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R > REMINGTON RAND > Univac 1     


Remington Rand
Univac 1

In March 1951, The Eckert and Mauchly Computer Co. of Philadelphia delivered the UNIVAC 1 (Universal Automatic Computer) to the U.S. Census Bureau. The machine was put into service on June 14, 1951. It was retired on October 3, 1963 after 73,000 hours of operation. In the meantime, Remington Rand (now Unisys Corp.) sold 45 UNIVAC 1 machines to U.S. government agencies and private-industry.

Although it was not the first commercial computer (The Ferranti Mark I was delivered a few months earlier), the Univac 1 is considered the first modern digital computer and marked the real beginning of the computer industry. For five years, this was the best large scale computer in use for data processing. Technically, it was the first where the program and data were stored in the same memory space, data and programs were fetched from memory, manipulated in registers, and results returned to memory. Every computer since the Univac 1 has used some variation of that architecture.

The beast was really imposing, It weighted more than 13 tons, held 5200 vacuum tubes and used 125 Kwatts of electricity. A simple addition instruction took about 100 microseconds (about 200,000 times slower than a Pentium III), time for a divide instruction was of 3,600 microseconds. Large magnetic tape units and card puncher/readers were used for data input, storage and output. Results could also be printed on a high-speed printer (600 lines per minute).

The first computer game was created on the Univac. It was called NIM and allowed humans to compete against the machine in a mathematical contest.
In 1952, the Univac also correctly predicted that Eisenhower would win in the Eisenhower-Stevenson presidential race, but the news media decided not to make the prediction public.

Thanks to Andy Davis for the picture.

__________

William F. Steagall reports:
I was a junior engineer at Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corp. My role in designing UNIVAC was small, but I did make a contribution to it. One clarification I would offer is that during the 1952 elections, the program we ran to forecast the victor in the presidential election had Eisenhower as winner as soon as the first few votes came in. Dramatic efforts were made to reduce the prediction of 100 to one for Eisenhower, but we never got the forecast below about 20 to one. We had wonderful fun doing our jobs.

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Wasn''t the first computer built in 1936? I''m not sure

          
Saturday 4th February 2012
computer guy (USA)

The first computer not commercial was the ENIAC

          
Thursday 3rd November 2011
Computer

I''d just like to say, this computer was not the first to store programs and data in the same memory and I would argue not the first modern digital computer. The Small Scale Experimental Machine also known as Baby or The Manchester Mark 1 Prototype came online in 1948. This machine was the worlds first stored program computer and was built with the sole purpose of testing it''s cathode ray tube memory (also making this an earlier computer not to be built to replace a mechanical computer than the Whirlwind). The machine could hold 32 words of 32 bit length and had 7 instructions with subtraction but no addition. The machine had a typewriter for input, a cathode ray tube output, RAM, an accumulator and an accumulator so had all the major components of a modern computer. I help maintain a replica at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester in the UK. We''re currently carrying out repairs on the machine and an interesting offshoot of the current position is we have discovered we can run this valve machine which fills a room off of a regular household plug.

          
Saturday 2nd October 2010
James Sandford (United Kingdom)

 

NAME  Univac 1
MANUFACTURER  Remington Rand
TYPE  Professional Computer
ORIGIN  U.S.A.
YEAR  March 1951
END OF PRODUCTION  Unknown
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  None
KEYBOARD  Binary, control and ASCII keyboards
CPU  Vacuum tubes array
SPEED  1,905 operations per second
RAM  1000 words of 72 bits in delay lines
SIZE / WEIGHT  4,25 (W) x 2,45 (D) x 2,60 (H) meters, floor space: 943 cubic feet / 13.1 tons
BUILT IN MEDIA  Magnetic tapes
PRICE  $750,000 FOB factory.
High-speed line printer: $185,000





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