ORDVAC, early electronic computer

ORDVAC, early electronic computer

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Credit: US ARMY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: ORDVAC (Ordnance Discrete Variable Automatic Computer). Technician working on ORDVAC, an early electronic computer, operational 1952-67. ORDVAC was designed and built by the University of Illinois for the US Army's Ballistics Research Laboratory (BRL) to replace an earlier digital calculator, ENIAC. ORDVAC was one of the first flexible general-purpose machines, and was used to solve ballistics calculations and weapons systems evaluations. By night, the University of Illinois operated it by telephone, making it one of the first computers to be used remotely. The man shown is working on the console, or operating device.

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