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Annals of the History of Computing, IEEE

Issue 4 • Date Winter 1995

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Displaying Results 1 - 11 of 11
  • About this issue

    Publication Year: 1995
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  • Calculators

    Publication Year: 1995
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  • Charles Babbage Institute Director's Column

    Publication Year: 1995
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  • Computer Society Celebrates 50 Years

    Publication Year: 1995
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  • Reviews

    Publication Year: 1995
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  • The rise and fall of the General Electric Corporation computer department

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 24 - 45
    Cited by:  Papers (5)
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    The computer department of the General Electric Corporation began with the winning of a single contract to provide a special purpose computer system to the Bank of America, and expanded to the development of a line of upward compatible machines in advance of the IBM System/360 and whose descendants still exist in 1995, to a highly successful time-sharing service, and to a process control business. Over the objections of the executive officers of the Company the computer department strived to become the number two in the industry but after fifteen years, to the surprise of many in the industry, GE sold the operation and got out of the competition to concentrate on other products that had a faster turn around on investment and a well established first or second place in their industry. This paper looks at the history of the GE computer department and attempts to draw some conclusions regarding the reasons why this fifteen year venture was not more successful, while recognizing that there were successful aspects of the operation that could have balanced the books and provided necessary capital for a continued business View full abstract»

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  • General Electric enters the computer business-revisited

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 46 - 55
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
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    Perhaps General Electric got into the “Computer Business” without tremendous foresight, but the first steps in that direction were immensely successful. Starting with the Bank of America's Electronic Recording Method of Accounting (ERMA) system, and combined with the development of Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) for the rapid processing of bank checks, and backed by one of the largest corporations in the world, GE had the opportunity to effectively chase and catch IBM in the field of data processing. Succeeding developments also portended well for the future but the continuing reluctance of the GE headquarters to support the Computer Department competitively with other companies whose one and only product was a computer eventually led to the sale of the operation to Honeywell Corporation. This is the story of those beginnings as seen and remembered by the first general manager of the Computer Department View full abstract»

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  • The role of ARPA in the development of the ARPANET, 1961-1972

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 76 - 81
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    The use of computer networks is growing rapidly throughout our society. Current network technology has its roots in the U.S. Department of Defense, specifically in the Advanced Research Projects Agency and the ARPANET computer network, but designed for other than explicitly military objectives. This paper describes ARPA's motivations for developing the network and how ARPA and computer science researchers built the first wide-area packet-switching network View full abstract»

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  • On “Babbage and Kings” and “How sausage was made”: and now for the rest of the story

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 7 - 23
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    A letter dated April 27, 1835 from Charles Babbage to Adolphe Quetelet has been identified as the earliest known reference to the Analytical Engine. The letter was later translated into French and published in the Bulletin of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Brussels in May 1935, and then once again translated back to English to appear in Scientific Memoirs edited by Richard and John E. Taylor in 1843. A 1983 paper by Alfred van Sinderen in the Annals discussed the letter in its 1835 and 1843 reprints, but stated that “the original is not known to exist. ” Herman Berg, a part-time student at the University of Michigan, located the original April 1835 letter in the archives of the Royal Academy, and has since claimed some measure of “intellectual ownership” of the letter. The story of his failures to get the reports of his “find” published in the history of computing literature and the lack of acknowledgment of the “find” in other publications led Michael David, Illinois institute of Technology, to publish two other papers charging the editors and authors of the Annals and the editors of the “Works of Charles Babbage” with forms of plagiarism. This report is a response to those charges View full abstract»

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  • Developing a common machine language for banking: the ABA technical subcommittee story

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 61 - 75
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    In the mid-1950s a volunteer committee of bankers managed the development of a check processing standard that transformed the banking industry. The standard forced business machine manufacturers to adopt the new system rather than continuing to incrementally increase their own market share. The result was a new system allowing economies of scale through the exploitation of emerging electronic technologies. In tracing these developments, this story illustrates an interesting episode of how the “manager's guiding hand” works to allow markets to shape technology View full abstract»

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  • The core of the Black Canyon Computer Corporation

    Publication Year: 1995 , Page(s): 56 - 60
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    The author discusses his experiences with the GEC computer department, starting with the M236, a high speed 36-bit minicomputer. He discusses the GE 600 lineage, the GE 600/645 and paging, tape transport problems, and the end of the department 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