Relic Information query matches

Matching on query: Unique id = 5/97, Name = any, Associated machine = any, class = any

Unique id/year of acquisition: 5/97
Name: EDSAC II chassis
EDSAC II chassis
EDSAC II chassis
Dimensions: 690x180x95
Class: computer
Machine: EDSAC II
DW: Dates - used 1956-1965 - that sounds reasonable. This was one unit of the components of EDSAC 2. The machine was made of chassis like which may seem rather peculiar to modern eyes. There was a screw at one end and there was a turn knob at the other and these were physically forced into a plug and socket to make reliable contacts. Reliable contacts were a quite a problem in the days of this computer. The circuits were typically double triodes and the mode of operation was static rather than dynamic, in other words you could run the machine as slowly as you pleased rather than as in EDSAC 1 where you had a clock512 thousand cycles per second. This is one of the control chassis.It's a number 8 and this was used for individual control. The bulk of the machine consisted of 41 identical one bit parts of the arithmetic unit and the chassis for that were twice as long. There were other chassis like this which controlled one bit of the magnetic core memory and the form of construction is such that you can blow air through it sideways to keep it cool in contrast to the EDSAC 1 which relied on natural circulation of air round the valves. The valves are on the top. There were diodes as well, some valves are still in position. They are of slightly smaller size than those used for EDSAC 1 and underneath all the other components existed and air was blown to keep those parts cool.
Q: What was the design team for the second EDSAC?
DW: The design team consisted of probably Bill Renwick, Maurice Wilkes, myself and John Stringer plus technicians to help. It was a parallel computer as opposed to a serial computer and I think it was the first in England to use magnetic cores for memory and we co-operated with Mullard and they formed a production line for us and others, and so we initiated the production of ferrite cores in England.
Q: Was it built here in Cambridge?
DW: The entire machine was built in Cambridge. There were various other parts of it - it did in fact have what is now called a ROM of 768 words of 40 bits which catered for all simple needs and the store was originally 1024 words of 40 bits but it was extended during its life by the addition of 16000 words of 40 bits. Very small numbers by todays standards. A tape reader was developed for EDSAC 2 which is faster than the photo electric ones on EDSAC 1 which by then went about 40 characters a second (cross reference - the photo electric reader).
See also: 36/97
See also: 50/97
See also: 68/99

Number of matches = 1 Copyright University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, 1999. All rights reserved.