Monday, May 28, 2012

CSIRAC: Australia’s first computer

CSIRAC on display at the Melbourne Museum
This piece of early computing history is close to home (relatively speaking). I was surprised recently to learn that Australian scientists developed their own computer in 1949, the CSIR Mark 1 (later called CSIRAC, the CSIR Automatic Computer). To put this date into perspective the American ENIAC was operational in 1946 and the Manchester  Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM) or "Baby" was operational in 1948, whilst Cambridge's EDSAC wasn't working until 1949. So this makes the Australian machine one of only four computers in the world in 1949.