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Encyclopedia > Williams tube

The Williams tube or (more accurately) the Williams-Kilburn tube (after Freddie Williams and coworker Tom Kilburn), developed about 1946 or 1947, was a cathode ray tube used to store electronic data. Sir Frederic Calland Williams (1911 - 1977), known as Freddie Williams, was an English engineer. ... Tom Kilburn (August 11, 1921 - January 17, 2001) was an English engineer. ... 1946 was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... 1947 was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Cathode ray tube employing electromagnetic focus and deflection The cathode ray tube or CRT, invented by Karl Ferdinand Braun, is the display device used in most computer displays, video monitors, televisions and oscilloscopes. ...


When a dot is drawn on a cathode ray tube, the spot lasts for a time that depends on the type of phosphor used in the tube. Another side effect is that the area around this dot is slightly changed in electrical charge. By measuring the charge at that spot you have a simple form of memory that lasts for a time depending on the type of phosphor used. Because the charge gradually leaked off, it was necessary to scan the tube periodically and rewrite every dot (similar to the refresh cycles of DRAM in modern systems). A phosphor is a substance that can exhibit the phenomenon of fluorescence (glowing during absorption of radiation of another kind) or phosphorescence (sustained glowing without further stimulus). ... Dram can mean several things: for the imperial unit of volume see dram (volume) for the imperial unit of weight or mass see avoirdupois and apothecaries system of mass for the Armenian monetary unit see dram (currency) DRAM is a type of RAM and unlike dram is spelled in all...


Developed at the University of Manchester in England, it provided the medium on which the first ever electronically stored-memory program was written. Tom Kilburn wrote a 17-line program to calculate the highest factor of a number. The University of Manchester in Manchester, England is a university that was formed from the merger of the Victoria University of Manchester (commonly known as the University of Manchester before the merger) and UMIST (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology) on 1 October 2004. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area - Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population - Total (mid-2004) - Density Ranked 1st UK 50. ...


The Williams tube was regarded as extremely unreliable, and touchy. Most working installations had to be "tuned" by hand. In contrast, delay line memory was slower, but quite reliable. This is why delay lines were used in most machines that were regarded as successful. Delay line memory was a form of computer memory used on some of the earliest digital computers, such as the EDSAC and UNIVAC I. The first such systems consisted of a column of mercury with piezo crystal transducers (a combination of speaker and microphone) at either end. ...


External links

  • The Williams Tube

  Results from FactBites:
 
Williams tube - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (240 words)
The Williams tube or (more accurately) the Williams-Kilburn tube (after Freddie Williams and coworker Tom Kilburn), developed about 1946 or 1947, was a cathode ray tube used to store electronic data.
When a dot is drawn on a cathode ray tube, the spot lasts for a time that depends on the type of phosphor used in the tube.
The Williams tube was regarded as extremely unreliable, and touchy.
Manchester Mark I - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (888 words)
Key improvements in the design were going to include a magnetic drum for loading programs into the machine's Williams tube memory, replacing the SSEM's paper tape, the addition of index registers and a hardware multiplier.
The SSEM included two registers on its Williams tube, the accumulator A and program counter C. Mark I added another, D, for holding one side of a multiplication, leaving B the natural place to hold the index register.
Freddie Williams deliberately sized the drum to store two "pages" of Williams tube data – that is, 2x32x40 = 2,560 bits – per track, and 32 tracks in total.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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