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Annals of the History of Computing, IEEE

Issue 2 • Date 1993

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  • General-purpose electronic analog computing: 1945-1965

    Publication Year: 1993 , Page(s): 8 - 18
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    An account of the development and commercialization of general-purpose electronic analog computing in Britain and the United States of America from 1945 to the mid-1990s is presented. It is argued that the principal influence on the growth and maturation of postwar commercial analog computing was the demand for aids to calculation in aeronautical design. The drive to develop military aircraft, guided weapons, and ICBMs provided the primary motivation and funds to develop analog and subsequently hybrid computer systems. The transition from mechanical to electronic analog computing, the formative and pioneering firms, and the commercialization of in-house computing systems are described.<> View full abstract»

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  • The mechanical analog computers of Hannibal Ford and William Newell

    Publication Year: 1993 , Page(s): 19 - 34
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    The history of mechanical analog computers is described from early developments to their peak in World War II and to their obsolescence in the 1950s. The chief importance of most of these computers was their contribution to the superb gunnery of the US Navy. The work of Hannibal Ford, William Newell, and the Ford Instrument Co. is the framework around which this account is based.<> View full abstract»

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  • Edwin L. Harder and the Anacom: analog computing at Westinghouse

    Publication Year: 1993 , Page(s): 35 - 52
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    The development of the Anacom, an analog computer that was placed in operations the same year as ENIAC and continued to do valuable work for the electric power field until 1990, in spite of competition from digital computers, is discussed. The career of Edwin L. Harder, who designed and developed the Anacom, among other machines, is reviewed. Although Harder characterized the Anacom as his top achievement, during the 20 years prior to building this machine it is shown that he had already distinguished himself as an engineer and inventor in the electric power industry, and his patents and other technical contributions helped to keep Westinghouse Electric Company solvent during the depths of the Depression. A list of engineering problems suited to the electric analog computer is provided in an appendix.<> 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.

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Meet Our Editors

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