The Pilot ACE at the National Physical Laboratory 1
This chapter discusses the pilot Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) project at the National Physical Laboratory. The Pilot ACE had been designed purely as an experimental machine to demonstrate the competence of the team as computer engineers. It was originally intended that when it was successfully completed a full-scale computer would be built. However, when it was successful, it was the only electronic computer in a government department and the engineers came under very heavy pressure to use the Pilot ACE for serious computing. They implemented a small set of modifications which included the addition of an automatic multiplier and improvements to the control unit which made programming a little less arduous. The computer was then put into general use and did yeoman service for a number of years.
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