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Annals of the History of Computing, IEEE

Issue 2 • Date Summer 1995

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Displaying Results 1 - 4 of 4
  • Computers and industrial organization: early sources of 'just in time' production in the Dutch steel industry

    Page(s): 22 - 32
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    The article focuses on the growth of production planning in the Dutch Hoogovens Steel Company. In response to market changes in the 1950s, production facilities and capacity were enormously expanded, and a decentralized just-in-time system of production planning was developed. Punched-card machines were introduced to process the necessary data. In spite of these efforts a control crisis emerged in the company, resulting in large order backlogs and long delivery times. In response, production planning was centralized and digital computers introduced. The article demonstrates that the choice of computing technologies was intimately related to the organization of production planning. Although the introduction of just-in-time systems is normally considered a consequence of the evolution of computing technology, in this case such a system appears to have contributed to the demand for digital computers. The question posed is, to what extent do these views corroborate those expressed in James Beniger's book The Control Revolution?.<> View full abstract»

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  • 'Prestige luster' and 'snow-balling effects': IBM's development of computer time-sharing

    Page(s): 50 - 54
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    In the middle 1960s IBM responded to pressure from its most prestigious customers to hasten the development and availability of computer time-sharing systems. When MIT and Bell Laboratories chose General Electric computers for their new time-sharing system, IBM management feared that the "prestige luster" of these customers would lead other customers to demand the same capabilities and that there would be a "snow-balling" effect as more customers rejected IBM computers. IBM worked on a time-sharing product and brought it to market by the end of the decade despite greater-than-expected costs. Meanwhile MIT, Bell Laboratories, and GE worked together on a new time-sharing system known as Multics. By examining IBM's role in and response to the development of time-sharing, the article illustrates the nontechnological criteria that even high-technology companies use to decide what products to develop and market.<> View full abstract»

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  • Caught between historical experience and high hopes: automation at the Dutch Postal Cheque and Clearing Service, 1950-1965

    Page(s): 9 - 21
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    Since the Netherlands lacks an indigenous computer industry, the article concentrates on the use of computing technologies. It deals specifically with the Dutch giro system, the country's initial step toward automation in the early 1950s. Automation was achieved in 1965. Several organizational processes and the development of computer technology throughout the fifties contributed to the delay of automation and the ultimate choice and implementation of more than 20 IBM 1401 computer systems. The paper sheds light on the importance of studying how computer technology is used as well as how the technologies are developed View full abstract»

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  • The way to the first automatic sequence-controlled calculator: the 1935 DEHOMAG D 11 tabulator

    Page(s): 33 - 49
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    The article was written with the intention of throwing some light upon the development of the Hollerith Electric Tabulating System, which ultimately resulted in the first automatic sequence-controlled printing calculator, the DEHOMAG D 11 tabulator. The story of this particular machine is important in the general history of tabulating equipment, yet it has not been told before. Although the article is based upon a larger technical report, of which other parts are intended for later publication, it cannot be said to be the last word on this machine. Basic material about the device continues to be collected, and every item leads to further insights 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