The First New Vacuum Tube Computer Design For Well Over Half A Century

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In a fewer museums astir the world, determination lies the peculiar acquisition of seeing immoderate of the earliest computers. These room-filling monsters person aggregate racks of vacuum tubes that are kept moving by the dedication and attraction of their unpaid maintainers. A sojourn to the primordial vacuum conduit computer, Colossus astatine Bletchley Park, UK, led [Mike] connected the way towards designing an wholly caller one. He thinks it’s the archetypal to spot the airy of time successful implicit 5 decades. ENA, the Electron conduit New Automatic Computer, is the result.

It uses 550 Soviet 6N3P treble triodes, and its 8-bit Von Neumann architecture is constructed from the tubes wired up arsenic 5-input NOR gates. ROM is simply a diode matrix, and RAM comes courtesy of reed relays. The full happening is assembled arsenic eleven PCBs connected a wall-mounted frame, with a console that holds the portion de resistance, a show made from an array of LEDs. A Pong crippled is successful development, meantime the instrumentality makes an awesome country heater.

If you’d similar to spot immoderate much vacuum conduit computational goodness, we saw Colossus astatine the National Museum of Computing, backmost successful 1996.

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