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The First Seven Years of Polish Digital Computers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129332D
Original Publication Date: 1980-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05
Document File: 9 page(s) / 43K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

R. W. MARCZYNSKI: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

During the 1950s and 1960s the Group for Mathematical Apparatus of the Mathematical Institute in Warsaw designed and built several digital computers. This paper discusses the increasing complexity and sophistication of the Polish computers as they were developed. Keywords and phrases: history, Polish digital computer CR category: 1.2

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1980 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc., Volume 2, Number 1, January 1980. Used with permission.

The First Seven Years of Polish Digital Computers

R. W. MARCZYNSKI

(Image Omitted: © 1979 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Permission to copy without fee all or pan of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the AFIPS copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that copying is by permission of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires specific permission. Author's address: Institute of Computer Science, Polish Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 22, 00-901 Warsaw PKN, Poland. © AFIPS 0164-

1239/80/010037-48

The First Seven Years of Polish Digital Computers

R. W. MARCZYNSKI .00/0)

During the 1950s and 1960s the Group for Mathematical Apparatus of the Mathematical Institute in Warsaw designed and built several digital computers. This paper discusses the increasing complexity and sophistication of the Polish computers as they were developed. Keywords and phrases: history, Polish digital computer CR category: 1.2

It seldom pays to be first Sullivan G. Campbell

Introduction

My first contact with "mathematical machines" (as computers were called back then) was in 1946 when, as a student at the Warsaw Technical University, I found a note about the ENIAC in the Polish popular science magazine Problemy (September 1946). I was very impressed and I wanted to become involved with such things but it seemed impossible. At the end of 1948 after my graduation I started work as an assistant at the Department of Electrical Engineering in the Warsaw Technical University.

At that time a number of Polish mathematicians (for instance, K. Kuratowski and A. Mostowski) were in the United States as visiting professors and had their first contact with electronic computers -- completely new things for abstract mathematicians. They wanted to have such new devices for Polish mathematics, and in 1950 they established the GAM (Group for Mathematical Apparatus at the Mathematical Institute). At first GAM consisted of four nonspecialists: Henryk Greniewski, a statistician and logician, and three young electrical engineers, Krystyn Bochenek, Leon Lukaszewicz, and myself (Figure 1).

Because over 80% of Warsaw was destroyed during World War II, the years 1950-1951 were spent locating office space for the institute and GAM and collecting tools, equipment, and materials for our laboratory.

The principal activity of GAM in those days was to build analog computers. A number of such devices were built during the years 1951- 1955, including a differential analyzer, an algebraic

IEEE Computer Society, Jan 01, 1980 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Comput...