This chapter explores the story of the origins of computing – from roomfuls of human computers, through the electromechanical and electronic computers of the pre-modern era, to the first modern electronic stored-program universal computers in the postwar years. It outlines the early computational theories of mind that grew up around these pioneering machines, as well as the first attempts at artificial intelligence. The chapter describes how news of the computer broke in the media of the time. The universal computing machine was a major component of Alan Turing's attack on an abstract problem in mathematical logic, David Hilbert's Entscheidungsproblem, the decision problem for first-order predicate calculus. Turing's machines turned Bletchley Park into an Enigma-breaking factory. The Bombe was, moreover, the first milestone on the road to modern artificial intelligence: it used mechanical search to carry out a task – codebreaking – that required intelligence when done by human beings. The Colossi were the world's first large-scale electronic digital computers.