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A Trilogy on Errors in the History of Computing

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2 Author(s)

This article identifies published errors and misunderstandings in three areas of the history of computing and provides the results of research intended to correct these errors. The three areas addressed are: (1) awareness of the work of Charles Babbage among the originators of modern computers; (2) the origins of the stored-program concept; (3) the distinction between the MANIAC and the IAS machine. The conclusions reached are: (1) some of the originators of modern computers were indeed aware of the work of Babbage, but some were not; (2) the stored-program concept was an integral part of the EDVAC design, the result of the work of the ENIAC design team; (3) the term MANIAC was properly applied only to the computer designed and built at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, not to the IAS machine.

Published in:

Annals of the History of Computing  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan.-March 1980

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