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18 votes
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Why did the EDSAC use mercury delay lines?

To quote the wiki: Mercury was used because the acoustic impedance of mercury is almost exactly the same as that of the piezoelectric quartz crystals; this minimized the energy loss and the ...
Alex Hajnal's user avatar
  • 9,350
8 votes
Accepted

Did any computers use automatically-operated mechanical storage as electronically-read-addressable memory

Removable plugboards were a common form of read-only memory which I think fits the criteria. ENIAC plugboards were not removable, but later computers used low cost removable ones. They were adapted ...
mgkrebbs's user avatar
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3 votes

Did any computers use automatically-operated mechanical storage as electronically-read-addressable memory

There are a number of possibilities, though most of them involve stretching the definition of "computer" somewhat: The Zuse Z1, Z2, and Z4 computers used slotted metal strips as memory. Of these, ...
Mark's user avatar
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2 votes

How was EDSAC program code represented on uniselectors?

Partial answer; I'll update this as I find things out. I'm writing this as an answer rather than comments since it's easier to organize this way. This video in the first half has John Sanderson from ...
dave's user avatar
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2 votes

Did any computers use automatically-operated mechanical storage as electronically-read-addressable memory

I think core memory is what you are looking for. You may not think of it as a mechanical solution however it was. Core memory is electrically set and read, the read is destructive so part of the read ...
Rowan Hawkins's user avatar
1 vote

Did any computers use automatically-operated mechanical storage as electronically-read-addressable memory

The Zeus Z1, Zeus Z2, and Zeus Z4 used "mechanical slotted metal strip memory". These were not stored program computers where the program is executed entirely out of main memory; rather, ...
Wayne Conrad's user avatar
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1 vote

Did any computers use automatically-operated mechanical storage as electronically-read-addressable memory

This is an edited and expanded copy of an answer I posted elsewhere; it was pointed out to me that it would be useful information here. EDSAC (operational in 1949) had read-only memory to hold its ...
dave's user avatar
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