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A Large-Scale, General-Purpose Electronic Digital Calculator -- The SSEC

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129401D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05
Document File: 16 page(s) / 60K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

JOHN C. MCPHERSON: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

This paper, written and intended for publication in 1948, describes IBM's Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator (SSEC), which was placed in regular operation that year. The machine combined electronic computation with a memory system that included electronic, relay, and paper-tape sections. It executed programs stored exactly as data in any of the sections of memory, and could select, compute, or modify the program in a variety of ways. The speed and flexibility of the SSEC permitted it to solve many of the largest scientific problems of the day, including the generation of astronomical tables still used in space flight.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 6% of the total text.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1982 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

A Large-Scale, General-Purpose Electronic Digital Calculator -- The SSEC

JOHN C. MCPHERSON

FRANK E. HAMILTON

ROBERT R. SEEBER, JR.

(Image Omitted: © 1982 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Permission to copy without fee all or part 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 the 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: John C. McPherson, P.O. Box 333, Short Hills, NJ 07078. © 1982 AFIPS 0164-1239/82/040313-326

A Large-Scale, General-Purpose Electronic Digital Calculator -- The SSEC

JOHN C. MCPHERSON

FRANK E. HAMILTON

ROBERT R. SEEBER, JR. .00/00)

This paper, written and intended for publication in 1948, describes IBM's Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator (SSEC), which was placed in regular operation that year. The machine combined electronic computation with a memory system that included electronic, relay, and paper-tape sections. It executed programs stored exactly as data in any of the sections of memory, and could select, compute, or modify the program in a variety of ways. The speed and flexibility of the SSEC permitted it to solve many of the largest scientific problems of the day, including the generation of astronomical tables still used in space flight.

Categories and Subject Descriptors: K.2 [History of Computing] -- hardware, SSEC, software General Terms: Design, Experimentation Additional Key Words and Phrases: relay memory, paper-tape memory, electronic memory, stored program, IBM Corporation.

The Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator (SSEC) built by IBM and dedicated recently to the use of science is a new tool for the convenient handling of complex and burdensome computational problems that occur in many fields of science, engineering, and research. Recent articles11 have described other large-scale devices built, or proposed, and outline the general characteristics of this class of machine and their field of usefulness.

1 1 For example, see the following articles in Electrical Engineering: Aiken, H. H., and G. M. Hopper, The Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator. Electrical Engineering, Part I, 65 (1946), 384-391; Part II, 65, 449-454; Part III, 65, 522-528. Large- scale computer developments discussed. Electrical Engineering 66 (1947), 289-290.

IEEE Computer Society, Oct 01, 1982 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 4 Number 4, Pages 313-326

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A Large-Scale, General-Purpose Electronic Digital Calculator -- The SSEC

1. Design Objectives

The SSEC is noteworthy for rea...