Selected Historical Computer Designs

Welcome to a gallery of fascinating machine designs!

I want to collect here information on historical firsts and on important machines that are relatively unknown and/or are underappreciated. I am indebted to Dr. Fred Brooks, whose love of computer architecture inspired me in class at UNC, Chapel Hill. It was a privilege to also work as a graduate student assistant for him on early drafts of his architecture text, Computer Architecture: Concepts and Evolution. See his text for a complete history of computer designs.

Please email me if you have comments, additional references on items in the collection, or suggestions for additional items.

The architects behind the machines

List of computer architects

The machines admired by computer architects

List of admired designs

Historical essays



On-line historical resources

Stored Program Concept Attributed to Eckert

Stored Program Concept vs. Modern Code Paradigm

EINAC Evolution

EDVAC Evolution

IAS instruction set

Surveys and Descriptions of Historical Computers

On-line Books


Document Collections

Some interesting patents (under construction)

Selected National Lab computer design projects

Selected university computer design projects

Some notable commercial "failures" that advanced the state-of-the-art

[Mark's homepage] [CPSC homepage] [Clemson Univ. homepage]