In trying to understand the philosophy behind the layout of a modern electronic digital computer it may be helpful to see how the idea of automatic computers originated and how they were consequently developed in early designs. Unfortunately, the history of computers is rather complex, since many people have been working simultaneously on the same problems and contributing their often contradictory ideas. Moreover, the development frequently ended in a design which, at the time, was considered superior to anything else available only to be relinquished a short time thereafter in favor of a different principle.
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