Early computer rebuild has won conservation award in Germany

Dr Jochen Viehoff and Johannes Blobel tried to make it easier to programme the Eniac
Dr Jochen Viehoff and Johannes Blobel tried to make it easier to programme the Eniac

BBC – An exhibit that demonstrates what it was like to programme one of the first computers has won an award for the best computer conservation project.

The award-winning interactive project recreates part of Eniac – the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer.

The massive machine built from 18,000 valves and 1,500 relays first ran a program in February 1946.

The exhibit was created at the Heinz Nixdorf Museum Forum (HNF) in Germany.

The award was set up in 2012 to honour the memory of Tony Sale, a British pioneer of computer conservation who spent 15 years recreating the early Colossus computer.

The 2016 winner was created by Dr Jochen Viehoff and Johannes Blobel for the HNF and is built of a simplified model of one small component of Eniac known as the accumulator. The original Eniac filled several rooms and weighed about 27 tonnes.

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