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IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 6 Number 3 -- Front Matter

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129449D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 3 page(s) / 18K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

IEEE Computer Society: OWNER

Abstract

The Annals of the History of Computing is considerably different from traditional history journals in its effort to record contemporary history. It is unique in that we encourage pioneers to write articles presenting their own versions of events in which they participated. Frequently other participants respond to these articles, and ongoing debates ensue. The debates help fill in details and, more important, present alternative points of view on major issues. We believe this approach illuminates other parts of the overall historical record. Of course, we must bear in mind that pioneers and others who report on events of several decades ago are apt to have memories that are hazy and perhaps selective -- even if unconsciously so. This fact does not diminish the validity of the recollections because in the end they provide us with a primary source: historical analysis by those who participated in the history or who had firsthand knowledge of it. An example of completely contrasting views by pioneers has been appearing in the Annals. Our series of articles on the question of the invention of the first electronic general-purpose computer has shown how different the reporting of history can be. The article by Arthur W. Burks and Alice R. Burks (Volume 3, Number 4, October 1981) gave one view of the evolution of ideas leading to the ENIAC. In our last issue (Volume 6, Number 2, April 1984) Kathleen R. Mauchly gave another view. The first article in this issue, by John Vincent Atanasoff, gives still another. Each article is interesting and informative; each author is dedicated to reporting events, motivations, and attitudes as accurately as possible; yet the conclusions differ. In the case of these three articles, a great deal of the controversy rests on the decision by Judge Earl R. Larson on the patent application for the ENIAC. Some of the participants are ready to accept the decision, while others put forth reasons why the decision should be rejected. My own view is that the question of the judge's decision is less productive than the question of the actual innovations involved.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 42% of the total text.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1984 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Annals of the History of Computing Volume 6 Number 3 July 1984

Contents About this Issue.....227 A Note on Our Fifth Anniversary Aaron Finerman.....228

Articles Advent of Electronic Digital Computing - John Vincent Atanasoff.....229 The Discovery
of Linear Programming - Robert Dorfman.....283 History of Mathematical Programming Systems
- William Orchard- Hays.....296

Departments Meetings in Retrospect.....313 John Vincent Atanasoff Celebration - Robert M.
Stewart Al-Khorezmi Anniversary in Turkestan - Heinz Zemanek

Self-Study Questions.....316

News and Notices.....316

Anecdotes.....317 The End of the ABC - Robert M. Stewart

Reviews F. M. Fisher, J. W. McKie, R. B. Mancke, IBM and the U.S. Data Processing Industry - Paul E. Ceruzzi.....319

IBM Corporation, Computer Technology Exhibit - Eric A. Weiss

Capsule Reviews

About this Issue

The Annals of the History of Computing is considerably different from traditional history journals in its effort to record contemporary history. It is unique in that we encourage pioneers to write articles presenting their own versions of events in which they participated. Frequently other participants respond to these articles, and ongoing debates ensue. The debates help fill in details and, more important, present alternative points of view on major issues. We believe this approach illuminates other parts of the overall historical record. Of course, we must bear in mind that pioneers and others who report on events of several decades ago are apt to have memories that are hazy and perhaps selective -- even if unconsciously so. This fact does not diminish the validity of the recollections because in the end they provide us with a primary source: historical analysis by those who participated in the history or who had firsthand knowledge of it.

An example of completely contrasting views by pioneers has been appearing in the Annals. Our series of articles on the question of the invention of the first electronic general-purpose computer has shown how different the reporting of history can be. The article by Arthur W. Burks and Alice R. Burks (Volume 3, Number 4, October 1981) gave one view of the evolution of ideas leading to the ENIAC. In our last issue (Volume 6, Number 2, April 1984) Kathleen R. Mauchly gave another view. The first article in this issue, by John Vincent Atanasoff, gives still another. Each article is interesting and informative; each author is dedicated to reporting events, motivations, and attitudes as accurately as possible; yet the conclusions differ.

IEEE Computer Society, Jul 01, 1984 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 6 Number 3, Pages 2_before_227-228

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IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 6 Number 3 -- Front Matter

In the case of these three articles, a great deal of the cont...