items tagged with Atanasoff
Written By: Todd McGreevy
Category: Local News
Kirwan Cox and a crew from EyeSteel Films (www.eyesteelfilms.com) visit Hunter's Club in Rock Island, IL. The Canadians were here to film a portion of a documentary they are producing for the Canadian version of History Channel about John Vincent Atanasoff. Atanasoff testified in the seminal 1970's Rand Sperry patent trial over the rights to the fundamental elements of modern computing. Atanasoff, a mathematician professor from Iowa State in Ames testified that he conceived of the four principles of the modern calculator as it was known at the time.
1. Binary arithmetic 1's and 0's rather than decimal arithmetic.
2. Use regenerative memory to store information.
3. Use logic instead of enumeration of numbers.
4. Use vacuum tubes to count.
Using vacuum tubes meant electrons which became resistors.
The invalidation of Sperry IBM's patent claim 30 years after Atanasoff conceived the ideas allowed innovation to prosper and changed the world foerver, says producer and historian Kirwan Cox from Montreal, CA.
His crew filmed a visit from Intel researchist Dr. John Gustafson, who built the replica of the BerryAtanasoff computer. Dr. Gustafson had never been to Hunter's. His first visit to the hallowed ground of where modern age computing concepts were born was captured on film for the documentary.
In this clip Kirwan Cox talks about how Atanasoff came to Rock Island in the winter of 1937, the importance of his stop at Hunter's, and how he feels he has proven Hunter's is the famous "roadhouse" Atanasoff testified he conceived the basics of modern day computers.
Hunter's owner Brad Emmert talks about Paul Fessler who explained the intent of the film makers. Fessler is cited by Cox to have recorded an audio interview with Dr. Atanasoff who shared with him the details of the route he took across the Mississippi River.
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