The centenary of the birth of Sir Maurice Wilkes, widely regarded as the father of British computing, has been celebrated with a demonstration at The National Museum of Computing. The demonstration showed the first working parts of the recreation of EDSAC to be built and displayed.
Here, his son, Anthony Wilkes, recalls family life with his father. "My father was a man of great intellect with a strong practical streak. If I came to him with a scientific or mathematical problem he would elucidate with effortless simplicity. From an early age my two sisters and I were conscious of computers – in a way we were one of the first computer-age families."
EDSAC, considered the world’s first practical general purpose computer, is being replicated by a team of volunteers. At the event, the first components of the EDSAC reconstruction including its internal clock were demonstrated to an audience to mark the celebrations of the centenary of the birth of Sir Maurice Wilkes, widely regarded as the father of British computing.
A team led by Wilkes at the University of Cambridge originally designed the machine in 1947.