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Rebuilding EDSAC

18 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 15 January 2013

Aaron Swartz remembered
Last Friday, the computing entrepreneur and activist, Aaron Swartz, died at the age of twenty-six. Swartz who was founder of the social news website Reddit committed suicide. He was due to take the stand on trial for hacking charges. Aaron Swartz's death has shocked the world of technology. Click reflects on his life and work.

Mobile phones and the safety of Indian women
Following the rape and subsequent death of a young woman in India and other recent violent incidents that have highlighted the vulnerability of women, some technologists have begun to ask whether technology may help with their safety. Prateek Panda, the managing editor of the technology news site The TechPanda, has suggested a number of Apps may be useful in preventing women from being attacked, and also to alert friends and authorities when women find themselves in danger. Prateek Panda talks to Colin Grant about the Apps. And the Click reporter Nivedita Pathak, discusses whether the Apps will be useful.

Rebuilding EDSAC
How do you build a computer from scratch? How do you build a computer with no transistors nor any modern components at all? In short, how do you build a computer, like they would have done in 1948? A team of volunteers in the UK have been working for a year now on a project to build a replica of one of the world's first programmable computers: Cambridge University's "EDSAC" (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator), which in its day is said to have done the work to win three Nobel Prizes. Today's replica team have no blueprints, just a few notes, some photographs, and a few rusting parts. Click's Alex Mansfield has been following their progress.
(Photo credit: EDSAC I, W. Renwick, M. Wilkes - © Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge - reproduced by permission)


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