Computer History

The evolution of the first recognizably modern computers in the 1940′s and early 1950′s is an epic story of innovation, collaboration, secrecy, and a technological phoenix built from the ashes of World War II. The development of The von Neumann Architecture, from concept, to ultimate practical realization lasted a few years, a decade, or a century depending on how you interpret the facts. The characters, places, and machines, in this story are legend; Babbage, Lovelace and the Analytical engine, Atanasoff’s ABC, Aiken and the Harvard Mk1, Zuse’s Z1 through Z4, Vannevar Bush, John Mauchly, J. Presper Eckert, John von Neumann, the ENIAC and EDVAC. Tommy Flowers the Heath Robinson and Collossus at Bletchley Park. TRE Malvern, Manchester University, the Baby and the Williams-Kilburn tube, Lyons tea shops and the EDSAC at Cambridge and the CSIRAC. My goal is not to catalog these efforts but rather to show the links between them and the web of collaboration that led to the evolution of the first modern computer.

This is the home of the Computer Evolution File. This file attempts to provide a comprehensive graphical representation of the evolution of the modern computer for the period 1934 to 1950. The file is licensed with an attribution, share alike creative commons license. Please feel free to download and make improvements and derivative works. Please send a copy of changes to me and I will share the updates on this page.

foobar @ bigfoot.com

Latest Version:- 0.3 released 2003-12-23
File Size Description
ComputerEvolution_V0.3.txt 70k Dot file for Graphviz
ComputerEvolution_V0.3.png 468k Full size Portable Network Graphics (PNG) file
Computer Evolution

The Meaning of Invention

I ‘ve been trying to understand what it means to invent something and found this site very useful Wright Brothers History: The Tale of the Airplane A Brief Account of the Invention of the Airplane researched, written, and designed by Gary Bradshaw.

This graph really sums it up. You don’t have to be first but you do have to change the Paradigm.


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