The birth of the computer

October 11, 2014 5:19 pm Published by

Historian George Dyson tells stories from the birth of the modern computer — from its 17th-century origins to the hilarious notebooks of some early computer engineers. It takes from the Manhattan Project up till the modern, well more or less, computer.

I’m thinking about something much more important than bombs. I am thinking about computers. – John von Neumann

This is a letter John von Neumann got about his team of operators drank too much tea and used too much sugar. I guess hackers has always been hackers. Hehe.

Letter to Professor John von Neumann about the computer operators consuming too much sugar. Hackers has always been hackers.

I am a little troubled about the tea service in the electronic computer building. Apparently the members of your staff consume several times as much supplies as the same number of people do in Fuld Hall and they have been especially unfair in the matter of sugar.

Sugar and caffeine has always kept people working with computers productive.

Some funny quotes from the logs from the engineers working with the machine:

No use, went home.

Damn – I can be just as stubborn as this thing.

Machine runs fine, code isn’t, only happens when machine is running.

This now is the third different output – I know when I’m licked.

Machine is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

The first computer where built to design hydrogen bombs.

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