who's on first?

From: Roger Merchberger <zmerch_at_northernway.net>
Date: Mon Jun 30 23:31:35 1997

Whilst in a self-induced trance, Ward Griffiths and/or Lisa Rogers happened
to blather:
>On Sun, 29 Jun 1997, Brett wrote:

>That was me. Yes, it might have been _possible_ to build a machine in
>1930, but at that time nobody had made the connection between Babbage's
>ideas and electronics. IIRC, it was John von Neuman who took that fatal
>step, then published it. And then all Hell broke loose, and there is no
>sign of the rift closing within our lifetimes. I _love_ it. With
>respect to the old Chinese curse, we live in interesting times. And we
>have done so since the Harvard Mark I. (Well, there _is_ that rumoured
>German predecessor, but it was never advertised.)

Uh, actually, try October 1939... with the ABC. That's the Atanasoff -
Berry Computer, which is now recognized as the first functional electronic
computer. I posted 2 or 3 URL's for more info on the web, if there's a
searchable archive of this list, check there for my post. If not, I'll look
it up in mine if I still have it.

BTW, you're timeline is still a bit off... IIRC John von Neumann invented
the stored-program concept, didn't he? It was Markus & someone who designed
the first UNIVAC mostly with concepts hijacked from the ABC... methinks it
was in 1972 or so when the U.S. Patent office yanked the patent away from
them and gave it back to Atanasoff & Berry.

Anywho, have fun, y'all!
Roger Merchberger       | If at first you don't succeed,
Programmer, NorthernWay | nuclear warhead disarmament should *not*
zmerch_at_northernway.net  | be your first career choice.
Received on Mon Jun 30 1997 - 23:31:35 BST

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