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IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 5 Number 4 -- Front Matter

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129417D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 5 page(s) / 26K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

IEEE Computer Society: OWNER

Abstract

This Special Issue on SAGE, the pioneering computer-based air-defense system, has had, like SAGE itself, a complicated beginning. Two old SAGE hands, Mort Astrahan and Jack Jacobs, wrote an article on the design of the SAGE computer and submitted it to the Annals. Herb Benington, another old SAGE hand, was looking, at the time, into the possibility of republishing his 1956 paper on the development of the software for SAGE. Bernie Galler suggested that an entire issue of the Annals be devoted to SAGE, and in a weak moment, I agreed to act as editor. I recruited Jack Jacobs and Louise Meyer to help me, and we set to work. SAGE was a very large enterprise involving dozens of organizations and thousands of people. A list of just the major contributors would be quite long. It was obvious that we could not hope to cover all the major aspects of SAGE -- its conception, design, production, operation, test, funding, politics, management, organizational relationships, and so on. Instead, I took the editor's privilege of looking at SAGE from my own limited perspective of design and test. I hope those of you who read this issue will gain some feel for what SAGE was, for the technical environment in which it was created, the kind of people who designed it, and a little about how they felt about it. Speaking as one of them, I feel that SAGE was a great experience, socially as well as technically. The opportunity to be a part of a truly important enterprise -- to be in at the beginning of a new and revolutionary art, to do things for the first time and see them built and work as they were supposed to -- such an opportunity comes to only a few lucky ones. We were very lucky, and I hope that through the barrier of words comes a little of the excitement and enthusiasm that gripped us all and that we still remember. The issue is more of a sampler than a unified description. There are two papers from the 1950s and three new ones on the computer, on radar data transmission, and on test and experiment. There is an overview and -- perhaps the heart of the issue -- a discussion by some of the participants representing some of the major organizations. Reliability was the fundamental driver of the design of SAGE, and we are fortunate to have some remarks from Jay Forrester on that subject. Each paper was written to stand alone and therefore has some introductory material that may be redundant. I hope you will forgive us for any duplication. Finally, there is a report of a recent trip to North Bay, Ontario, to see a SAGE center in operation.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 17% of the total text.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1983 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Annals of the History of Computing Volume 5 Number 4 October 1983 [Front Matter]

SPECIAL ISSUE: SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment)

Contents About this Issue - Robert R. Everett, Editor.....319

Contributors.....320

SAGE Overview - John F. Jacobs.....323

SAGE -- A Data-Processing System for Air Defense - Robert R. Everett, Charles A. Zraket, and Herbert D. Benington.....330

History of the Design of the SAGE Computer -- The AN/FSQ-7 - Morton M. Astrahan and John
F. Jacobs.....340

Production of Large Computer Programs - Herbert D. Benington.....350 The Cape Cod System -
C. Robert Wieser.....362

Radar Data Transmission - John V. Harrington.....370

A Perspective on SAGE: Discussion - Henry S. Tropp, Moderator.....375 Herbert D. Benington,
Robert Bright, Robert P. Crago, Robert R. Everett, Jay W. Forrester, John V. Harrington, John
F. Jacobs, Albert R. Shiely, Norman H. Taylor, and C. Robert Wieser

Reliability of Components - Jay W. Forrester.....399

SAGE at North Bay - Henry S. Tropp.....401

Epilogue - Robert R. Everett, Editor.....403

Departments Comments, Queries, and Debate.....404 Anecdotes.....406 Self-Study
Questions.....407 News and Notices.....407

Reviews.....411 Essay Reviews O. I. Franksen: Mr. Babbage Allan G. Bromley Herman Lukoff:
From Dits to Bits Martin Campbell-Kelly

Reviews Isaac Asimov: Biographical Encyclopedia K. W. Smillie Jacques Futrelle: "Thinking Machine" Eric A. Weiss M. R. Hord: ILLMC IV - Saul Rosen C. H. Meyer & S. M. Matyas: Cryptography Cipher A. Deavours T. J. Peters & R. H. Waterman: In Search of Excellence Eric
A. Weiss J. W. Stokes: 70 Years of Radio Tubes - Eric A. Weiss Gordon Welchman: Hut Six Story Cipher A. Deavours

Capsule Reviews [Material omitted]

About this Issue

IEEE Computer Society, Oct 01, 1983 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 5 Number 4, Pages 2_before_319-322

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IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 5 Number 4 -- Front Matter

This Special Issue on SAGE, the pioneering computer-based air-defense system, has had, like SAGE itself, a complicated beginning. Two old SAGE hands, Mort Astrahan and Jack Jacobs, wrote an article on the design of the SAGE computer and submitted it to the Annals. Herb Benington, another old SAGE hand, was looking, at the time, into the possibility of republishing his 1956 paper on the development of the software for SAGE. Bernie Galler suggested that an entire issue of the Annals be devoted to SAGE, and in a weak moment, I agreed to act as editor. I recruited Jack Jacobs and Louise Meyer to help me, and we set to work.

SAGE was a very large enterprise involving dozens of organizations and thousands of people. A list of just the major contributors would be quite long. It was obvious that we could not hope to cover all the major aspects of SAGE -- its conce...