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The Beginnings at MIT: Teager's recommendation for an IBM 703048

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129708D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 5 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

IEEE Computer Society: OWNER

Abstract

The Beginnings at MIT: Teager's recommendation for an IBM 703048 The two studies that preceded the formalization of the MIT activity, which led first to the development of the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) and eventually to Project MAC,have been mentioned both by McCarthy in his recollections and later by the respondents in the interviews. The first study group report, written by Herbert Teager, recommended the acquisition of an IBM 7030 (Stretch), although Teager recognized that he was unable to obtain all the necessary data regarding its capabilities, and the support software was an unknown factor. Retrospectively, Teager's arguments were sound; his choice of the IBM Stretch was unfortunate. MIT should obtain, within the next two to three years, an ultra large capacity computer, develop time-shared remote input-output facilities complete with display and graphical input capability, and begin an intensive effort to develop advanced, user oriented programming languages for this system. This policy would seem the best possible way for MIT to obtain a research facility to multiply the intellectual effectiveness of the experimental and theoretical research workers and teachers in all fields. The policy would at the same time provide a necessary experimental tool for frontier research in many fields involving physical simulation, information processing, and real-time experimental work, which would otherwise be unfeasible.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1992 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

The Beginnings at MIT: Teager's recommendation for an IBM 703048

The two studies that preceded the formalization of the MIT activity, which led first to the development of the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) and eventually to Project MAC,have been mentioned both by McCarthy in his recollections and later by the respondents in the interviews. The first study group report, written by Herbert Teager, recommended the acquisition of an IBM 7030 (Stretch), although Teager recognized that he was unable to obtain all the necessary data regarding its capabilities, and the support software was an unknown factor. Retrospectively, Teager's arguments were sound; his choice of the IBM Stretch was unfortunate.

MIT should obtain, within the next two to three years, an ultra large capacity computer, develop time-shared remote input-output facilities complete with display and graphical input capability, and begin an intensive effort to develop advanced, user oriented programming languages for this system. This policy would seem the best possible way for MIT to obtain a research facility to multiply the intellectual effectiveness of the experimental and theoretical research workers and teachers in all fields. The policy would at the same time provide a necessary experimental tool for frontier research in many fields involving physical simulation, information processing, and real-time experimental work, which would otherwise be unfeasible.

The machine should have sufficient capacity and be of sufficiently advanced design so that it would have a useful life of at least six years, before any further change need be contemplated.

Based upon presently published specifications for existing machines, the IBM 7030, Stretch Computer is a suitable candidate for the recommended computer, by virtue of its speed, memory size, and overall capacity and capabilities.

Published data for Stretch, while not including some important, but presently unknown factors such as reliability and mean, error-free running time, does indicate that the commercial version of this machine will come very close to meeting its specifications. Several have been built, and programs are operating on this machine as the last of the "bugs" are being wrung out. Other announced machines are either unsuitable or else are in such an early stage of development that specifications and costs are too vague for an objective appraisal.

The final decision for the central computer should be made on a basis of its installation within a maximum period of perhaps three years [emphasis added]; a minimum set of speed, reliability, memory size, and overall capacity requirements; and finally the relative cost for such unit capacity. Presently unknown commercial machines might conceivably prove a better choice if they could meet these c...