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Comments, Queries, and Debate: A Mechanical Delay Line?

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129747D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Sep-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Eric A. Weiss: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Responding to the letter from Charles Hall in the Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 14, No. 1, p. 9, I found in Ralston's Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering an article on Ultrasonic Memory by M.V. Wilkes, in which he writes: ";In the mid-19SOs, ultrasonic memories using a fine nickel wire in the form of a coil as the propagation medium appeared in some low-cost computers. The waves were excited by making use of the magnetostrictive properties of the nickel.";

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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.

Comments, Queries, and Debate: A Mechanical Delay Line?

Eric A. Weiss

Box 537 Kailua, HI 96734 USA

Mervin Frank

Box 11861 Santa Ana, CA 92711 USA

Responding to the letter from Charles Hall in the Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 14, No. 1, p. 9, I found in Ralston's Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering an article on Ultrasonic Memory by M.V. Wilkes, in which he writes: "In the mid-19SOs, ultrasonic memories using a fine nickel wire in the form of a coil as the propagation medium appeared in some low-cost computers. The waves were excited by making use of the magnetostrictive properties of the nickel."

As I remember, the Packard-Bell PB-250 minicomputer used such a magnetostrictive delay line in a serial-by-bit, serial-by-word architecture. A magnetic coil at one end introduced longitudinal acoustic pulses that were picked up by the coil at the far end. The general principle was similar to the mercury delay lines used earlier.

I believe that Computer Control Corp. was one manufacturer of magnetostrictive delay lines.

(Image Omitted: The famous Grace Hopper bug. (See story on facing page.))

IEEE Computer Society, Sep 30, 1992 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 14 Number 3, Pages 6-7