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The beginnings at MIT

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3 Author(s)
Lee, J.A.N. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Virginia Tech., Blacksburg, VA, USA ; McCarthy, J. ; Licklider, J.C.R.

A chronology of computer activity at MIT is presented. Reminiscences by John McCarthy on the history of time sharing are given. Excerpts from Man-Computer Interfaces by J.C.R. Licklider are included. Consideration is also given to a study group report, written by Herbert Teager, which recommended the acquisition of an IBM 7030 (Stretch), although Teager recognized that he was unable to obtain all the necessary data regarding its capabilities, and the support software was an unknown factor. It is concluded that, retrospectively Teager's arguments were sound; his choice of the IBM Stretch was unfortunate. The conclusions and recommendations of the Teager report did not reflect the views of the majority of the committee. Thus, a second report was submitted that recommended the acquisition of not just a large computing system, but also a system capable of supporting time-sharing.<>

Published in:

Annals of the History of Computing, IEEE  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 1 )