Physical production of a replica of EDSAC, aka the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator, has at last begun at The National Museum of Computing, located at World War II crypto centre Bletchley Park - site of serious 'Secret Stuff'.. EDSAC is an early computer originally put together at Cambridge University in the late 1940s.
The initial work on the replica focused on punching out 20 chassis units based on the three that survive from the original EDSAC’s 140, each home to a selection of the computer’s 3,000-odd thermionic valves. These helped it process up to 650 instructions per second, not many by today’s standards, but two orders of magnitude more than the electromechanical computers that preceded it.
“Over the past year we have researched EDSAC’s design and original construction, so this week marks the exciting transition from research to production,” said Andrew Herbert, the EDSAC reconstruction project lead. “With this important step accomplished we are confident that we can complete the daunting task of replicating EDSAC as it was in 1949."