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The SSEC and Its Carry-Over Effects on the IBM Type 650

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129477D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 3 page(s) / 21K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

ERNEST S. HUGHES: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Ernest Hughes discusses how the design of the IBM SSEC influenced that of the IBM 650. For details on the SSEC see Charles J. Bashe, ";The SSEC in Historical Perspective"; (pp. 296-312), and John C. McPherson, Frank E. Hamilton, and Robert R. Seeber, Jr., ";A Large-Scale, General-Purpose Electronic Digital Calculator -- The SSEC"; (pp. 313-326) in the Annals, Vol. 4, No. 4, October 1982. Hughes discusses the delays and opposition to the 650 program. These trials brought me to the one serious illness of my life. By the fall of 1952, IBM had no computer to sell. The 701 was essentially sold out, and scientists did not consider the 702 to be adequate for their work. During October 13-17,1952, an engineering conference was held at Arden House on the Harriman estate in the hills north of New York City. I approached this conference with high hopes. Instead, after a week of fruitless discussion, sleepless nights, and no decision, I said, according to Charles Bashe, IBM historian, ";I am deeply disappointed."; Shortly thereafter, I was sent to a doctor who tested me and announced: ";Dr. Hurd, you have the IBM gut."; Tom Watson Jr. then encountered me in the hall, took one look at my face, and said, ";Cuthbert, get out of the country tomorrow and stay away until you feel well."; I protested, but he ordered me to have my wife accompany me to the IBM office in Puerto Rico. Three weeks later I was ready to renew the fray.

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Copyright ©; 1986 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

The SSEC and Its Carry-Over Effects on the IBM Type 650

ERNEST S. HUGHES

  (Image Omitted: © 1986 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: 1220 Highway 71 North, Blountstown, FL 32424. Categories and Subject Descriptors: C.1.1. [Processor Architectures], Single Data

Stream Architectures; K.2 [History of Computing] -- hardware, IBM 650, software, SSEC. General Terms: Design. © 1986 AFIPS 0164-1239/86/01 0012-013

The SSEC and Its Carry-Over Effects on the IBM Type 650

ERNEST S. HUGHES .00/00)

Editor's Note

Ernest Hughes discusses how the design of the IBM SSEC influenced that of the IBM 650. For details on the SSEC see Charles J. Bashe, "The SSEC in Historical Perspective" (pp. 296-312), and John C. McPherson, Frank E. Hamilton, and Robert R. Seeber, Jr., "A Large-Scale, General-Purpose Electronic Digital Calculator -- The SSEC" (pp. 313-326) in the Annals, Vol. 4, No. 4, October 1982.

Hughes discusses the delays and opposition to the 650 program. These trials brought me to the one serious illness of my life. By the fall of 1952, IBM had no computer to sell. The 701 was essentially sold out, and scientists did not consider the 702 to be adequate for their work. During October 13-17,1952, an engineering conference was held at Arden House on the Harriman estate in the hills north of New York City. I approached this conference with high hopes. Instead, after a week of fruitless discussion, sleepless nights, and no decision, I said, according to Charles Bashe, IBM historian, "I am deeply disappointed." Shortly thereafter, I was sent to a doctor who tested me and announced: "Dr. Hurd, you have the IBM gut." Tom Watson Jr. then encountered me in the hall, took one look at my face, and said, "Cuthbert, get out of the country tomorrow and stay away until you feel well." I protested, but he ordered me to have my wife accompany me to the IBM office in Puerto Rico. Three weeks later I was ready to renew the fray.

Designing the SSEC

Almost everything about the Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator (SSEC) was unique except the electronics and electrical componentry. Specifications clearly stated that it was to be an advanced design, not a technological experiment. Frank E. Hamilton, the chief engineer,

IEEE Computer Society, Jan 01, 1986 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 8 Number 1, Pages 12...