Exhibits At the Museum

This Day in History

Today: August 20, 2014
MIT Whirlwind

July 4, 1956

MIT's Whirlwind Allows Keyboard Input to the Machine

Direct keyboard input on computers debuted on MIT's Whirlwind, which had been completed five years earlier. The now-common method of input was revolutionary at a time when programmers offered instructions to machines by inserting punched cards and changing dials and switches.

The Whirlwind also helped bring in a new form of memory for computers: core memory, which was installed in 1953.