von Neumann documentary clip

Jon Elson elson at pico-systems.com
Wed Feb 25 23:11:38 CST 2015

On 02/25/2015 08:33 PM, Brent Hilpert wrote:
> Brief clip from a 1966 documentary about von Neumann:
> 	https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po3vwMq_2xA
> Goldstine presenting while standing in front of the IAS machine, which appears to be decommissioned and in storage.
> Fuel for the eternal fire: Goldstine seems to be pretty definite in attributing the stored-program concept to Johnny.
Well, I'm not sure the stored program concept was unique to 
von Neumann, it
was one of those concepts that was entirely ripe at that 
time. Stored program
is meaningless without a decent storage component.  Delay 
lines had a bunch
of problems, Williams tubes were pretty limited, and drums 
were really slow,
but you got more capacity.  And, then, of course, core 
obsoleted all of the
above, but that was well after the stored program concept 
was reality.

But, something that still bears von Neumann's name is the 
concept of a
unified memory for both data and instructions.

The computer in the video clip is the IAS, the cylinders 
along the bottom
are Williams tubes, there's a row down each side of the 
machine.  It is
on display at the Smithsonian.


More information about the cctech mailing list