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The IBM 650 Magnetic Drum Calculator

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129479D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 13 page(s) / 48K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

GEORGE R. TRIMBLE: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

As stated earlier, Kubie and Trimble were the first members of the Mathematics Planning Group of Applied Science in Endicott, New York, where the 650 was designed and manufactured. In preparation for this special issue, I wrote to Kubie, who referred me to his paper with Hamilton (preceding) and made the following statement: The 650 used biquinary for its self-checking capability. Remember, machines at that time were still relatively unreliable. The little initial software that existed was written by George Trimble and myself. The 650 was probably the last machine where it was feasible to write application software in machine language. Therefore, a great deal of support software was not required. Trimble has kindly written for us a paper that describes not only the 650 as it was first built, but also the enhancements made to its design.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 8% of the total text.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

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

The IBM 650 Magnetic Drum Calculator

GEORGE R. TRIMBLE

(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: 4 Peak Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540. Categories arid Subject Descriptors: C.1.1 [Processor Architectures], Single Data Stream Architectures; K.2 [History of Computing] -- hardware, IBM 650, software. General Terms:

Design. Additional Key Words and Phrases: Woodenwheel. © 1986 AFIPS 0164- 1239/86/010020-029

The IBM 650 Magnetic Drum Calculator

GEORGE R. TRIMBLE .00/00)

Editor's Note

As stated earlier, Kubie and Trimble were the first members of the Mathematics Planning Group of Applied Science in Endicott, New York, where the 650 was designed and manufactured. In preparation for this special issue, I wrote to Kubie, who referred me to his paper with Hamilton (preceding) and made the following statement: The 650 used biquinary for its self-checking capability. Remember, machines at that time were still relatively unreliable. The little initial software that existed was written by George Trimble and myself. The 650 was probably the last machine where it was feasible to write application software in machine language. Therefore, a great deal of support software was not required.

Trimble has kindly written for us a paper that describes not only the 650 as it was first built, but also the enhancements made to its design.

Introduction

The IBM 650 was a major contribution to the data processing industry in that it was the first computer for which the number of systems delivered was measured in thousands, not in dozens. It was not the first electronic computer, nor was it the largest or the fastest. Its impact went far beyond the 2200 systems eventually installed, however, in that it showed that the market for "reasonably" priced systems was far larger than most people had anticipated. Price was certainly a major factor in the popularity of the 650, but it was only one factor. Ease of use was also of considerable importance.

IEEE Computer Society, Jan 01, 1986 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 8 Number 1, Pages 20-29

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The IBM 650 Magnetic Drum Calculator

This paper examines the background of the development of the 650 in the perspective of the technology available at the time, and relative to competing developments within IBM. The rationale for the architecture...