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The ElectroData Datatron 205 was a mid-1950s, decimal, vacuum-tube, drum-memory computer system. The system was originally developed by Consolidated Electrodynamics Corporation (CEC) of Pasadena, California, a company that made mass spectrometers.

Analysis of mass spectrometer output requires solving sets of simultaneous linear equations. CEC had built an analog computer for this purpose, but needed more precision than analog circuits could provide. Initially they contemplated building a digital electronic calculator, then switched to designing a full computer when they realized the market potential for such a device.

The initial system was the CEC 30-201 of 1952, on which Ernst Selmer and Harry Husky consulted during the design phase. As the design approached completion, CEC spun off the computer business as a partly-owned subsidiary, ElectroData, releasing the Datatron 203 to customers in 1954. Over the next few years, the 203 evolved through a series of enhancements into the Datatron 205.

ElectroData was acquired by the Burroughs Corporation in 1956 and became the foundation of the Burroughs commercial computer business. The ElectroData Division of Burroughs went on to create a number of successful systems, including the B100/200/300 series, the B1700/1800/1900 series, the B2000/3000/4000/V Series, the B5000/5500, and finally the B6000/7000/A Series, which are still produced and sold today as Unisys ClearPath MCP systems.

The main goal of this project is creation of a web browser-based emulator for the 205. A secondary goal is reconstruction of the Algol-58 compiler written for the 205 by Donald Knuth in 1960.

The contents of this project are licensed under the MIT License.

Related Sites URL
Emulator hosting site
Project Wiki
Tom Sawyer's 205 & 220 blog
Tom Sawyer's 205 web site
Documents at bitsavers
Algol-58 compiler listing

This project was originally hosted on Google Code at and moved to GitHub in April 2015.


Web-based emulator and operating environment for the ElectroData/Burroughs Datatron 205 computer system.








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