The Machine that Changed the World (1992) BBC

Episode I - Great Brains

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Video Description

Episode I - Great Brains

Commentary by Paul Ceruzzi (Smithsonian Institute) and Doron Swade (Science Museum, London)

What is a computer?

The Need for Tables

People as Computers

Charles Babbage (1791-1871)

The Jacquard Loom -- source of the ideas about punched cards

The Difference Engine

The Analytical Engine

Ada Augusta King, Countess of Lovelace, programmer

Adaptability of Computers to a Variety of Problems

Konrad Zuse (1910-1995)

[Not mentioned in the video, Zuse's machines were designated as the Z1 (1935-38), Z2 (1938), Z3 (1941) and Z4 (1945). The Z4 eventually led to s series of machines built by Siemens Corp.]

The ENIAC -- Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (unveiled 1946)

Built by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert.

University of Pennsylvania

Firing Tables

Herman Goldstine, Army Lieutentant Aberdeen Proving Ground

The Stored Program Concept (1946)

John von Neumann (1903-1957)

Patent Problems

The First Computer Company

The Manchester Machine (1948)

"Freddy" Williams, developer (and developer of the Williams Tube)

EDSAC -- University of Cambridge (1949)

Maurice Wilkes (1913-)


Alan M. Turing (1912-1954), a paper by John M. Kowalik, student in CS 3604


The Turing Test

Donald Michie (1923-)

and one who was missed from the video but who is very much involved in breaking the German Enigma Codes with Alan Turing and Donald Michie during the Second World War, and who was involved in the development of the Manchester Machine, is I. J. Good. Good is a faculty member in our Statistics department here at Virginia Tech! An excellent story on Jack also appeared in the Roanoke Times.

The ENIAC was 50 years old in 1996. The University of Pennsylvania put on a series of events during the year and established a WWW Home Page to keep you abreast of developments. It is intended that this page will also include a simulation of the ENIAC.

Documentary Description

The Machine that Changed the World (1992)

The Machine that Changed the World (1992) is a 5-episode television series on the history of electronic digital computers. It was written and directed by Nancy Linde, and produced by WGBH Television of Boston, Massachusetts, and the British Broadcasting Corporation. Backers included the Association for Computing Machinery, the National Science Foundation, and the UNISYS Corporation.

The first three episodes deal with the history of fully electronic general-purpose digital computers from the ENIAC through desktop microcomputers. The pre-history of such machines is examined in the first episode ("Giant Brains"), and includes a discussion of the contributions of Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing, and others. The fourth episode ("The Thinking Machine") explores the topic of artificial intelligence. The fifth episode ("The World at Your FIngertips") explores the then-newly-emerging worldwide networking of computers. All episodes begin and end with a song by Peter Howell, "Stellae matutinae radius exoritur" ("The morning star's ray arises").

   Episode 1, "Giant Brains" at alternate link
   Episode 2, "Inventing the Future", at alternate link
   Episode 3, "The Paperback Computer", at alternate link
   Episode 4, "The Thinking Machine", at alternate link
   Episode 5, "The World at Your Fingertips", at alternate link


Displaying 1 comment:

will wrote 6 years ago.
want to learn about this

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