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The Beginnings at MIT: Long Range Computation Study Group's recommendation for a time-sharing system.1

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129709D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 4 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

IEEE Computer Society: OWNER

Abstract

The Beginnings at MIT: Long Range Computation Study Group's recommendation for a time-sharing system.1 The conclusions and recommendations of the Teager report did not reflect the views of the majority of the Committee. Thus, a second report was submitted that recommended the acquisition of not just a large computing system, but also a system capable of supporting time- sharing. The second report of the Long Range Computation Study Group was presented to Albert Hill in April 1961.

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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: Long Range Computation Study Group's recommendation for a time-sharing system.1

The conclusions and recommendations of the Teager report did not reflect the views of the majority of the Committee. Thus, a second report was submitted that recommended the acquisition of not just a large computing system, but also a system capable of supporting time- sharing.

The second report of the Long Range Computation Study Group was presented to Albert Hill in April 1961.

The major part of MIT's computational needs, a few years from now, can best be met by a single very high speed large-capacity computer system witl1 provision for timesharing through a number of remote consoles.

Present estimates of the cost of such a system lie between $8 and $25 million for a suitable central machine, including the development and procurement of remote input-output equipment, and the development of programming languages and systems appropriate for time-shared operation. However, this system would be the cheapest way of providing the needed capacity and the only way of providing the necessary, close man-machine interrelationship that we feel is vital for research in the years to come.

The committee is convinced that the bulk of scientific calculation is certain to increase rapidly and that it would be uneconomical, even if feasible, to try to keep pace with this growth by the addition of more and more standard machines, although there are areas in which separate machines may be valuable. Therefore, steps should be taken to acquire a giant machine meeting the specifications presented subsequently.

The conclusion that a central computer with remote consoles is required is based not only on the important economy obtained, both in running expenses and in programming expenses, but also on the importance of establishing close communication between the scientist and the machine. Thus, the committee feels that it is essential to provide for operating the machine in a time-sharing mode to provide immediate service to each of a large number of users simultaneously operating remote consoles throughout thc Institute.

It is remarkable that, despite the many views and needs represented by members of the committee, there were essentially no compromises involved in coming to this general conclusion. Such a high-speed computing systcn1 having a very large memory and remote time-sharing operation meets the needs of very different kinds of projects, ranging from the numerical computations of physics, engineering and meteorology, to the symbolic computations of language translation and artificial intelligence projects.

(Image Omitted: Minsky and Teager Interestingly, in the workshop which formed the basis for the book Computers and the World of the Future25 by Marlin Greenberger, McCarth...