The Manchester Mark 1 was one of the earliest stored-program computers,
developed at the Victoria University of Manchester from the Small-Scale
Experimental Machine. Work began in August 1948, and the first version
was operational by April 1949; a program written to search for Mersenne
primes ran error-free for nine hours on the night of 16/17 June 1949.
The machine's successful operation was widely reported in the British
press, which used the phrase "electronic brain" in describing it to
their readers. The Mark 1 was initially developed to provide a
computing resource within the university, to allow researchers to gain
experience in the practical use of computers, but it very quickly also
became a prototype on which the design of Ferranti's commercial version
could be based. Development ceased at the end of 1949, and the machine
was scrapped towards the end of 1950, replaced in February 1951 by a
Ferranti Mark 1, the world's first commercially available
general-purpose computer. The computer is historically significant
because of its pioneering inclusion of index registers, an innovation
which made it easier for a program to read sequentially through an
array of words in memory. Many of the ideas behind its design were
incorporated in subsequent commercial products such as the IBM 701 and
702. The chief designers, Frederic C. Williams and Tom Kilburn,
concluded from their experiences with the Mark 1 that computers would
be used more in scientific roles than in pure mathematics.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
At the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade,
declaring holy war against the Muslims who had occupied the Holy Land
and were attacking the Eastern Roman Empire.
As specified by the Congress of Vienna, the Constitution of the Kingdom
of Poland was signed for the newly recreated Polish state that was
under Russian control.
Swedish chemist and industrialist Alfred Nobel signed his last will and
testament, setting aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel
Prize after his death.
The Soviet space orbiter Mars 2 became the first man-made object to
reach the surface of Mars when it malfunctioned and crashed onto the
French oral and maxillofacial surgeon Bernard Devauchelle performed the
world's first partial face transplant on a living human, replacing
Isabelle Dinoire's face after her Labrador retriever mauled her.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. Any of several short-lived herbs or shrubs of the genus Erysimum
with bright yellow to red flowers.
2. A person who is socially awkward, especially one who does not dance
at a party due to shyness
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Flow in the living moment. — We are always in a process of becoming and
NOTHING is fixed. Have no rigid system in you, and you'll be flexible
to change with the ever changing. OPEN yourelf and flow, my friend.
Flow in the TOTAL OPENESS OF THE LIVING MOMENT. If nothing within you
stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like
water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo.
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