Harvard Mark I

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Harvard Mark I
Character information
Common name Harvard Mark I
Also known as IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, "ASCC"
Human name(s) Marcie Aiken
First appearance Early 2010
Height 5'5
Hair color Brown
Eye color Light green
Weapon(s) N/A
Faction Deceased
Lineage Harvard Mark/Harvard architecture
Rival(s) N/A
Technical information
System personified Harvard Mark I/IBM ASCC
Developer(s) IBM, Harvard University
Debut February 1944
Latest release Unknown

Technical details

The ASCC was an electromechanical computer designed by Howard Aiken at IBM. It was shipped to Harvard University in February 1944, where it was rebranded as the Harvard Mark I computer and put to use by the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships. Its IBM origins were all but ignored, something that enraged IBM's CEO, Thomas J. Watson.

The Harvard Mark I/ASCC inspired three successors, the Harvard Mark II, III, and IV, and spawned the Harvard computer architecture. ASCC's influence can be seen in modern computers, many of which employ a variation of the Harvard architecture called the Modified Harvard architecture.

Character details


Harvard Mark I-tan is depicted as a green-eyed, brown-haired woman of average height. Being a first-generation computer, she is somewhat worshiped by her human creators and operators, who chose to dress her in elaborate Byzantine-style outfits. She usually feels unworthy of all this pomp, and prefers to wear contemporary clothing or her uniform.

Mark I-tan was born in the old IBM Territory, but moved to Harvard early in life. She rejected much of her IBM heritage and considers her university her home. A WAVES ensign, her mathematical skills were put to good use by the US Navy.

Relationships and family

Like many first-generation computer-tans, Mark I-tan lived all but isolated from other computers. She was terribly lonely as the only computer in Cambridge, but her spirit was buoyed when she discovered and met Whirlwind-tan, another early computer living at the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She had three children, Harvard Mark II, III and IV-tan, though she was separated from the first two rather early in their lives and had little contact with them, something that troubled her greatly. The only child she had regular contact with was Harvard Mark IV-tan, who resided at Harvard along with her mother.