On January 29, 1944 J. Presper Eckert wrote a memo explaining how information could be stored on spinning disks, using one large memory to hold intermediate results, lookup tables, and program information.  This was several months before von Neumann joined the project.  See A History of Computing in the Twentieth Century (1980).

von Neumann did a good job of writing up the idea, but it would have happened without him.


On Sun, Dec 27, 2015 at 11:23 AM, Dave Horsfall <dave@horsfall.org> wrote:
Jon von Neumann was born in 1903; without him, we probably wouldn't have
had computers at all (but we could've had a Wintel version, I suppose,
wherein everything is controlled by BB).

Dave Horsfall DTM (VK2KFU)  "Those who don't understand security will suffer."