[vcf-midatlantic] Oh noes, wikipedia might be wrong :-0

Dave Wade dave.g4ugm at gmail.com
Tue Feb 11 19:31:20 EST 2020


> -----Original Message-----
> From: vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic-bounces at lists.vcfed.org> On Behalf
> Of Jeffrey Jonas via vcf-midatlantic
> Sent: 11 February 2020 23:59
> To: vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org
> Cc: Jeffrey Jonas <jeffrey.scott.jonas at gmail.com>
> Subject: [vcf-midatlantic] Oh noes, wikipedia might be wrong :-0
> 
> I was looking up the "first" 32 bit CPU chip.
> Ummm, 1980 is before 1982
> 
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_FOCUS
> The Hewlett-Packard FOCUS microprocessor, launched in 1982, was the first
> commercial, single chip, fully 32-bit microprocessor available on the market.
> [I guess "fully 32 bit" is the key phrase: 32 bit external interface?]
> 
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_68000
> The original MC68000 was fabricated using an HMOS process with a 3.5 um
> feature size.
> Formally introduced in September 1979,
> initial samples were released in February 1980, with production chips
> available over the counter in November.
> 
> Once again, "Who Was First" is a vague and dangerous question.
> I'd love to see a "Who's On First" variation about "first" computers, with
> ENIAC on first :-)

Depends on your definition.  Ever one wants to be first...

I believe that :-

ENIAC was the first to run a modern program, but only from Punch Cards or by re-purposing the parameter switches, so ROM. 
The Manchester Baby was the first machine to run a program from electronic storage, so RAM but it didn't have enough to be useful.  
Cambridge claim their machine was the first to offer a regular computing service.
CSIRAC was the first in the southern hemisphere....

That period from 1948-1952 was really when so much happened........
... but what was needed was reliable robust RAM. From talking to people who were around at the time neither of the technologies, 
That is Williams Tubes or Mercury Delay lines delivered the performance or reliability you needed. For that we needed core....
... so was the IBM 704 the first really usable machine....

> 
> I agree with defining a focus for the CPU exhibit.
> Certainly the 8 bit processors are a natural grouping.
> Or just the processors of the 70s:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microprocessor_chronology

Dave



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