The First Music Ever Played on a Computer

The world’s fourth digital computer was designed and built in Australia by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (, the precursor of the ).

It started life as a dream in 1947, ran its first test program in 1949 and played in 1950 or 1951. was a very primitive computer by today’s standards. It was very slow (1,000 cycles per second); it did not have very much memory (about 2KB of RAM and 3KB of disk memory); it filled a room and; it had no display like a modern computer.Most output from CSIRAC was via punched paper tape that was later converted to text on another machine. The only familiar output device was a speaker (called the hooter), and it was used to track the progress of a program.Programmers would place a sound at the end of their program so they knew it had ended (this was known as a blurt), or they would program progress-indicator blurts into a program.

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Despite being primitive, CSIRAC performed groundbreaking work, including running the calculations to find the centre of our galaxy in 1953, and for the engineering of our first skyscraper building.

 

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