Archive
Computers
Transistor Ad (Jul, 1952)

THE TRANSISTOR

A picture report of progress

A tiny amplifying device first announced by Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1948 is about to appear as a versatile element in telephony.

Each step in the work on the transistor . . . from original theory to initial production technique . . . has been carried on within the Laboratories. Thus, Bell scientists demonstrate again how their skills in many fields, from theoretical physics to production engineering, help improve telephone service.

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Become a well-paid computer programmer (Jun, 1970)

Yes, if you become a computer programmer chicks will dig you. Learn to say the words every woman loves to hear: “Do not fold, spindle or mutilate”

Don’t waste your life in a dead-end job!

Become a well-paid computer programmer – this free McGraw-Hill booklet tells you how.

Now you can train at home in your spare time, for a career in this new, exciting field.
More than 50,000 programmers are needed now; many more will be needed within the next few years.
No college or technical background required. All you need is a logical mind and proper training. People from virtually every walk of life have found success in computer programming.
This new course has been developed by experts. CREI/McGraw-Hill has trained thousands of men and women for better jobs through home study and has an unmatched reputation in educational circles.
No stamp needed. This fold-over coupon forms i a postpaid envelope. Cut along dotted line. Fold, seal, tape or staple and mail.

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“PEDRO” – THE FIRST MACHINE THAT REALLY TALKS (Apr, 1939)

Vote for Pedro!

“PEDRO”
THE FIRST MACHINE THAT REALLY TALKS

Voice-Operation Demonstrator Crowns Centuries of Effort by Scientists to Duplicate Human Speech Artificially

HE HASN’T any mouth, lungs, or larynx-but he talks a blue streak. His name is Pedro the Voder, and you may see him in action at the New York and San Francisco world’s fairs. His creation from vacuum tubes and electrical circuits, by Bell Telephone Laboratories engineers, crowns centuries of effort to duplicate the human voice.

To manufacture Pedro’s conversation, his operator employs a keyboard like that of an old-fashioned parlor organ. Thirteen black and white keys, fingered one or more at a time, produce all the vowels and consonants of speech. Another key regulates the loudness of the synthetic voice, which comes from a loudspeaker. A foot pedal varies the inflection meanwhile; so that the same sentence may state a fact or ask a question.

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Automation Edges out Tunesters, Writes Songs Wholesale (Sep, 1956)



Automation Edges out Tunesters, Writes Songs Wholesale

The pianist above is playing a tune as it is composed by the electronic brain he gazes at wistfully. The complicated Burroughs machine can turn out 1,000 tunes an hour – all mathematically calculated to be popular. It picks off a series of coded numbers, matches them with melodic formulas, rejects sour notes.

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Amazing New Picturephone (Jun, 1968)

This is the earliest reference I’ve seen to a CCD in a consumer product.

Amazing New Picturephone
A step closer to in-person

By W. Stevenson Bacon

There’s a brand-new Picturephone in the works that will one day give you instant total communication with anyone you call. What makes it fascinating is the amazing versatility of the delicately engineered unit that holds both picture and camera tubes.

Unlike the old Picturephone, this one gives you a choice of wide-angle picture, long-range shot, or electronic close-up. Pull a lens out and aim it downward, and you can send pictures, drawings, or printed documents. If you wish, you can push a button to see what you’re sending. And if a call catches you in the shower you can simply switch over to three-bar test pattern.

Bell Telephone Laboratories packed all this into an 8-by-11-by-14-inch box by using tiny integrated circuits that incorporate hundreds of transistors and other components on small chips of silicon. In fact, the only vacuum tubes used are the picture and camera tubes. And even the camera tube makes use of semiconductors.

The camera tube is a revolutionary new type that uses a target (the part of the tube that converts incoming light to electrical charges) made of silicon and containing 300,000 light-sensitive diodes formed on it by integrated circuit techniques. It’s the first time that semiconductors and vacuum tubes have been combined to make one device.

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Wanted: 500,000 Men to Feed Computers (Jan, 1965)

Wanted: 500,000 Men to Feed Computers

You don’t have to be a college man to get a good job in computer programming – today even high-school grads are stepping into excellent jobs with big futures

By Stanley L. Englebardt

IF YOU know how to “talk to computers,” chances are you’ve got it made. If you don’t, you may be missing out on a great job opportunity.

People who talk to computers are called programmers. They instruct data-processing machines on how to perform specific jobs. Today there are about 40,000 of these specialists at work. In six years, experts say, 500,000 more will be needed. Many will require a bachelor’s, master’s, or even doctor’s degree. But close to 50 percent will move into this new profession with only high-school diplomas.

Here’s why there’s such a tremendous demand for programmers.

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Digital Watch – Only $1500 (Jul, 1970)

Interesting note “This display, flashing a brilliant ruby-red, is the first use of solid-state, light-emitting diodes in a consumer product. ”

Look, Little Old Swiss Watchmaker – No Hands!

Breakthrough. It’s a much-abused word-a pity at a time like this. Because here is a genuine, 24-karat breakthrough in timekeeping.

The name of same is Pulsar, a solid-state computer device that has a single fixed program to flash the time on demand. Sound formidable? It all nests neatly in the wristwatch you see here. Incredibly, not only does Pulsar have no hands, it has no moving parts whatsoever, unless you count the oscillations of its quartz crystal. Here’s how it works:

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Dial Switches Message Tubes (Dec, 1951)

This is a hardware packet switched network, kinda like IP circa 1951.

Dial Switches Message Tubes
By Dialing a number, workers in a Connecticut factory can send written messages and even metal samples to various parts of the plant in about a minute’s time. They are using the familiar old pneumatic tube, the hissing clanging gadget used to make change in many department stores.

This pneumatic tube is different. Wehere older systems required separate tubes to each station, this one has an automatic dial exchange, just like a modern telephone central office, making a few tubes do the work of many. Each carrier has numbers that can be set to guide it automatically to any one of the nine stations that make up the first American installation at the Housatonic plant of the Bridgeport Brass Co. Eventually there will be 20 stations.

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Self-navigating robot gets its own charge (Jan, 1965)

Self-navigating robot gets its own charge

A machine that recharges its batteries by finding and plugging into the nearest wall outlet is under test at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

Like a hatbox full of bees, it buzzes up and down a hall, probing ahead to avoid open doors, stairs, and other obstacles.

Equipped with sonar, the robot may find use in moon or undersea explorations.

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Suitcase Brain (Aug, 1950)

It’s Small But Smart, This “Suitcase Brain”

Not much larger than a suitcase, a new electonic “brain” can handle most of the intracate problems solved by huge automatic computers, some of them almost the size of a basketball court. The small computer, called the Madida for it’s initials (magnetic drum digital differential analyzer) was designed by 31-year-old Floyd G. Steele. It is only two feed wide, four feed long and three feet high, and weighs 750 pounds. When a difficult problem is fed into the Maddida it comes up with an answer accurate to within one part in a million.

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