Microprocessors and Microcomputers

  • John Watson
Part of the Macmillan Master Series book series (MACMMA)


The first electronic computer to use binary coding was EDVAC, built after the Second World War. It operated on binary numbers up to forty-three digits long, and was able to store, electronically, over 1000 such numbers. It could add, multiply, subtract and divide at the then astounding rate of hundreds of calculations per second. It also used as much power as a small street of houses because it contained literally hundreds of valves. It went wrong once every few minutes of operating time, mainly because of the inherent unreliability of valves and because of the high voltages involved. Needless to say, it was hugely expensive to build and run. It was however the grandfather of modern compact, efficient computers and used the same kind of organisation, even down to magnetic tape as a bulk storage medium.


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Copyright information

© John Richard Watson 1986

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  • John Watson

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