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Contested Histories: De-Mythologising the Early History of Modern British Computing.

Abstract : A challenge is presented to the usual account of the development of the Manchester Baby which focuses on the contribution made to the project by the topologist M.H.A. (Max) Newman and other members of the Dept. of Mathematics. Based on an extensive re-examination of the primary source material, it is suggested that a very much more significant role was played by mathematicians than is allowed for in the dominant discourse. It is shown that there was a single computer-building project at Manchester in the years immediately following World War II and that it was conceived, led, funded, supplied and staffed by Newman who was supported throughout by his long-time friend P.M.S. (Patrick) Blackett. In the course of the paper three persistent myths, which lend support to the dominant narrative, are identified and debunked.
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David Anderson. Contested Histories: De-Mythologising the Early History of Modern British Computing.. IFIP WG 9.7 International Conference on History of Computing (HC) / Held as Part of World Computer Congress (WCC), Sep 2010, Brisbane, Australia. pp.58-67, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-15199-6_7⟩. ⟨hal-01059593⟩



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