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The Machine That Changed the World: Episode 1 - Giant Brains
Personaje: BABBAGE, Charles.
Personaje: ECKERT, John Presper.
Personaje: LOVELACE, Ada.
Personaje: MCNULTY MAUCHLY ANTONELLI, Kathleen.
Personaje: TURING, Alan Mathison.

The Machine That Changed the World is a 1992 documentary series on the history of electronic digital computers, from the dawn of the computer in the 1800s to the early 1990s. It was produced by WGBH Television in Boston MA, in cooperation with the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), with support from ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), NSF (National Sciencie Foundation) and UNISYS. The series consists of five episodes.

Episode 1 - Giant Brains.

This episode tells the story of the birth of computers, from Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace in the 1800s to the first working computers of the 1940s.

It begins with a brief introduction to the series, summarizing the impact of computers on every aspect of our lives, attributed to their versatile nature. The history of computing begins with the original definition of "computers", human beings like William Shanks (1812-1882) that calculated numbers by hand. Frustration with human error led Charles Babbage (1791-1871) to develop his difference engine, the first mechanical computer. He later designed the analytical engine, the first general-purpose programmable computer, but it was never finished. Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) assisted Babbage with the design and working out programs for the unbuilt machine, making her the first programmer.

100 years later, German engineer Konrad Zuse (1910-1995) built the Z1, the first functional general-purpose computer, using binary counting with mechanical telephone relays. During World War II, Zuse wanted to switch to vacuum tubes, but Hitler killed the project because it would take too long. At the University of Pennsylvania, John Mauchly (1907-1980) and J. Presper Eckert (1919-1995) built ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic computer, to aid in military calculations. They didn’t finish in time to be useful for the war, but soon after, Eckert and Mauchly started the first commercial computer company. It took years before they brought a computer to market, so a British radar engineer named Freddie Williams (1911-1977) beat them to building the first computer with stored programs, The Manchester Baby (1948). In Cambridge, Maurice Wilkes (1913-2010) built EDSAC (1949), the first practical computer with stored programs.

Alan Turing (1912-1954) imagined greater things for computers beyond calculations, after seeing the Colossus computer break German codes at Bletchley Park. Actor Derek Jacobi, performing as Alan Turing in 'Breaking the Code', elaborates on Turing’s insights into artificial intelligence. Computers can learn, but will they be intelligent?

Interviews:
Paul Ceruzzi (Smithsonian Institute and computer historian),
Doron Swade (London Science Museum),
Konrad Zuse (inventor of the first functional computer and high-level programming language, died 1995),
Kay Mauchly Antonelli (human computer in WWII and ENIAC programmer, died 2006),
Herman Goldstine (ENIAC developer, died 2004),
J. Presper Eckert (co-inventor of ENIAC, died 1995),
Maurice Wilkes (inventor of EDSAC, died 2010),
Donald Michie (codebreaker at Bletchley Park, died 2007).

Note: One who was missed from the video but who is very much involved in breaking the German Enigma Codes with Alan Turing and Donald Michie during the Second World War, and who was involved in the development of The Manchester Baby (1948), is Irving John (Jack) Good (died 2009).

In this episode:
Commentary by Paul Ceruzzi (Smithsonian Institute) and Doron Swade (Science Museum, London).
What is a computer?
The need for tables.
People as computers.
Charles Babbage.
The jacquard loom -- source of the ideas about punched cards.
The difference engine.
The analytical engine.
Ada Augusta King, Countess of Lovelace, programmer.
Adaptability of computers to a variety of problems.
Konrad Zuse.
The ENIAC:Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator, unveiled 1946.
Built by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert.
University of Pennsylvania.
Firing tables.
Kay Mauchly Antonelli, computer and ENIAC programmer.
Herman Goldstine, Army Lieutenant Aberdeen Proving Ground.
The stored program concept, 1946.
John von Neumann.
Patent problems.
The first computer company.
The Manchester Machine, 1948 (aka The Manchester Baby).
"Freddy" Williams, developer (and developer of the Williams Tube).
EDSA, University of Cambridge, 1949.
Maurice Wilkes.
Supercomputers.
Alan M. Turing.
COLOSSUS, 1943.
The Turing Test.
Donald Michie.


Más en ei.cs.vt.edu.

Más en singularityweblog.com.
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