Concept

Manchester Mark 1

Summary
The Manchester Mark 1 was one of the earliest stored-program computers, developed at the Victoria University of Manchester, England from the Manchester Baby (operational in June 1948). Work began in August 1948, and the first version was operational by April 1949; a program written to search for Mersenne primes ran error-free for nine hours on the night of 16/17 June 1949. The machine's successful operation was widely reported in the British press, which used the phrase "electronic brain" in describing it to their readers. That description provoked a reaction from the head of the University of Manchester's Department of Neurosurgery, the start of a long-running debate as to whether an electronic computer could ever be truly creative. The Mark 1 was to provide a computing resource within the university, to allow researchers to gain experience in the practical use of computers, but it very quickly also became a prototype on which the design of Ferranti's commercial version could be b
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