Computer in 1900
hilpert at cs.ubc.ca
Fri Feb 15 14:44:36 CST 2008
Jules Richardson wrote:
> Brent Hilpert wrote:
> > The idea of building such large systems was
> > considered daunting or simply implausible even in the 1940's
> I think the issues there revolved largely around a belief that the end result
> simply wouldn't work to the required spec, rather than it not being possible
> to do at all.
With a (large) digital system what's the difference? It was a concern which did
have to be addressed (with techniques like margin checking, amongst others) to
get useful production/uptime out of the machines. Refer to Will's earlier
mention of probability and statistics.
And that's the 40's, a world away from 1900 or 1910.
> I think something electric is achievable, but I still think that something
> which was largely mechanical in nature (at least for the logic) would have
> been a better bet.
You may be right, even with relays there is the issue of the reliability of
(thousands of) contacts: plating techniques and metal alloys weren't then what
they are now.
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