Operating and Maintenance Manual for the BINAC Binary Automatic Computer built …
Operating and Maintenance Manual for the BINAC Binary Automatic Computer built …
Operating and Maintenance Manual for the BINAC Binary Automatic Computer built …
Operating and Maintenance Manual for the BINAC Binary Automatic Computer built …

COMPUTING. Operating and Maintenance Manual for the BINAC Binary Automatic Computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949.

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The only known copy of the world's first computer manual

COMPUTING. Operating and Maintenance Manual for the BINAC Binary Automatic Computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949. Philadelphia: Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation. 1949.

4to. Original grey binder with cloth back-strip and central metal device, lower bottom corner small chip, housed within later black straight-grain morocco drop-back box by P. Goy and C. Vilaine; pp. 26 text printed on recto only, 6 full page diagrams, 1 full page table; very good.
The only known copy of the world's first electronic computer user manual. This is notable as the first user manual, as opposed to a technical report, for a computer. BINAC was the first computer to be sold commercially and meant for more than research or experimental functions; it was intended to be used for the airborne control of guided missiles and was designed to fit into an aircraft's bomb bay. Realising that the users of the computer would not be specialist engineers, the Eckert-Mauchly company decided that a new form of manual was required. Employee Joseph D. Chapline finally hit on the idea of using car owners' manuals as their template, and provided the BINAC user with a full overview of the construction of the machine, its operations and its maintenance in a step-by-step, readable manner, with clear diagrams. His pioneering approach has now been replicated in millions of computer manuals the world over. Unfortunately, BINAC never worked for the Northrop company due to either faulty packing by Eckert-Mauchly or improper reasssembly by Northrop, depending on who you believe. Only one was ever built. Nevertheless, it was a groundbreaking design, being much faster than IBM's Mark 1 or Eckert and Mauchly's own ENIAC and EDVAC. It was the first stored-program computer in the US, the world's first commercial digital computer and paved the way directly for the UNIVAC, the first computer to be sold in any quantity.
OCLC records no copies of this manual in libraries. No other copies of this edition are known, although Sotheran's had a later, longer version in 2013 from the library of R. John Brockmann, author of From Millwrights to Shipwrights to the Twenty-First Century: Explorations in a History of Technical Communication in the United States (Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press, 1998), one chapter of which is devoted to Chapline's work.

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