4.0415 Computer Names (1/48)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Thu, 23 Aug 90 21:08:47 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0415. Thursday, 23 Aug 1990.

Date: Thu, 23 AUG 90 20:09:53 GMT
Subject: Computer names.

Following on from recent mailings concerning names of early computers
... here are a few more:

ACE (Automatic Computing Engine) built at the (UK) National Physical Lab.
in the late 40s by English Electric.

COLUSSUS built at Bletchley Park (the UK war-time intelligence/code breaking
centre) in 1943.

DEUCE NPL's 2nd computer (see ACE) also built by English Electric (1955).

EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator) built at the
Cambridge University Mathematical Lab in 1947-49.

EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer) built in Princeton
(?), USA in 1945-47.

ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Calculator) built in the
University of Pennsylvania completed in 1946.

FERUT Nickname for the Ferranti Mark 1 computer sold to the University of
Toronto by BV Bowden in 1951. Bowden (later Lord Bowden) wrote "Faster
Than Thought" a book extolling the praises of computing machines in
1953 - much of the information in this note comes from this book.

LEO (Lyons Electronic Office) built by J Lyons & Co (famous in the UK for
their chain of corner cafes in London!) in the early 50s.

Maniac "The name ... given unofficially to the high-speed machine ...
built in Princeton." (1952). "Alternatively, anyone who has been
making or using a digital computer for more than a few years."
Quotes from "Faster Than Thought".

MERCURY built by Ferranti Ltd. First one installed 1957.

PEGASUS built in large numbers (28!) by Ferranti Ltd. The first was
installed in 1956.

Whirlwind built at MIT. Early 50s. The fastest of its day.

Z3 built in Germany by Konrad Zuse in 1941 (possibly the first).

I do think computer names have gone down hill since the early days!

Research Adviser, Academic Computing Service, The Open University,
Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, United Kingdom.