1950 - ERA 1101
The ERA 1101 was the first commercially produced computer. It was built by the Engineering Research Associates of Minneapolis. It's storage device was a 1 million bit magnetic drum, that registered information in magnetic pulses. The US Navy was the first to use the ERA 1101.
The Standards Eastern Automatic Computer was built by the National Bureau of Standards in Washington to test component and systems. It was the first computer to use all-diode logic, as opposed to vacuum tubes. It was also an early stored-program computer. Program information, coded subroutines, and numerical data was stored on magnetic tape in the external storage units.
SWAC (Standards Western Automatic Computer was also built by the National Bureau of Standards, at the Institute for Numerical Analysis in Los Angeles. SWAC was used for computing, not for testing technology.
The two year building project of Pilot ACE was lead by J. H. Wilkinson. The computer used 800 vacuum tubes and took up 12 square feet of floor space. Input and output were achieved through cards. It's delay-line memory size was 352 32 digit words. It's add-time was 1.8 microseconds.
The Whirlwind was a six year long project, but the result was good. It's add- time was only .05 microseconds. Input and output devices included a cathod ray tube, paper tape, and magnetic tape. It's cathode ray tube, and magnetic drum memory size was 2048 16 digit words. The computer took up 3,100 square feet of floor space, and uncluded 4,500 vacuum tubes along with 14,800 diodes. The project was lead by Jay Forrester and Robert Everett
England's first commercial computer, the Lyons Electronic Office, was designed to solve scheduling problems tor the Lyons tea shops. It was modeled after the EDSAC. Because of its sucess, Lyons began manufacturing computers.
A UNIVAC I was borrowed by CBS news to predict the outcome of the presidential elections between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson. Its results from analysing early retearns, was quite different from what the opinion polls had shown. UNIVAC predicted victory for Eisenhower, while opinion polls predicted a landslide win for Stevenson.
The MANIAC at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, along with , the ILLIAC at University of Illinois, the Johnniac at Rand Corp., the SILLIAC in Australia, and others, was a clone of John von Neumann's IAS computer. The IAS's contract with the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, N.J. allowed other research institutes to use the designs.
IBM's first electronic large computer was the 701. Nineteen machines were sold over a three year span to the federal government, and research and aircraft companies. It could perform 17,000 instructions per second.
The IBM 650 magnetic drum calculator was the first mass-produced computer. 450 were sold in one year. Its magnetic data-storage drum allowed faster access to stored material. The drum spun at 12,000 revolutions per minute.
Gordon Teal of Texas Instruments Inc. modified a silicon-based junction transistor, in a way that allowed its price to be lowered to $2.50. A Texas Instruments news release from May 10, 1954, included in the description, "first commercial production of silicon transistors kernel-sized substitutes for vacuum tubes."
TRADIC, made by AT&T Bell Laboratories, was the first fully transistorized computer. At a size of 3 cubic feet, the computer used almost 800 transistors instead of vacuum tubes. Being fully transistorized allowed the computer operate on less than 100 watts of power, which was about twenty times faster than the vacuum tube computers. In this picture, J. H. Felker (on the left) gives instructions through a plug-in unit and J. R. Harris places numbers into the machine by flipping simple switches.
The TX-0 was the first general-purpose, programmable computer built with transistors. It was created by MIT researchers.
Random Access Method Accounting and Control, made by IBM, had a disk file that served as the storage component. This disk file was made of 50 magnetically coated metal platters stacked upon one another. Each platter could hold up to five million bytes of data.
The first integrated circuit, created by Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments, was made up of a silver of geranium with five components linked together by wires. This proved that resistors and capacitors could exist on the same piece of semiconductor material.
Robert Noyce of Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corp. constructed the practical integrated circuit, which allowed conducting channels to be printed directly on the silicon surface.
The Semi-Automatic Ground Environment linked hundreds of radar stations in the United States and Canada. It was the first large-scale computer communications network. Input was entered by touching a light gun to the screen. Its central computer was the AN/FSQ-7, known as Whirlwind II, and developed at MIT. Each computer had 55,000 vacuum tubes, 175 diodes, and 13,000 transistors, and required 1 megawatt of power. The system weighed 113 tons.
The IBM 7030, also known as the "Stretch," was one of the 7000 series made by IBM. These computers were the company's first transistorized computers. Seven IBM 7030s were sold, to scientific users and national labratories. This computer, with 64 bits a word, could complete 1 million instructions per second.
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