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The GENIAC was the first of several similar machines designed and sold by Berkeley:
Genius Almost-Automatic C omputer
Tiny Almost-Automatic Computer
Weeny Almost-Automatic Computer (only 60 made)
Brain- Imitating Almost-Automatic C omputer

GENIAC was an educational toy built as a "computer" designed and marketed by Edmund C. Berkeley from 1955 through the sixties. Widely advertised in science and electronics magazines, the GENIAC provided many youths with their first hands-on introduction to computer concepts and Boolean logic.

Priced at $15.95 in 1955 GENIAC was far ahead of its time. It basically was a collection of configurable ("hard- wire programmable") N-pole by N-throw rotary switches, which could be set up and cascaded to perform logical functions. The reason I say "N-pole" is that the switches were made of drilled masonite disks that you might wire as a many-pole two-throw, or single-pole multi-throw, depending on what logical function you were implementing. The kit came with a pretty good tutorial, which, as I look at it, is still useful today. The projects started with basic logic circuits and progressed to such things as a NIM machine and TIC-TAC-TOE machine. Back in 1955 the idea of making a machine that could play even the simple game of tic-tac-toe was just amazing. The "output" device was a set of lamps that would light in response to the "input data" (switch positions) and "program" (how they were wired).

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