The first computer & programmers in the Netherlands

Author: Onno Zweers

In 1953, at the Shell lab in Amsterdam, the first electronic calculator was taken into production in the Netherlands. Shell's new computer was called Miracle, and it was not just an invention; it was a collection of several inventions. To name a few: RAM memory, magnetic memory, electronic printers, instruction sets, monitors. In this presentation, Onno Zweers, who's mother was one of the programmers of the Miracle, will demonstrate the genius that had gone into the machine, partly from the hands and brains of the legendary Alan Turing. While the first computers like the Miracle were revolutions, the later hardware development were more gradual evolutions. The architecture of these first computers was remarkably like today's computers; however, software development had not started yet. The first programmers did not even have assembly language, so they had to become very familiar with the binary numeral system; they also had to type their machine code onto a paper tape.