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ESSAY
The Comparative Analisis Of The History Of The Computer Science And
The Computer Engineering In The USA And Ukraine.
.
USA.
HOWARD H. AIKEN AND THE COMPUTER
oward Aiken’ s contributions to the development of the computer
-notably the Harvard Mark I (IBM ASSC) machine, and its successor the
Mark II are often excluded from the mainstream history of computers on
two technicalities. The first is that Mark I and Mark II were
electromechanical rather than electronic; the second one is that Aiken
was never convinced that computer programs should be treated as data
in what has come to be known as the von Neumann concept, or the stored
program.
It is not proposed to discuss here the origins and significance of
the stored program. Nor I wish to deal with the related problem of
whether the machines before the stored program were or were not
“computers”. This subject is complicated by the confusion in
actual names given to machines. For example, the ENIAC, which did not
incorporate a stored program, was officially named a computer:
Electronic Numeral Integrator And Computer. But the first
storedprogram machine to be put into regular operation was Maurice
Wiles’ EDSAC: Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator. It
seems to be rather senseless to deny many truly significant
innovations (by H.H.Aiken and by Eckert and Mauchly), which played an
important role in the history of computers, on the arbitrary ground
that they did not incorporate the storedprogram concept. Additionally,
in the case of Aiken, it is significant that there is a current
computer technology that does not incorporate the stored programs and
that is designated as (at least by TEXAS INSTRUMENTS ) as
“Harvard architecture”, though, it should more properly be
called “Aiken architecture”. In this technology the program
is fix and not subject to any alteration save by intent as in some
computers used for telephone switching and in ROM.
OPERATION OF THE ENIAC.
Aiken was a visionary, a man ahead of his times. Grace Hopper and
others remember his prediction in the late 1940s, even before the
vacuum tube had been wholly replaced by the transistor, that the time
would come when a machine even more powerful than the giant machines
of those days could be fitted into a space as small as a shoe box.
Some weeks before his death Aiken had made another prediction. He
pointed out that hardware considerations alone did not give a true
picture of computer costs. As hardware has become cheaper, software
has been apt to get more expensive. And then he gave us his final
prediction: “The time will come”, he said, “when
manufacturers will gave away hardware in order to sell software”.
Time alone will tell whether or not this was his final look ahead into
the future.
9
THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMPUTERS IN THE USA
n the early 1960s, when computers were hulking mainframes that took
up entire rooms, engineers were