History of computer part - 5 - Ts Read

Friday, 2 June 2017

History of computer part - 5

Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator

In 1930, at Harvard University, Howard Aiken and Grace Hopper got together and arranged for the IBM to build them a general purpose computer. They called it the Mark I. Now the Mark I was really something: 50 feet long, it had 500 miles of wires and thousands of relays. If a relay broke, it was really hard to find it and fix it. One day, the computer refused to function and much time was spent trying to diagnose the problem. Finally, it Was discovered that a moth was in one of the relays and hence the relay could not close properly. Hooper and Aiken took the moth and pasted it into their daily record diary with this entry. ‘The Mark I was debugged today’. Ever since, when a person makes corrections in his program, after having written it out, we say that he has debugged his program, that is, he has rid it of all its errors. The Mark I was a very good computer and was much in use till 1959. This was the first electromechanical machine.