Original Publication Date: 1983-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Software Patent Institute
JOHN F. JACOBS: AUTHOR [+2]
JOHN F. JACOBS
THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.
Copyright ©; 1983 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.
JOHN F. JACOBS
(Image Omitted: © 1983 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: MITRE Corporation, Burlington Road, Bedford, MA 01730. Categories and Subject Descriptors: K.2 [History of Computing] -- hardware, people, SAOE, software, systems. General Terms: Design, Management. Additional
Key Words and Phrases: defense, J. W. Forrester, Lincoln Laboratory, G. E. Valley. Photographs courtesy MITRE Archives. © 1983 AFIPS 01 64-1 239/83/040323-329
JOHN F. JACOBS .00/00)
I would like to thank Jack Jacobs for this overview, which gives a brief review of the history of SAGE and of some of the organizations involved. I cannot think of anyone better able to discuss SAGE than Jake who, along with his many other contributions, created and ran the Systems Office that coordinated the design efforts of the numerous organizations having subsystem design responsibilities. We at Lincoln had nominal overall design authority, but we were not foolish enough to insist on it very often. Almost all the time, the Systems Office would handle problems by investigating them, getting everyone's input, and then coming up with a solution with plenty of backup and justification. Everyone's agreement was then sought, usually in formal coordination meetings, which frequently had as many as a hundred participants.
Agreement was almost always achieved, not because nobody wanted to object, but because the sheer hopelessness of trying to upset the carefully worked out and documented Systems Office solution was obvious to everyone. Besides, Lincoln was responsible, and no one wished to usurp that important but highly risky position. Since no design decision was considered valid within the community without Lincoln concurrence, one was faced with agreeing or else taking the onus for holding up the whole schedule and bringing down the wrath of the entire community on himself. To make this work, of course, the Systems Office had to be prompt, accurate, and thorough. At this task, as at all others, Jake was superb.
Even though there had been no warning of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the American public maintained a complacent attitude toward the lack of adequate air defense in the years right after the end of World War II. Much of this complacency may have been due to the fact that the U...