By David E. Lundstrom
During this own memoir, electric engineer David Lundstrom recollects the heyday of early computing, the increase of regulate information out of the Univac department of Sperry Rand, such milestone computers because the Univac and the Naval Tactical information approach the exploits of CDC's best fashion designer Seymour Cray, and the sluggish company shift from the intriguing and technically fascinating global of laptop layout to inner politics and clumsy forms. - writer. Read more...
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Additional resources for A few good men from Univac
A card-to-tape converter read ordinary punched cards ("IBM cards") into a small memory, then recorded the contents of its memory onto a Uniservo magnetic tape. The tape was then removed by an operator and mounted on one of the Uniservos attached to the Univac computer. Such a device, which is not wired directly to the computer but supplies information by means of a recorded media, is known as an off-line device. The first high-speed printer that I saw was also operated off-line from its own Uniservo tape transport As computer programs became more sophisticated, devices such as the punched card reader and the high-speed printer were moved on-line, or directly wired to the computer.
Like all engineers, I wanted to build something. not just write reports. A constant problem for Univac dur ing this period was the resignation of key engineers. The e ngineers who are techn ically the sharpest are invariably the most restless and the first to leave if they are not kept busy on challenging assignments. Control Data was continuously dr aining our engineering talent, It was widely be lieved at the time th at the founders of Control Data had taken a Univac telephone directory with th em, and when th ey needed, say, a designer of memory circuitry, the y would simply flip through the directory until they found a name they remembered as a good memory designe r.
I authorized one man to drive his car back and forth everyday between plants to save the time taken by the interplant mail system. The problem that we worried about most was undocument ed wiring in the machine. This can occu r in th e following manner. A wire is specified to connect from pin 6 of one chassis to pin 73 of ano the r chassis. The assembler by mistake con nec ts the wire to pin 71 instead of to pin 73. Soon afte rward, before the or iginal error is found, an ECO (e ngineering change order) comes through to delete this wire.
A few good men from Univac by David E. Lundstrom