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Discussion: The Burroughs B 5000 in Retrospect

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129533D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Robert S. Barton: AUTHOR [+22]

Abstract

Editor's Note: The day's discussion began with many of the key managers, designers, and developers of the Burroughs B 5000 recalling the era in which the system was conceived and introduced.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1987 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Discussion: The Burroughs B 5000 in Retrospect

Participants: Robert S. Barton, Henri Berce, George A. Collins, Bobby A. Creech, David M. Dahm, Benjamin A. Dent, V. James Ford, Bernard A. Galler, John E. S. Hale, Erwin A. Hauck, Joseph T. Hootman, Paul D. King, Norman L. Kreuder, William R. Lonergan, Duncan MacDonald, F. Bradley MacKenzie, Clark Oliphint, Ralph Pearson, Robert F Rosin, Lloyd D. Tumer, and Richard Waychoff

The Technical Context

Editor's Note: The day's discussion began with many of the key managers, designers, and developers of the Burroughs B 5000 recalling the era in which the system was conceived and introduced.

In alphabetical order, the discussants for the morning session were: Robert S. Barton, Bobby A. Creech, David M. Dahm, Benjamin A. Dent, John E. S. Hale, Erwin A. Hauck, Paul D. King, Norman L. Kreuder, William R. Lonergan, Duncan MacDonald, F. Bradley MacKenzie, Clark Oliphint, Lloyd D. Turner, and Richard Waychoff. The discussion was moderated by Bernard A. Galler, editor-in-chief of the Annals, assisted by Robert F. Rosin, editor of this special issue.

Galler: The time period we're talking about is 1958-1962, and maybe a little beyond that as we get into the 5500. Who were the players, and what did you think the industry was like at the time?

King: Let me talk about some of the systems that existed at that time. IBM [International Business Machines] was currently delivering the 7070, 7090, the 1401, 1410. RCA [Radio Corporation of America] had the 501. Univac had the II, and the III had been announced, I believe. Then there were a number of other companies. Underwood was still around, and a variety of others that have since dropped by the wayside. Bendix had the G-15. RCA had the BIZMAC, and that was about it.

In terms of Burroughs, we had the 205, which was still sort of being produced; the 220, which was on its last legs; the 2111 had been killed; the B 200 was still in development at that time. It had not yet come out. The B 200, as originally conceived, was not a success. I think they built 50 of them. It was the B 300 that was delivered in quantity. The B 200 only had two card readers, a card punch, and a printer -- no tape, no disk; only 50 or 60 of them were delivered overall. The 2111 was killed at the end of 1959-the start of 1960. The 220 was vacuum tube, the 2111 was going to be solid state, but it had a delay-line memory. The 200 was a solid-state machine.

Kreuder: Honeywell was in a joint venture at that time with Raytheon called Datamatic. RCA and GE were both spending a lot of money, and Bendix, Philco S 2000 -- Philco was a heavy player. The field was much more heavily populated than it is now. There's been a lot of shaking out.

Galler: What was Burroughs position in the industry? What kind of image do you think the...