It was actually yesterday, June 21st, but sixty years ago, when the first “modern computer” which in this case is defined as a computer that could store it’s own memory, as born i Manchester, England. It’s name was Baby.

The Small Scale Experimental Machine, or “Baby”, was the first to contain memory which could store a program.

The room-sized computer’s ability to carry out different tasks – without having to be rebuilt – has led some to describe it as the “first modern PC”.

Using just 128 bytes of memory, it successfully ran its first set of instructions – to determine the highest factor of a number – on 21 June 1948.

“We were extremely excited,” Geoff Tootill, one of the builders of Baby told BBC News.

“We congratulated each other and then went and had lunch in the canteen.”

Mr Tootill, and three other surviving members of the Baby team, will be honoured by the University and the British Computer Society at a ceremony in Manchester.

bbc

In other news:

A Las Flores, California 18 year old high school student could be in prison until he is 56 years old for hacking/cracking the school’s computer, changing his grades, other student’s grades, and changing his AP scores.

One wonders how you get 38 years of confinement for such a thing? I’m guessing a combination of the Patriot Act and the fact that this student is an immigrant with a terroristic sounding name (Omar). [Source]

The downloads of Firefox 3.0 did indeed produce a World Record. More importantly it mostly works (though not with the new version of Microsoft Hotmail … Microsoft will have to get working on that). Anyway, here’s a study of the qualities of the new relese.

Comments

  1. #1 Matt Platte
    June 22, 2008

    Bytes!? There were bytes in the Summer of ’48? I don’t think so…

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    June 22, 2008

    “The term byte was coined by Dr. Werner Buchholz in July 1956″ (wikipedia)

    I supposed this is a translation. Like, the Dutch did not really buy Manhattan for 24 dollars. It was guilders or something.

  3. #3 yogi-one
    June 23, 2008

    A Las Flores, California 18 year old high school student could be in prison until he is 56 years old for hacking/cracking the school’s computer, changing his grades, other student’s grades, and changing his AP scores..

    Idiots. They need to offer a plea bargain: stay out of jail by working for NSA or DoD. Put his knowledge to good work for the country.

    No wait – hire him to hack Dick Cheney’s emails!

  4. #4 themadlolscientist
    June 23, 2008

    =LOL= My former father-in-law worked at IBM for most of his career. When my ex and I bought our first home computer (a Commode 64!) in 1979 or thereabouts, he made a big show out of telling us about the great day when IBM broke the 2k barrier!