The DEUCE was an early British Computer manufactured by the ENGLISH ELECTRIC COMPANY over 50 years ago.

This website has been established for the benefit of those interested in studying computer history of the early 1950s. The full text of the original DEUCE Logical Design Manual and Programming Manuals are presented here together with the memories of those who built, programmed, operated and fixed the DEUCE when it broke down. There are photos of DEUCE program sheets, input media, component parts, of DEUCE itself and the people who worked on, and in, this historic computer.

For a brief description of DEUCE, the R.A.E. Programming Handbook Part I.2 gives an excellent contemporary introduction to the machine, while the E.E. Logical Design Manual, Chapter 1, gives a more detailed technical description.

The table below compares the specifications of a Windows Home Desktop Pentium 4 PC available in the UK in October 2003 with those of the DEUCE of 1955.

Bear in mind that some comparisons are rather difficult to make in view of the vastly different technologies involved. For example, the term BYTE, representing an 8 bit computer word, which is used today as a measurement of both memory size and hard disk capacity, did not exist back in 1955. The DEUCE employed a 32 bit word and for this comparison this is treated as 4 bytes.

John Barrett - May 01, 2004 - Revised November 10, 2004


Pentium 4 Desktop PCDeuce-Floor mounted computer
Active elements42,000,000 Transistors1,450 Thermionic Valves
Clock rate500 MHZ System bus1 MHZ
Additions per second600,000,00030,300
ModeParallelSerial
Memory256 MB Semiconductor1.6 KB Acoustic - Mercury
Backing Store40 GB Magnetic Hard Disk32 KB Magnetic Drum
-- Rotation Speed7200 Revs Per Minute6510 Revs Per Minute
Monitor17 inch Colour CRT2 X 6 inch monochrome CRT
Input - Manual110 key QWERTY keyboard32 Input Dynamisiser toggle switches
-- Automatic48 X - CD /RW200 CPM Hollerith Card Reader
-- Transfer rate7.2 MB per second1,400 9 digit decimal numbers per minute
OutputInkjet colour printer100 CPM Hollerith Card Punch.
-- Transfer rate10 pages per minute700 9 digit numbers per minute
Operating SystemWindows XP HomeNONE
SoftwareWord, MS Works etcUser contributed subroutine library
CaseMini Tower - Beige SteelMassive Cabinet - Battleship Grey Steel
Dimensions
-- Length ----- Breadth ----- Height
----16in ---------- 7in ---------- 13in
- 406mm -----177mm -----330mm
--- Length ----- Breadth ----- Height
-- 14ft 0in ------ 4ft 6in ------ 6ft 11in
- 4267mm ----1371mm --- 2108mm
Weight 70lbs ---- 31.75 Kg2632 lbs --- (1ton - 3cwt - 2qtr) --- 1193.85 Kg
Power SupplyInternalExternal
-- Voltages+12V +5V –5V –12V DC+300V +200V +100V –100V –200V –300V DC
6.3V AC
-- High Current5Volts @ 40 Amps6.3Volts @ 400 Amps
-- Power Consumption300 Watts9,000 Watts
-- Power Requirements240 Volts single phase 50 Hertz AC440 Volts 3 phase 50 Hertz AC
-- Ventilation Requirements20 cu. ft. per min. (Internal fan)2000 cu. ft. per min. (External fan)
-- Space Required4 sq. ft. desk area92 sq. ft. floor area
Price600 UK Pounds50,000 UK Pounds
Total Sales1,000,000,000 (PCs April 2000)33 - From 1955 to 1964


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