COMPUTERS AND VIDEO appear to offer an endless variety of combinations, as this month’s cover by Robert Tinney depicts. With an increase in higher-power communication satellites that require smaller, less-expensive user antennas and electronics, and with the melding of television receivers and microprocessors, we might look ahead to the day when worldwide person-to-person visual as well as aural communication is based on personal computers and not on a direct descendant of Mr. Bell’s original invention.
Honestly, I scanned this entire article because I liked the title.
What’s a RAM?
The vocabulary of engineers or experimenters working with computers, synthesizers, electronic calculators and similar digital devices is replete with acronyms you should know. RAM is one, read on to find out what it is and how it’s used.
by DON LANCASTER
ANY MEMORY IS A STORAGE DEVICE THAT is given some information at some time and hopefully will return that identical information at a later date for reuse at least once. The most elemental unit of a memory storage system is the cell which can store one bit consisting of a “1-0″ or “Yes-No” simple decision. Memory cells are often grouped into words of several bits each. These words can represent the number in a calculator, an instruction command in a computer, a tone and its duration in an electronic music composer, an alphanumeric character in a TV Typewriter and so on.
HOW MUCH IS ∛2589¹⁶
The Army’s ENIAC can give you the answer in a fraction off a second!
Think that’s a stumper? You should see some of the ENIAC’s problems! Brain twisters that if put to paper would run off this page and feet beyond… addition, subtraction, multiplication, division — square root, cube root, any root. Solved by an incredibly complex system of circuits operating 18,000 electronic tubes and tipping the scales at 30 tons!
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Human Memory vs. Electronic Brains
Although the complex modern electronic computers are commonly referred to as electronic “brains/7 scientists are not yet able to duplicate the human brain or memory. By comparison, man-made memories are dead and unexciting, according to Dr. F. Joachim Weyl of the Office of Naval Research.
Computer memories and such “brains” as airport traffic-control devices are what might be called set memories, Dr. Weyl explained. The totality of all information that could ever be stored in them is fixed and fully known.
“The significance of higher data communications rates has grown with the deregulation of the communications industry because communication costs are expected to rise. Gamma Technology is claiming that an eightfold increase in data rate (from 1200 bps to 9600 bps) will save several thousand dollars a year if 160K bytes of information are transmitted daily across the United States. Savings would be even greater if data were transmitted overseas.”
Sitting here on my 50 mbs internet connection I’m going to say that guess was a bit off. The total amount data they are talking about transmitting over a year is less than the size of the images in this post.
I also particularly liked that the searches on the third page are for “Computer, Privacy Surveillance, NSA and Tapping”. Just a hunch but I’d guess that the person who made that screenshot probably later joined the EFF.
Trends in Telecommunications
On-line search software and faster modems for PCs
by John Markoff
Now that the personal computer (PC) has won the battle for office desktop space, software developers are turning their attention toward programs that combine the storage capacity of mainframe computers with the local processing power of PCs. Although mainframes offer PC users access to huge on-line databases of specialized information, how to get to the information and bring it to the PC in a usable form is another question entirely.
“The keyboard is the key to greater challenge.”
The Only Video Game Voice Module with an Unlimited Vocabulary
The Voice from Odyssey 2 adds a whole new dimension to the fun of video games. With this optional module and its specially programmed cartridges, Odyssey 2 becomes the only video game system that can repeat any words typed into the keyboard, and much more!
Depending upon which cartridge you insert The Voice can do a whole bunch of other exciting things. Like asking questions and demanding answers to math and spelling problems. It even enhances sound effects and warns of approaching enemies in certain arcade games!
The Mac had only been out for six months and already the fanboy trope was already in full effect.
“I’ve already experienced what happens when one is less than enthusiastic about Macintosh: the Mactribesmen descend in force with fire and sword.”
COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR
The AT&T Computers
Jerry Pournelle holds a doctorate in psychology and is a science-fiction writer who also earns a comfortable living writing about computers present and future.
I’ve just come back from COMDEX Winter in the Los Angeles Exposition Center, where I got to play with the new AT&T computers.
When AT&T announced a computer line, there was a bit of panic on Wall Street; after the prices were announced, the excitement died away. Too expensive. Who’s worried about a computer line whose lowest-cost item is a $9950 desktop? How can that affect the micro world? That’s what many Wall Street analysts said, anyway.
I don’t own any computer stock—the conflict of interest is obvious—but if 1 did, I’d give that analysis a lot of thought. People, that AT&T desktop computer is one hell of a machine.
fosdic III and the ’60 Census
Electronics lends a much needed helping hand to the census takers for this big once-in-10-years event.
IF you haven’t already, you’ll soon be filling in the decennial census form, 1960 version, designed to include every U. S. family. Nearly 160,000 persons will be employed by the Bureau of the Census to collect and process this data. The National Bureau of Standards has made their job easier by developing FOSDIC III (Film Optical Sensing Device for Input to Computers), an electronic workhorse that rapidly reads (detects) pen or pencilled marks in multiple choice answer areas that have been microfilmed.
Given that Amazon.com opened in 1995, I’d say they were a bit optimistic.
By The Year 2000,The World May Catch Up With The Way CompuServe’s New Electronic Mall Lets You Shop today.
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