Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Say hi to BINAC
BINAC is the world's first commercial computer ; that is it was actually made commercially and sold.
It was created by a team led by J Presper Eckert and Joseph Mauchley and turned on for the first time in February 1949.
It has 512 words of memory, 32 bits each. Input and Output is in Octal, via paper tape, though there was a hand input device for punching numbers into paper tape.
It has complete redundancy ; it was basically two machines, whose results were compared (it was quite rare for both to work).
I think it hosted the first ever game written for a proper stored program machine, a version of NIM.
They only ever made one ; it was priced at $100,000 and ended up costing $280,000, an astronomical amount in 1951. For this and other reasons, Eckert and Mauchley sold their company to Remington Rand, and it became the division responsible for UNIVAC.