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One tonne 'Baby' marks its birth

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Sci/Tech

Sixty years ago the "modern computer" was born in a lab in Manchester. The Small Scale Experimental Machine, or "Baby", was the first to contain memory which could store a program.

The room-sized computer's ability to carry out different tasks - without having to be rebuilt - has led some to describe it as the "first modern PC".

Using just 128 bytes of memory, it successfully ran its first set of instructions - to determine the highest factor of a number - on 21 June 1948.

"We were extremely excited," Geoff Tootill, one of the builders of Baby told BBC News.
"We congratulated each other and then went and had lunch in the canteen."

Mr Tootill, and three other surviving members of the Baby team, will be honoured by the University and the British Computer Society at a ceremony in Manchester.

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