RCA 301 computer now steps up to big system workpower!
Core memory doubled to 40,000 characters! Magnetic tape capability increased to twelve or more 66,000 character/second tape units! System rentals remain low, and you can still begin on a small scale!
Already widely accepted by business and government, the RCA 301 has been so stepped up in workpower that the running time for many jobs has been cut in half. Now it can also tackle much larger and more complex jobs, and can be greatly extended in capacity as your work load grows.
THINKING MACHINES ARE GETTING SMARTER
By Robert Strother
AT THE Vanguard Computing Center – in Washington, D. C, I watched a young woman present a machine with an extremely complex problem in ballistics involving hundreds of variables. At once lights on a control panel twinkled and winked as the computer checked to see that all equipment was operating properly. Then it set briskly to work. Magnetic tapes spun in their shiny glass-and-steel vacuum cabinets, the high-speed printer muttered. Suddenly the machine stopped and the electric typewriter wrote: “Last entry improperly stated!”
YOUR business will benefit with NCR Data Processing!
Regardless of the type or size of your business, you will benefit from the efficiencies of National Data Processing. From one or more of NCR’s original entry products—accounting machines, cash registers, listing, window posting and receipting systems—you can get just the input media of your need and choice. This may be punched paper tape or punched cards.
COMPUTERS: THEIR SCOPE TODAY
ARTICLE BY ERNEST HAVEMANN
AT THE Massachusetts Institute of Technology there sits a giant computer, its lights constantly blinking and its dials endlessly churning out new numbers, on which some unknown technician has fastened one of the buttons now so popular among the hippie set. The button reads:
I AM A HUMAN BEING.
DO NOT FOLD, SPINDLE OR MUTILATE
Newcomers to the laboratory spot the button, move in for a closer look and nod—yet seldom smile. To most people who deal with computers, the button seems not funny, not ridiculous, not cynical but oddly appropriate.
COMPUTERS THAT ARE REALLY PORTABLE
By Philip L. Harrison & Margaret A. Taylor
IN 1946, the first American electronic digital computer, ENIAC (for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator), was unveiled. It ran on 18,000 vacuum tubes, 70,000 resistors, 6,000 switches and 10,000 capacitors. It weighed more than 30 tons, occupied 1,500 square feet of floor space and consumed 140,000 watts of electricity. Commercial versions of this machine ran to the tune of $5 million.
THE OVSHINSKY INVENTION
By Norman Carlisle
Is it greater than the transistor, or is this self-taught engineer a fraud as the big companies claim?
Everyone knew that glass was an insulator, not a conductor of electricity. Everybody, that is, except a controversial independent inventor named Stanford Ovshinsky. To the consternation of orthodox scientists he’s found a way to turn glass into a conductor—a discovery that may rival that of the transistor effect.
At least that’s what Ovshinksy and a number of fellow scientists and engineers claim, thereby starting a red-hot hassle among scientists.
• you’re weary of matching one assembler instruction per one machine language instruction.
• you’re spending half of your machine time translating compiler programs into machine language programs of questionable efficiency.
• you’re using up time and money with hunt-and-peck machine language debugging and reprogramming.
Yes, that is Steve Jobs on a motorcycle.
Also be sure to check out the other great computer article from this issue: “The Chip”
HIGH TECH, HIGH RISK, AND HIGH LIFE IN Silicon Valley
By MOIRA JOHNSTON
Photographs by CHARLES O’REAR
SILICON VALLEY appears on no map, but this former California prune patch, an hour’s drive south of San Francisco, is the heartland of an electronics revolution that may prove as far-reaching as the industrial revolution of the 19th century.
It is a place where fast fortunes are made, corporate head-hunting is profitable sport, and seven-day workweeks send cutting-edge technology tumbling over itself in its competitive rush to the marketplace.
Not surprisingly, flying—fast, challenging, and risky—is a sport that appeals powerfully to Silicon Valley men such as Bob Noyce, who snatches every chance to fly his twin-engine Turbo Commander to Aspen to ski, to his Intel plant in Phoenix, or just to wheel in the sky around Silicon Valley.
How the Computer gets the answer
Photographed by HENRY GROSKINSKY
Text by ROBERT CAMPBELL
Step by step, an easy exercise reveals the workings of man’s most complex machine Two plus One—not exactly a problem to set the mind racing or to blow a computer’s fuse. Yet it is enough to send electric pulses flying through the computer’s intricate web of wires. Although we are barely in the third decade of the computer age, computers already touch the life of everyone in the U.S. Each year—each day—our involvement with these machines rises toward unimaginable levels.
Behold the Computer Revolution
By PETER T. WHITE National Geographic Staff
Illustrations by National Geographic Photographers BRUCE DALE and EMORY KRISTOF
MY WIFE IS MAD AT COMPUTERS. “Those awful machines,” she calls them. “How they mess up our credit card accounts! Imagine sending a bill for $232.24 every month for four months after you’ve paid it!”
But I’m not mad. That mixup was settled after five months; and we never did feel as computer-harassed as some Americans, notably the Kansan repeatedly reminded that his department store bill was “overdue in the amount of $00.00.” At last he too managed to pacify the computer— with a check for $00.00.