Use of the Relay Digital Computer
Original Publication Date: 1982-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05
Software Patent Institute
E. G. ANDREWS: AUTHOR [+3]
AbstractTwo large-scale general-purpose digital relay computers designated Model V have been constructed for the National Advisory Council for Aeronautics at Langley Field, Va., and for the Ballistic Research Laboratory at the United States Army Ordnance Station at Aberdeen, Md. They are characterized as being controlled by perforations on teletype tapes and using the relays and design technique of dial telephone systems.
THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.
Copyright ©; 1982 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.
Use of the Relay Digital Computer
E. G. ANDREWS
H. W. BODE
(Image Omitted: Note: This article is reprinted, with permission, from Electrical Engineering, February 1950, pp. 158-163. © 1950 AIEE (now IEEE). Illustrations courtesy Bell Laboratories.)
Two large-scale general-purpose digital relay computers designated Model V have been constructed for the National Advisory Council for Aeronautics at Langley Field, Va., and for the Ballistic Research Laboratory at the United States Army Ordnance Station at Aberdeen, Md. They are characterized as being controlled by perforations on teletype tapes and using the relays and design technique of dial telephone systems.
The various tapes required for a problem are originally perforated on a manually operated machine having a keyboard resembling that of a typewriter. They are then processed into a code suitable for the computer. The number of tapes required for a problem varies from 2 to 12 depending upon its complexity. As soon as all the tapes for a problem have been processed, they are loaded into one of four problem position tables. As the answers are worked out they are printed on one of the two recorder tables. Part of the equipment performing the computing is shown in Figure 1. It consists of about 9000 telephone relays mounted on 27 frames. A motor generator and storage battery are furnished for the 50-volt d-c supply. This relay equipment constitutes two independent computers. They obtain the information for problems from two of the four problem positions. Connections between these components are made automatically. Since four problem positions are furnished, two additional problems may be loaded while two others are being solved, making it possible to overlap the problem setup time completely.
The general appearance of a tape is shown in Figure 2. The code for a character consists of some combination of six holes on vertical centers.
(Image Omitted: Figure 1. Equipment room components of Ballistic Research Laboratory installation.)
Figure 3 shows a problem position with a short problem tape in the tape transmitter on the extreme right and a routine tape in the next position. The simplicity of operation of this part of the equipment is attested to by the fact that a card 5 by 8 inches with 5 to 15 entries contains all of the required information for setting up a problem.
The actual loading operations for a problem with a maximum of 12 tapes may take as much as five minutes. A small key panel provides facilities for momentarily stopping or completely disconnecting the problem at the problem position.
Visitors often ask, "What happens when something goes wrong?" The answer is simple; the computer stops. In all but a few kinds of troubles it stops at the instant of failure. In no case will operations continu...