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Year of the Rabbit

Replica Baby

May - Peter Chamberlin

Multiple tall cabinets with racks of vacuum tubes, dials, switches and what might be an oscilloscope display make up a replica of the 1948 computer Baby, originally built by Manchester University and the precursor to the Manchester Mark 1
I enjoyed visiting the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester this month, where this replica of the 1948 computer "Baby" is on display. The replica is in working order and is regularly demonstrated, although sadly not during our visit. The original Baby was an experimental proof of design built by Manchester University, and after being successful it was developed into the larger Manchester Mark 1. The Manchester Mark 1 was in turn commercialised as the Ferranti Mark 1, which was the first commercially available general purpose stored program computer.
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