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January 14, 2011

UK to rebuild EDSAC computer

Rebuild is expected to take three years, and has a budget of £250,000

By CBR Staff Writer

UK’s former code-cracking centre Bletchley Park is all set to rebuild EDSAC, one of the first recognisably modern computers.

UK’s Computer Conservation Society (CCS) has commissioned the Creation of the replica, which was a room-sized behemoth built at Cambridge University, that first ran in 1949.

Edsac (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator) was one of several early British computers that pioneered the practical use of such machines, and the re-build will be carried out before visitors to The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley.

Maurice Wilkes was the architect of the Edsac, which used mercury delay lines for memory, and vacuum tubes for logic, along with punched tape and a teleprinter for input and output respectively.

The rebuild is expected to take three years, and has a budget of some £250,000.

The funding has been raised by a consortium led by entrepreneur Hermann Hauser.

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