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History Of Computers

John Vincent Atanasoff begins work on a digital computer in 1936 in the basement of the Physics building on the campus of Iowa State. A graduate student, Clifford (John) Berry assists. The "ABC" is designed to solve linear equations common in physics. It displays some early features of later computers including electronic calculations. He shows it to others in 1939 and leaves the patent application with attorneys for the school when he leaves for a job in Washington during World War II. Unimpressed, the school never files and ABC is cannibalized by students.