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History of the Design of the SAGE Computer -- The AN/FSQ-7

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129420D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 14 page(s) / 54K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

MORTON M. ASTRAHAN: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This paper tells the story of the development of the SAGE (Semi- Automatic Ground Environment) air-defense computer, the AN/FSQ-7. At the time of its operational deployment in 1958, the AN/FSQ-7 was the first large-scale, real-time digital control computer supporting a major military mission. The AN/FSQ-7 design, including its architecture, components, and computer programs, drew on research and development programs throughout the United States, but mostly on work done at MIT's Project Whirlwind and at IBM.

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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.

History of the Design of the SAGE Computer -- The AN/FSQ-7

MORTON M. ASTRAHAN

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. Authors' Addresses: M. M. Astrahan, IBM Research Laboratory, K55-281, 5600 Cottle Road, San Jose, CA 95193. J. F. Jacobs, MITRE Corporation, Burlington Road, Bedford, MA 01730. Illustrations courtesy MITRE Archives. ©

1983 AFIPS 0164-1239/83/040340-349

History of the Design of the SAGE Computer -- The AN/FSQ-7

MORTON M. ASTRAHAN

JOHN F. JACOBS .00/00)

This paper tells the story of the development of the SAGE (Semi- Automatic Ground Environment) air-defense computer, the AN/FSQ-7. At the time of its operational deployment in 1958, the AN/FSQ-7 was the first large-scale, real-time digital control computer supporting a major military mission. The AN/FSQ-7 design, including its architecture, components, and computer programs, drew on research and development programs throughout the United States, but mostly on work done at MIT's Project Whirlwind and at IBM.

Categories and Subject Descriptors: K.2 [History of Computing] -- hardware, SAGE, software, systems General Terms: Design, Management Additional Key Words and Phrases: defense, Lincoln Laboratory, U.S. Air Force, Whirlwind, IBM Corporation, AN/FSQ-7 computer

Editor's Note

In 1952, we at Lincoln realized that the production of the SAGE computers would be a major undertaking and that it was none too soon to get a first-class manufacturer aboard. IBM was soon selected for the job, a decision no one ever regretted.

The Lincoln people, filled with the hubris of young engineers and fresh from Whirlwind, had the idea that they would design the machine and that IBM would do the production engineering, whatever that was, and build the necessary quantity. The IBM people, also proud and capable, fresh from the 701, and much more knowledgeable about what it took to produce equipment, had the idea that a page or two of specifications was all that Lincoln need supply.

The first meetings of these two groups were loud and rancorous. As I look back on them, they were social rather than technical. We argued about everything. IBM used square steel tubing for

IEEE Computer Society, Oct 01, 1983 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 5 Number 4, Pages 340-349

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History of the Design of the SAGE Computer -...