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Self-Study Questions

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129680D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Mar-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 4 page(s) / 21K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

JEAN E. SAMMET: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This department attempts to help people think about the history of computing in new ways, through the mechanism of questions, with answers on a separate page -- thus permitting the reader to do self- testing. The answers list source material for further self-study on topics relating to the questions. Occasionally some questions will be used that have either no answers or controversial answers. Readers are urged to send suggested questions (and answers with cited material) to the department editor. 1. The following questions were used at the Computer Museum Computer Bowl held in Boston in April 1990. In a few cases the department editor has made some minor changes in the wording of the question. a) The first use of the phrase ";personal computer"; was reportedly used to describe a computer built at MIT by some hackers. What was its name, how large was it, and what did it cost? b) In what relatively early year were three real personal computers introduced, and what were the computers? c) In 1980, the largest public stock offering since the Ford Motor Company's offering of 1956 was made. What was the computer company? What is the unusual financial characteristic of its Chief Executive Officer, and what is his name? d) What was the first major movie to use computer-aided animation, and in what year was it issued? e) What was the first software company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and in what year was it listed? 2. The dissolution of AFIPS in October 1990 could be considered the opposite extreme from their successful conferences. What was the most recent name used for their conferences? How often per year were they held? When did this series of conferences start? What was the maximum number of people attending one of the conferences, and in what year? In what year was the last of these conferences held?

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1991 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Self-Study Questions

JEAN E. SAMMET, EDITOR

This department attempts to help people think about the history of computing in new ways, through the mechanism of questions, with answers on a separate page -- thus permitting the reader to do self- testing. The answers list source material for further self-study on topics relating to the questions. Occasionally some questions will be used that have either no answers or controversial answers. Readers are urged to send suggested questions (and answers with cited material) to the department editor.

1. The following questions were used at the Computer Museum Computer Bowl held in Boston in April 1990. In a few cases the department editor has made some minor changes in the wording of the question. a) The first use of the phrase "personal computer" was reportedly used to describe a computer built at MIT by some hackers. What was its name, how large was it, and what did it cost? b) In what relatively early year were three real personal computers introduced, and what were the computers? c) In 1980, the largest public stock offering since the Ford Motor Company's offering of 1956 was made. What was the computer company? What is the unusual financial characteristic of its Chief Executive Officer, and what is his name? d) What was the first major movie to use computer-aided animation, and in what year was it issued? e) What was the first software company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and in what year was it listed?

2. The dissolution of AFIPS in October 1990 could be considered the opposite extreme from their successful conferences. What was the most recent name used for their conferences? How often per year were they held? When did this series of conferences start? What was the maximum number of people attending one of the conferences, and in what year? In what year was the last of these conferences held?

3. One of the earliest commercial home/personal computers was the Altair. The following questions all relate to it a) Who was the developer?

b) What was the acronym and name of his company? What products did the company sell before the Altair? c) When was the Altair first sold, and what did it cost? d) What microprocessor chip was rejected, and what was used in the Altair? e) What other characteristics did the Altair have? f) What is the origin of the name Altair for this computer? g) What unusual thing happened to the only prototype? h) In what publication was it first described?

4. One of the most important people in the computer field was Robert N. Noyce who died in June 1990. He had many achievements, and the following questions deal with them: a) What was his primary invention, and who else did similar work? b) What companies did he found or help found, with whom, and when? Where else did he work? c) What indus...