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IBM's Early Computers

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ISBN-10: 0262022257

ISBN-13: 9780262022255

Edition: 1986

Authors: Charles Bashe, Lyle R. Johnson, John H. Palmer, Emerson W. Pugh

List price: $50.00
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Description:

In describing the technical experiences of one company from the beginning of the computer era, this book unfolds the challenges that IBM's research and development laboratories faced, the technological paths they chose, and how these choices affected the company and the computer industry. It chronicles the transformation of IBM into a computer company in a remarkably few years, discussing projects that ended in frustration as well as the more successful ones, and providing a sense of the atmosphere, the people, and the decision-making processes involved during the company's rapid technological transformation. IBM's Early Computersis a unique contribution to the modern history of computers. It focuses on engineering alternatives rather than business and general management considerations and reveals the significance of imaginative solutions to problems in design and technology, from initial experiments with electronics in digital machines to the threshold of the System 360 era. This fair and balanced account of IBM's role in shaping today's electronic revolution identifies the individuals (both inside and outside the company) whose pioneering work influenced developments at IBM. The book's fourteen chapters briefly survey the card machine era and then cover electronic calculation, the magnetic drum calculator, the Defense Calculator and other first-generation products, ferrite core memories, magnetic tape, and disk storage development, programming, transistors, "Project Stretch" (which involved disappointments but led to one of IBM's greatest successes) high-speed printers, research, and new-product-line considerations. Charles J. Bashe, Lyle R. Johnson, John H. Palmer, and Emerson W Pugh are senior members of the staff at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center, each with many years of technical and managerial experience in the developments they describe. IBM's Early Computersis included in the History of Computing Series, edited by I. Bernard Cohen and William Aspray.
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Book details

List price: $50.00
Copyright year: 1986
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 12/3/1985
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 744
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.75" tall
Weight: 3.190
Language: English

Series Forewordp. ix
Forewordp. xi
Prefacep. xv
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Punched Cards and Plugwiresp. 1
The Hollerith era
IBM punched-card machine development
Steps toward fully automatic digital calculation
Electronic Calculationp. 34
Flip-flops and counters
The electronic multiplier
The SSEC, a super calculator
The Type 604, an electronic workhorse
The Card-Programmed Electronic Calculator
A Machine for Ordinary Businessesp. 73
The choice of drum storage
The drum-augmented 604
The influence of mathematicacl omputation
The Magnetic Drum Calculator
The squeeze on resources
The president's decision
The Tape Processing Machinep. 102
The CRT memory project
The Data Processing Test Assembly
Plans for the Tape Processsing Machine
TPM engineering
A time for waiting
First-Generation IBM Computersp. 130
The need for fast computers
Planning for the Defense Calculator
Engineering considerations
The Type 701 computer
The Type 650 Magnetic Drum Calculator
The Type 702 Electronic Data Processing Machine
Later vacuum tube computers
Magnetic Tapep. 187
Magnetic tape studies in IBM
Magnetic recording in Poughkeepsie
Tape-handling devices
The need for better tape
First-generation tape machines
More and faster
Excursions from the beaten path
Ferrite-Core Memoriesp. 231
Getting started in cores
Project SAGE
Commercial memories
Pushing the limits
Fabrication
Patents and innovation
Disk Storagep. 273
A separate group
The source recording project
Disk-array feasibility and early development
Record addressing and RAMAC
Slider development in San Jose
IBM's first slider product
Collateral storage development
The removable disk pack
Programmingp. 315
The subroutine library
Two IBM assembly programs
The Speedcoding language and interpreter
The FORTRAN language and cornpiler
Programming as a marketing aid
SHARE
IBM's organization for programming
Early experience with operating systems
Transistorsp. 372
The first transistors at IBM
Entering the solid-state era
Point-contact to junction transistors
Drift transistors
Current-switch circuits
Development and manufacturing
Standard Modular System
Project Stretchp. 416
"We must take a giant step."
Project Stretch formulation
System planning
Logical design and engineering
The Type 7090, first Stretch-technology product
The 7030 program
Stretch delivery and assessment
Epilogue
Broadening the Basep. 459
Electronics and accounting machines
The Type 1401 data processing system
Other 1400 series computers the Report Program Generator
High-speed printers the chain and train
Document reading machines
Small scientific computers process control
Researchp. 523
The Watson Laboratory
Research in Poughkeepsie
Separating research from development
Basic research in Zurich
Restructuring the San Jose laboratory
Preparing for the new research center
Exciting projects
Growing problems
The Architectural Challengep. 571
Adjusting to new technology
The changing environment
Coping with growth
Product diversity
Architectural considerations
Commitment to change
Sequence Control in the SSECp. 585
TPM Organization and Operationp. 589
Havens Delay Unit Circuit Operationp. 599
701 System Design Summaryp. 603
References and Notesp. 607
Indexp. 695
About the Authorsp. 717
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.