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Groklaw: The Daemon, the GNU and the Penguin--Part 1

Apr 10, 2005, 01:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter H. Salus)

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"While mechanical calculation goes back to the seventeenth century, computation is far more recent. Though first conceived by Charles Babbage in 1823, the computer as we know it needed more than a century to come into being. The first true electro-mechanical computer was Harold Aiken's Mark I (conceived in 1937 and put into operation in 1944) and the first fully electronic machine was Maurice Wilkes' EDSAC (1949).

"The first commercial computer, the IBM 701, wasn't completed until late in 1952. The first production machine was shipped from Poughkeepsie to the IBM headquarters building in Manhattan that December. The second machine was destined for Los Alamos, and production continued in IBM's Poughkeepsie facility through June 1954, when machine 18 was shipped to Lockheed in Burbank. That's rather slow production by our standards, but literally everything was new in the early 1950s..."

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Related Story:
Groklaw: A History of Free and Open Source--Introduction(Mar 28, 2005)