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Annals of the History of Computing, IEEE

Issue 3 • Date July-Sept. 1998

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Displaying Results 1 - 12 of 12
  • Biographies, John Mourice McClean Pinkerton

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 69 - 71
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    First Page of the Article
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  • Larry Owens wins IEEE Life Member Prize for his Annals Article on MIT

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 76
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Calendrical Calculations [Reviews]

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 78
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Electronic Inventions and Discoveries: Electronics from its Earliest Begginings to the present day [Reviews]

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 79
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Trapped in the Net: The unanticipated concequences of computerization [Reviews]

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 79 - 80
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • The Math Tables Project of the work projects administration: the reluctant start of the computing era

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 33 - 50
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    The Mathematical Tables Project, one of the last large human computing groups, began operation in 1938 as a WPA project in New York City. Unlike preceding computing organizations, the Math Tables Project mass produced calculations using unskilled labor. Prior to 1938, most hand computing organizations used well educated computing assistants who could operate independently. Over its 10-year history, the Math Tables Project completed 28 published volumes of tables and calculations for dozens of scientific and war projects. During World War II, it acted as a general computing contractor for the Office for Scientific Research and Development and prepared LORAN Navigation Tables for the Navy. After the war, it was absorbed by the National Bureau of Standards. It proved to be a transitional institution in the history of computing, promoting mass scientific computation and developing the numeric methods that would eventually be used on electronic computers View full abstract»

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  • From vacuum tubes to very large scale integration: a personal memoir

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 55 - 68
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    The article traces one man's journey through the various different forms of electronics (from 1935 to 1986) and how they were developed and used at IBM. It also illuminates some of the reasons why particular decisions about various technologies were taken and the longer term results of those actions View full abstract»

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  • Sperry Rand's transistor computers

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 16 - 26
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    Sperry Rand Corporation was an early entry in the computer industry through its acquisitions of Engineering Research Associates and Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation. It produced some of the first transistor computers for military applications, but it experienced great difficulty in producing transistor computers for the general-purpose computing market. The paper describes the major transistor computers Sperry Rand developed View full abstract»

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  • How to make Zuse's Z3 a universal computer

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 51 - 54
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
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    The computing machine Z3, built by Konrad Zuse between 1938 and 1941, could execute only fixed sequences of floating point arithmetical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and square root) coded in a punched tape. An interesting question to ask, from the viewpoint of the history of computing, is whether or not these operations are sufficient for universal computation. The paper shows that, in fact, a single program loop containing these arithmetical instructions can simulate any Turing machine whose tape is of a given finite size. This is done by simulating conditional branching and indirect addressing by purely arithmetical means. Zuse's Z3 is therefore, at least in principle, as universal as today's computers that have a bounded addressing space. A side effect of this result is that the size of the program stored on punched tape increases enormously View full abstract»

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  • Calculators

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 72 - 73
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    The Calculators column is intended to focus on that aspect of computing history that in many respects preceded the introduction of the computer and has paralleled the computer for the past 50 years as the original “desktop” machine, and in later years as the “pocket” machine. Through this column one hopes to provide information for historians and collectors about the world of calculators View full abstract»

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  • Early programs on the Manchester Mark I Prototype

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 4 - 15
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    The Manchester Mark I Prototype (or Small-Scale Experimental Machine, SSEM, as it was officially known) is generally recognized as the first stored-program computer to successfully execute a program. The SSEM was a simple machine with only seven instructions (its only arithmetic operation was subtraction) and 32 words of 32-bit memory. Two of the men primarily responsible for the SSEM, Frederic C. Williams and Tom Kilburn, published a letter in the 25 September 1948 issue of Nature describing the SSEM along with a summary of three programs that were run on it: long division, finding the greatest common divisor of two integers, and finding the largest factor of an integer. Given the very limited capabilities of the SSEM, the authors set out to discover how all three programs were actually coded View full abstract»

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  • Howard Aiken on the number of computers needed for the nation

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 27 - 32
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    According to a remark by Howard Aiken, one that is often quoted, only a very small number of computers would be needed to serve the needs of the whole world, perhaps a dozen, with eight or 10 for the United States. Sometimes the number is given as six or even two or three. As we shall see, documentary evidence confirms that Aiken did, indeed, once say that one or two “computers” would suffice, but he was referring to a special kind of use and not to all possible needs for computer power in every aspect of activity in the whole of the United States. The context shows that his remark did not have the general context that may be supposed and that it was not, therefore, as incorrect as might at first appear View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

From the analytical engine to the supercomputer, from Pascal to von Neumann, from punched cards to CD-ROMs -- theIEEE Annals of the History of Computing covers the breadth of computer history.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Lars Heide
Copenhagen Business School
Centre for Business History