Makin’ Numbers: Howard Aiken and the Computer by I. Bernard Cohen

By I. Bernard Cohen

with the cooperation of Robert V. D. CampbellThis number of technical essays and memories is a significant other quantity to I. Bernard Cohen's biography, Howard Aiken: Portrait of a working laptop or computer Pioneer. After an summary by way of Cohen, half I offers the 1st entire e-book of Aiken's 1937 concept for an automated calculating computing device, which was once later discovered because the Mark I, in addition to reminiscences of Aiken's first machines by means of the executive engineer in command of development of Mark II, Robert Campbell, and the important programmer of Mark I, Richard Bloch. Henry Tropp describes Aiken's hostility to the specific use of binary numbers in computational structures and his substitute approach.Part II comprises essays on Aiken's administrative and instructing types by means of former scholars Frederick Brooks and Peter Calingaert and an essay via Gregory Welch at the problems Aiken confronted in developing a working laptop or computer technological know-how software at Harvard. half III includes reminiscences through those that labored or studied with Aiken, together with Richard Bloch, Grace Hopper, Anthony Oettinger, and Maurice Wilkes. Henry Tropp presents excerpts from an interview carried out previous to Aiken's dying. half IV gathers the main major of Aiken's personal writings. The appendixes supply the specifications of Aiken's machines and record his doctoral scholars and the subjects in their dissertations.

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Anti-hyperbolic functions 11. Superior transcendentals a. Probability integral b. Elliptic function c. Bessel function With the aid of these functions the processes to be carried out should be: 12. Evaluation of formulae and tabulation of results 13. Computation of series a. Finite b. Inªnite 14. Determination of the real roots of equations 15. Solution of ordinary differential equations of the ªrst and second order Proposed Automatic Calculating Machine 17 16. Numerical integration of empirical data 17.

H. Aiken, Proposed Automatic Calculating Machine (1937), p. ” Since there are several references to IBM technology, it would appear that this proposal was prepared for Aiken’s ªrst contact with IBM: his meeting with James Wares Bryce, IBM’s chief engineer, which took place in early November 1937. It does not seem likely that Aiken would have referred to IBM and its machines if this proposal had been written for his unfruitful meeting with George Chase of the Monroe Calculating Machines Company on 22 April 1937.

The entire front-panel array, and the back-extending panels, were enclosed in a decorative glass case with sliding glass doors. The case also had the practical function of providing some protection from dust. The main driveshaft was the basic source of synchronization throughout the machine. A 24-wire bus, extending the length of the machine and having many branches, provided an electrical path for all transfers of numeric words between major units. Major Components As I have mentioned, almost all of the machine’s major components were already available at IBM, either as elements of standard commercial products or as devices that had been developed and were ready for possible use in production equipment.

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