This solid-state analog computer could solve complex equations but was limited to about three digits of precision. It would have used a ±10 V voltage range to cover the range of numbers desired. The sections, which correspond roughly to the different colors on the patch panel, include op amps that can perform addition, subtraction, integration, and differentiation. By wiring a number of those in a row using the ports in the colored areas, users could perform simulations, solve systems of equations, run interpolations, etc. The array of black dials at the bottom could be used to set constants.
Do you mean this?
"remind us just how amazing smart phones are"
Smart phones, which cost a few hundred $ and fit in your pocket, are about 1000 times faster than even the fastest machine in the article, with 100 to 1000 times the amount of memory and storage, for a tiny fraction of the cost and size. It is pretty mind boggling when you think about it.
We had 2 PDP-11 computers at a facility I worked at. When the time came to replace them, in the later 80'2, we had a DEC technician, who happened to be an ex-employee of ours, come to dismantle them. I saw him pick up a screwdriver and remove the front panel (switched and blinking lights) from one them. Whatcha doin', I asked, souvenier to keep, he said. So I picked up screwdriver. I still have the panel from the second PDP at home. Anyone remember Varian computers? We had one of those too.
I have about 50 PDP-8s in my lab...well, they're Intersil IM6100s - a 40 pin DIP CMOS version of the PDP-8 from the late '70s. I designed an industrial digital pyrometer called "Digicon" with them back in the day. I kept a couple of tubes of the chips and from time-to-time have made some demonstration projects for the younger set. A 12 bit word with a 4096 word memory page, 8 basic instructions, 2 registers (really one, the accumulator) no stack (stores return address in the first word of the subroutine)- can you get any more "RISC" than that? TAD, ISZ, DCA, JMS - it's all good.
Our PDP-11 had from 56 KBytes to 248 KBytes of memory. RT-11, RSX-11 where the best Op systems I ever met. Three engineers simultaneously worked with graphic terminals in the CAD system. Macro-11, Fortran, K-52 text editor where Great!
Java and "smart" phones - the're colorful and are for child games, not for science.
Don't believe? Read the link: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/ThePerilsofJavaSchools.html
As author mentions above, if u liked this 13-slide HISTORY OF COMPUTERS, her 7 slides with captions on HISTORY OF MEMORY are also great fun. MEMORY segment easy to find if cut and paste link below. Very good stuff - NOT the usual industry dusty ole pix or stale captions: fresh time capsules. Enjoy!
GREAT article Kristin, thanks. As a techie, I worked in a university Engineering faculty once and learned FORTRAN there, which involved punching cards on something identical to or very similar to slide 11. Makes me feel old...
The Memory one's also good, thanks again.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.