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Comments, Queries, and Debate: Errors in the FORTRAN Issue Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129660D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Mar-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 1 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Mark Malpern: AUTHOR [+2]


3309 Brunell Drive Oakland, California 94602 USA

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Copyright ©; 1990 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Comments, Queries, and Debate: Errors in the FORTRAN Issue

Mark Malpern

3309 Brunell Drive Oakland, California 94602 USA

To establish an accurate record of the past, permit me to correct a few errors that were made in the special FORTRAN issue, Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 6, Num. 1 (1984).

On page 62 of that issue, Dave Hemmes -- or your typesetter -- brings into existence one "Bob Grill," who is said to be one of those who were picked up by IBM to continue the work of the FORTRAN pioneers. The man that Hemmes had in mind is Bob Brill -- in full, Robert Cutler B ill -- who was, and I trust still is, not only a folk singer and guitarist, but a setter of chess puzzles. It was his talent for creating these "white to move and mate in five" problems that brought him to IBM, which was at the time in thrall to the idea that ability in chess implied ability in programming.

On page 9, there occurs a cryptic reference to "Seldon,?"; the person meant is Bill Selden, who left IBM to raise cattle (I think Black Angus) in upstate New York. Several years ago, though, I came upon a story about him in TIME, which indicated that he was still in the computer business and threatening, or involved in, litigation with IBM.

When some time around 2014 the multi-volume History of the Age of FORTRAN is wri...