Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"The Baby" at MOSI

The Baby
As part of Making Maths at Manchester we visited the Museum of Science and Industry to see the replica of "The Baby" or Manchester Small Scale Experimental Machine. The first computer to store its program in electronic memory.

We had an entertaining talk by volunteers who had worked with Tom Kilburn on the recreation of his machine, using the same racks from phone exchanges but replacing many of the valves and switches. They commented that the front panel switches, on which the program can be input, were from the radio selector of a Spitfire, so if anyone had a spitfire with a broken switch they were out of luck as all the remaining spares had been bought for this project.