von Neumann documentary clip

Brent Hilpert hilpert at cs.ubc.ca
Fri Feb 27 16:57:20 CST 2015

On 2015-Feb-27, at 1:15 PM, Evan Koblentz wrote:

> >> The authors of the articles carefully avoid declarations of ENIAC as a stored-program machine.
> I interpret is differently. What they're doing is observing that "stored program" then vs. now could mean different things.

Which is why they're avoiding making a "stored-program" declaration in regards to the ENIAC.
Note also, as they present, "stored-program" as a phrase is itself post-ENIAC.

> >>>> John v.N. showed up after this, wrote down what he learned there, and sat back while everyone started calling it the "von Neumann architecture".
> >> Von Neumann was around the project years before the 46-48 modifications. He produced the Draft Report on the EDVAC - from which those modifications were conceptually derived - in 1945.
> What I meant is he got there after Mauchly & Eckert were already thinking about such things.

So M&E, or their proponents, claim.

You should have said what you meant then.

Earlier, I said:
>> Fuel for the eternal fire: Goldstine seems to be pretty definite in attributing the stored-program concept to Johnny.

and you replied:
> Prominent science historian Tom Haigh recently led a team of researchers to get to the bottom of this.

The articles do not in any way get to the bottom of this, they do not address the origins of the stored-program concept, nor do they contradict or diminish von Neumann's place or influence in the stored-program matter.

(And to be clear, I'm not disagreeing with the articles, they were very informative.)

I know you like to support the ENIAC camp, Evan, but from what I see, you're not helping it.

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