There are slides devoted to this topic: Lecture 8, pp. 3-11, pp. 18-19.


For a basic computational overview of the EDVAC, read the computer’s specifications.

If you are interested in a more detailed historical perspective on the EDVAC, read “The EDVAC” chapter from the 1961 historical monograph Electronic Computers within the Ordnance Corps . This chapter discusses in detail the development of the EDVAC, from its proposal to the finished computer, and describes the machine’s abilities, functions, and limitations.

Read “First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC,” written in 1941 by John von Neumann and recently edited to be made machine readable and searchable. The lengthy report includes a definitions section, functional specifications, theories of development, and designs for the EDVAC’s memory, central control, and code, among other things.


Just how similar was von Neumann’s EDVAC to the one constructed by the Moore School? According to the article “The Computer as Von Neumann Planned It,” written by M. D. Godfrey and D. F. Henry, the two computers were in many ways not alike. The introduction to the piece provides comprehensible information on the EDVAC debate; the rest of the article compares and contrasts the two EDVACs’ specifications and is quite technical.