Original Publication Date: 1991-Sep-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Software Patent Institute
JEAN E. SAMMET: AUTHOR [+2]
AbstractThis 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.
THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.
Copyright ©; 1991 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.
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.
a) Networking is made feasible by the existence of a standard for linking the computers. What networking standard was named by three companies in the same year, what was the year, and which were the companies?
b) One might say that the abacus is a precursor to the modem computer! Where did it probably originate, and what country received it next? What country in very modem times continued to use the abacus, and when did they drop it in favor of computers?
c) Some successful computers have had less successful predecessors. What were the predecessors to the following computers?
Apple Macintosh DEC PDP-8 IBM Systemt360-90
2. What computers were considered the Dust and second generation of vector supercomputers, and around when did they exist? How many installations of the fast generation were there? What is the major architectural difference between the fast and second generations of vector supercomputers? What were the major characteristics (e.g. timing, memory) of the second generation machines?
3. Clearly software, and the problems in developing it, is one of the major issues in today's computer field. One proposed solution to the difficulties has been the concept of a "software factory." Who originated such a phrase, and what did it mean? At what famous "software meeting" did one occurrence of that phrase appear? What is the current term for one of the elements of a "software factory"?
4. The U. S. Army Ballistic Missile Defense Program (BMD) was under development in the early 1960s and focused on the development of the Safeguard system. What was the main computer used for that system, and what were its major characteristics? Who designed and built it? How much software was written for it? What is the minimum amount of time that it ran successfully?
Answers appear on page369. nd part of work 1]
Answers to Self-Study Questions, Page359.
IEEE Computer Society, Sep 30, 1991 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 13 Number 4, Pages 358-370
JEAN E. SAMMET, EDITOR
Some questions have either no answers or controversial answers. If no specific source is provided, the answer represen...