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Development of graphically-patched hybrid computer ('GRAPHIC')

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3 Author(s)

The conventional hybrid computer, although of immense value in simulation, has always suffered from one major defect, namely the need for a patchpanel with its attendant problems of patching, debugging and careful maintenance. This paper describes the development of a new machine in which the operator communicates with the analogue sub-system via a graphics terminal. A minicomputer with flexible disk backing store is arranged to interrogate the graphics terminal on which a block diagram of the system to be simulated has been drawn up by the operator. Numerical data related to the blocks are inserted via a keyboard/v.d.u. Changes in data and/or topology can be implemented at considerable speed by the operator. The machine has been extensively tested and the results of one such test have been included in the paper. It has been shown that GRAPHIC is a thoroughly ergonomic and reliable machine, capable of expansion, extension and improvement and that it could form the basis of an improved commercial hybrid computer.

Published in:

Radio and Electronic Engineer  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 2 )