Lecture 12 Notes
Computing in Canada Part 1: In The Beginning
- Two of the worlds biggest computer museums -- Computer History Museum in
Santa Clara, CA) and Heinz Nixdorf Museums Forum, Paderborn, Germany.
- Since the late 19th century some American calculator companies had been
distributing their products in Canada
- Unlike USA and Britain, Canadians were not involved in computer research
- Canadian military and academia were involved in bringing computer technology
to Canada after WWII
- In 1946, the first Canadian attempt at designing a general-purpose computer took
place at the University of Toronto (UofT).
o In 1948, UofT established its Computation Center–the first such center in
o By 1951, UofT and the two funding agencies came to the conclusion that it
would be more economical to stop the UTEC project and use the funds to
purchase a ”commercial” computer from a British firm Ferranti which started to
manufacture the Ferranti Mark I.
o In the end, a Ferranti Mark I came to UofT by the National Research Council
and Defense of Canada (Arrived in April 1952 and was named FERUT)
o It was the first fully functional computer in Canada.\
- FERUT was used in a number of ways: research, external computing services,
and training of computer professionals.
- Importance of the FERUT at UofT:
o UTEC pioneered the era of computing in Canada; it got a number of agencies,
organizations, and corporations interested in computing
o FERUT had started the computing ”fever” in Canada, many FERUT users
purchased their own computers in late 1950s;
o FERUT provided a training ground for the first generation of Canadian
o FERUT supported Canada’s first computer consulting and se