Friday, March 9, 2012

#Turing's ACE computer (video)

Thanks to Michel Ruiz Tejeida @miruizt for finding this old video about the making of the Pilot ACE computer, which was a prototype build for the ACE designed by Alan Turing. This really puts to rest any arguments that Turing was "just a theoretician," as he left the National Physical Laboratory for Manchester University out of frustration with the slowness of the build of his design. The Pilot ACE was completed in May 1950 and used 800 vacuum tubes, and mercury delay lines for its main memory. Over the next 4 years it was improved and eventually a commercial version called DUECE was sold by the English Electric Company.
    This video was made in 1982 and contains recollections from the development team at NPL  on the construction of the Pilot ACE. The narrators are Dr. J Wilkinson and Mr. M Woodger.