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Issue No.03 - July-September (2005 vol.27)
pp: 44-60
Christopher P. Burton , The Computer Conservation Society
ABSTRACT
The University of Manchester's Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM), known as the Baby, was rebuilt as a replica to celebrate, in June 1998, the 50th anniversary of the running of the world's first stored program. This article explains the background of the original Baby, and why and how a replica of it was built. The article concludes with some of the lessons learned from the project.
INDEX TERMS
Manchester University, Small-Scale Experimental Machine, Manchester Baby computer, FC Williams, T Kilburn, GC Tootill, replica computer, cathode ray tube storage, CRT memory, first stored program, Mark 1 computer, Computer Conservation Society
CITATION
Christopher P. Burton, "Replicating the Manchester Baby: Motives, Methods, and Messages from the Past", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.27, no. 3, pp. 44-60, July-September 2005, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2005.42
REFERENCES
1. D. Swade, The Cogwheel Brain: Charles Babbage and the Quest to Build the First Computer, Viking, 2001. Also see article by the same author in this issue on the construction of Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2.
2. A.E. Sale, "The Colossus of Bletchley Park— The German Cipher System," The First Computers— History and Architectures, R. Rojas and U. Hashagen, eds., MIT Press, 2000, pp. 351-364. Also see article by the same author in this issue on the Colossus rebuild.
3. S.H. Lavington, A History of Manchester Computers, 2nd ed., The British Computer Society (BCS), 1998.
4. M. Croarken, "The Beginnings of the Manchester Computer Phenomenon: People and Influences," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 15, no. 3, 1993, pp. 9-16.
5. B. Napper, "Computer 50," Univ. of Manchester; http:/www.computer50.org.
6. T. Kilburn, "The University of Manchester Universal High-Speed Digital Computing Machine," Nature, vol. 164, no. 4173, 22 Oct. 1949, pp. 684-687.
7. R.B.E. Napper, "The Manchester Mark 1 Computers," The First Computers— History and Architectures, R. Rojas and U. Hashagen, eds., MIT Press, 2000, pp. 367-377.
8. B.J. Shelburne and C.P. Burton, "Early Programs on the Manchester Mark 1 Prototype," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 20, no. 3, 1998, pp. 4-15.
9. F.C. Williams and T. Kilburn, "A Storage System for Use with Binary-Digital Computing Machines," Proc. IEE, vol. 96, part III, no. 40, March 1949, pp. 81-100.
10. T. Kilburn, A Storage System for Use with Binary-Digital Computing Machines, progress report, Dept. of Electrotechnics, Univ. of Manchester, 1 Dec. 1947.
11. F.C. Williams, T. Kilburn, and G.C. Tootill, "Universal High-Speed Digital Computers: A Small-Scale Experimental Machine," Proc. IEE, vol. 98, part II, no. 61, Feb. 1951, pp. 13-38.
12. An HTML version but with illustrations separated from the text can be found via http:/www.computer50.org. A facsimile of the original in Microsoft Word document format can be downloaded from the Computer Conservation Society's ftp site at ftp://ftp.cs.man.ac.uk/pub/CCS-Archive/misc IEE1.doc.
13. "A Marvel of Our Time— The Memory Machine which Can Solve the Most Complex Mathematical Problems," The Illustrated London News,25 July 1949, pp. 882-883.
14. The programming manual written by C.P. Burton and the simulator by A. Molyneux, a third-year student in the Department of Computer Science, can be downloaded from http://www.computer50.org/mark1/prog98progref1.doc .
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