The Computer that Changed the World
A CD-ROM produced by Europress
for the Department of Computer Science, University of Manchester,
to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the
World's First Stored-Program Computer
This CD-ROM should be of interest to anyone who wants to learn about, and/or
have a record of, the events leading up to and following from the "Birth of
the Baby". It has also been produced partly as an educational tool for schools,
as a reference work for libraries, and as a souvenir for the 50th Anniversary
The CD-ROM can be obtained by contacting the
1998 Conference Office.
The CD-ROM includes :
- A straightforward account of the basic story from the invention of
the Cathode Ray Tube store to the Ferranti Mark 1.
- 40 minutes of video clips (with sound), including some archive
footage, a 1998 interview with Tom Kilburn, a tour around the Baby replica
Chris Burton, and Tom and Geoff Tootill "reliving the moment" on the replica.
- A detailed examination of the Manchester Mark 1 in 32 pictures, with
- A simulator for the Baby machine, with a full description of the
order code and how to run programs (i.e. on the Baby, not just the simulator!).
- A picture gallery of 70 pictures from the Department of Computer
Science archives, mostly from the 1946 - 1974 era.
- A short account of the Manchester machines that followed the Mark 1 up to
MU5 (1974), and a piece on contemporary research in the Department.
- A Library, with 5 components, summarised below.
Reference Documents 1947-1951
These include the famous Kilburn Report of December 1947 to TRE on the
store, a log of, and extracts from, the Tootill notebook (covering June
to November 1948), the first chapter of Turing's Programming Manual
(2nd edition, revised R.A. Brooker) for
the Ferranti Mark 1, the letter and two papers in Nature, and the
I.E.E. paper on the S.S.E.M.
(Note that the Kilburn Report blueprints, Tootill Notebook extracts
and I.E.E. Paper diagrams are sometimes quite hard to read.)
Manchester Computing History 1946-1974
This contains the revised edition of Simon Lavington's book "A History
of Manchester Computers", and a long paper on the Atlas Supervisor.
This contains biographies of Williams and Kilburn
(longer than in the "straightforward account"),
written for the CD, plus a significant extract from the Royal Society
Biography of Williams.
The Contribution of the Maths Department
This includes extracts from University Minutes relevant to Newman's Royal
Society Grant, and a piece written for the CD on the contribution of Newman and
Turing to the Baby/Mark 1 project.
This is a set of 9 articles written in the 90's, four specially for the CD,
giving in-depth background to the Baby/Mark 1 story (Contemporary Computers
1946-1951, Programming on the Ferranti Mark 1, the Williams Tube principle,
B-lines), and 5 articles from "Resurrection" : A Gentle Introduction to 1940s
Electronics & The Williams Tube Revisited (Tony Sale), From Cathode Ray Tube to Ferranti Mark 1 (Tom Kilburn),
Memories of the Manchester Mark 1 (Frank Sumner), Early Computers at
Manchester University (edited from an all-day seminar given by Profs. Kilburn,
Edwards, Grimsdale and Morris).
System Requirements: 486-100 PC or higher
(Pentium recommended), CD ROM Drive, 8 Mb RAM, Windows 95, Windows compatible
soundcard and 256 colour display.
Note that the CD-ROM does not use WWW technology.
In terms of the relationship of the CD with this Website : the top-level story
of the Mark 1 is written at a much higher level, but the "pieces written for
the CD" in the Library are similar or identical to pieces on this website
(though these may have been subsequently updated). We have permission to publish
the I.E.E. paper and the Nature papers
on the Website (the latter only for a year), and Chapter 1 of the Turing-Brooker
Manual is already on, but we have no immediate plans to put any more of the
Copyright The University of Manchester 1998, 1999, 2005