Trivia

Hard

What Was The First Random-Access Memory Device?

Magnetic Core Memory
DRAM
Williams-Kilburn Tubes
SRAM

Answer: Williams-Kilburn Tubes

A distant cousin to our modern DDR RAM modules, Williams-Kilburn Tubes were the first random-access memory device. Invented in 1946 by Freddie Williams and Tom Kilburn, the memory units were a microcosmic example of computers of the age. They were bulky, terribly sensitive to environmental conditions, had to be hand-tuned, and were housed inside vacuum-sealed cathode ray tube.

The tubes wrote binary data by projecting it onto the front of the tube just like a television CRT tube projects an image, only in the case of the Williams-Kilburn tubes they were creating negative and positive charges that could be read by a plate positioned over the end of the tube, not an image that would readily recognizable to an observer–some rare tubes did had a phosphor coating which allowed computer operators to see where the tube was writing for diagnostic purposes. Each tube was capable of storing 512-1024 bits of data.

The Williams-Kilburn was used in many early computers, most notably the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine–the first computer with electronically stored programs.

Trivia

Hard

Which Popular Service Was Initially Considered An April Fools’ Joke?

Trivia

Hard

The First Photograph Depicting Someone Flashing The “Middle Finger” Is A Photo Of A?

Trivia

Easy

The Only Rock That Floats In Water Is?

Trivia

Hard

Volkswagen Sells More Of What Thing Than They Sell Cars?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Actors Almost Took The Role Of Neo In The Matrix?

Trivia

Hard

In The 1930s, There Were Huge Numbers Of Cookbooks Devoted To Cooking With?

Trivia

Hard

Which Letter Does Not Appear On The Periodic Table?

J Y
Q X

Trivia

Easy

Which Film Does George Lucas Wish To Smash With A Sledgehammer?

Trivia

Hard

The “Ten-Gallon” Cowboy Hat Derives Its Name From?

Trivia

Hard

To Aid In Maintenance Urban Planners In Melbourne Australia Assigned Email Addresses To What City Feature?