played around with "compuyters" that were basically little boxes with switches and falshing lights that gave the result of your calculation. He came up with a screens, keyboards and stuff so you could use them easier.

Google it.

Billy T
25-10-2006, 12:21 PM
The ENIAC was the first electronic computer but without a stored program, "programming ENIAC was a one-way ticket to the madhouse." It was finished in 1945, and delivered in 1946.

The builders (and the restorers) of Colossus would disagree with you there. There was more to Colossus than code comparison, though how much more you need I don't know, it did the job.

Having read the ENIAC story in "From Bits to Bytes" by Herman Lukoff who worked on the design and construction team, in its earliest iterations it was no different to Colossus, except it happened several years later.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

R2x1
25-10-2006, 03:47 PM
This gentleman here http://www.thocp.net/biographies/babbage_charles.html is widely regarded as having built the first computer.

Well, since the Analytical Engine's not built (finished) yet, it may have trouble establishing a build date.

Strommer
25-10-2006, 05:46 PM
The builders (and the restorers) of Colossus would disagree with you there. There was more to Colossus than code comparison, though how much more you need I don't know, it did the job.

Interesting reading from http://www.codesandciphers.org.uk/lorenz/rebuild.htm

The performance of Colossus
Colossus is not a stored-programme computer. It is hard-wired and switch-programmed, just like ENIAC. Because of its parallel nature it is very fast, even by today's standards. ... This avoids any synchronisation problems: whatever the speed of the tape, that's the speed of Colossus. ... Colossus will do up to 100 Boolean calculations simultaneously on each of the five tape channels and across a five character matrix. ... Colossus is so fast and parallel that a modern PC programmed to do the same code-breaking task takes as long as Colossus to achieve a result!

Thomas01
26-10-2006, 09:34 AM
For a really good read on the work that went into Colossus and other intelligence work during the 39-45 war try MOST SECRET WAR by R.V. Jones. This was a best seller in its day. I have read it about 4 times - and now having mentioned it again have just got it down from my book shelf and am going to read it again!
Tom

R2x1
26-10-2006, 02:16 PM
Interesting reading from http://www.codesandciphers.org.uk/lorenz/rebuild.htm

The performance of Colossus
Colossus is not a stored-programme computer. It is hard-wired and switch-programmed, just like ENIAC. Because of its parallel nature it is very fast, even by today's standards. ... This avoids any synchronisation problems: whatever the speed of the tape, that's the speed of Colossus. ... Colossus will do up to 100 Boolean calculations simultaneously on each of the five tape channels and across a five character matrix. ... Colossus is so fast and parallel that a modern PC programmed to do the same code-breaking task takes as long as Colossus to achieve a result!

If the rebuild had involved a casemod to a BRIGHT red box, with extra LED enhanced fans, just imagine how fast it would be now. :nerd:

Billy T
26-10-2006, 02:35 PM
MOST SECRET WAR by R.V. Jones. This was a best seller in its day. Tom
I agree, I've read it several times myself and apart from the fact that Jones was a typical pompous upper crust pommie twit, and it shows through in his writing, (gracious and humble he ain't) he and the team did brilliant work and the story is truly gripping.

My copy was packed away during renovations some years ago and I have been looking for it ever since.

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :thumbs:

R2x1
26-10-2006, 02:41 PM
My copy was packed away during renovations some years ago and I have been looking for it ever since.

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :thumbs:

Time for a defrag ? ? Virtual cupboards are cool :D :D Until you try putting real stuff in 'em.

Graham L
26-10-2006, 04:23 PM
Zuse has been sadly neglected. He had built working computers before WW2.

Steve Wozniak built a home computer, and the Apple company grew from that. He wasn't the first to do that.

You could say that the first "personal computer" was the DEC PDP8. It was commonly "single user", and it was the first computer to sell for less than $10000. That was in 1964. :D

PedalSlammer
26-10-2006, 09:26 PM
The computer was not named after electronics deviced are installed. The first computer I know is a Chinese Abacus, all computers are calculators in the olden days until after a certain century, the computers can store data and play games.

R2x1
26-10-2006, 10:10 PM
Well, the Babylonians had the Abacus before the Chinese, and they merely mechanized a method of moving counters along grooves in the ground. The name comes from the Greek word abakosfor a board or tablet, or earlier from the ancient Hebrew ibeq to wipe the dust. Credible witnesses are hard to find in this part of the world. It was over 6000 years ago anyway, but parts are still available. ;) The first mechanical calculator invented was fairly certainly that of German Professor Wilhelm Stickard in 1623. The slide rule started around the same time. Pascal appears to be the first offer a calculating machine for sale, but it didn't work particularly well, and (since he didn't have the Microsoft marketing juggernaut) people didn't buy it. :groan:

R2x1
27-10-2006, 12:59 AM
No proper computer in the accepted grunt machine sense was made until a magician in Wanganui made the "Doominator" and instantly made everything else obsolete.

Strommer
27-10-2006, 10:36 AM
No proper computer in the accepted grunt machine sense was made until a magician in Wanganui made the "Doominator" and instantly made everything else obsolete.

:D Metla ??? :lol:

PedalSlammer
27-10-2006, 04:30 PM
No proper computer in the accepted grunt machine sense was made until a magician in Wanganui made the "Doominator" and instantly made everything else obsolete.:groan: This is a false fact.

R2x1
27-10-2006, 04:49 PM
Oh Darn.