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I read Charles Babbage invented the first mechanical computer (the Analytic Engine) and that Ada Lovelace devised the first computer programs.

Also I realize John Von Neumann invented the first electronic programmable digital computer and had actually invited Alan Turing to work with him on devising computer programs after reading about Turing's Universal Turing machine. Yet another programmable computer?

Are these all manifestations of the same principles in digital computers or is each a separate distinct invention building on the others. Thank you.

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    $\begingroup$ According to wikipedia Colossus Computer "Colossus is thus regarded as the world's first programmable, electronic, digital computer, although it was programmed by switches and plugs and not by a stored program." Babbage's colleague and programmer was Ada Lovelace, the daughter of romantic poet, Lord Byron. $\endgroup$ – Nick R May 18 '18 at 3:00
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    $\begingroup$ What are you really asking? Babbage computer was "programmable" and "digital". What else? $\endgroup$ – Alexandre Eremenko May 18 '18 at 3:21
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    $\begingroup$ You can try with some books : Martin Davis, Engines of logic : Mathematicians and the Origin of the Computer, WWNorton&Co (2000), page 139-40 for Babbage. $\endgroup$ – Mauro ALLEGRANZA May 18 '18 at 6:43
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    $\begingroup$ I think the crux of the question is "programmable". Many "computers" of the era 1930-1960 (such as IBM accounting machines and tabulators) were programmable by patch cords and switch settings. If by "programmable" you mean electronically stored program in the modern sense, the Manchester "Baby" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…) of 1948 wins. The much more useful Eniac got its stored program memory later that year. $\endgroup$ – kimchi lover May 18 '18 at 13:03
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    $\begingroup$ We should absolutely not forget (Admiral?!) Grace Hopper, who did also/independently invent "programming". She was so valuable to the Navy that she was not allowed/required to retire at the "mandatory" retirement age... ! And so on. $\endgroup$ – paul garrett May 18 '18 at 22:19

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