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Issue No.04 - Winter (1995 vol.17)
pp: 46-55
ABSTRACT
<p><it>Perhaps General Electric got into the “Computer Business” without tremendous foresight, but the first steps in that direction were immensely successful. Starting with the Bank of America’s Electronic Recording Method of Accounting (ERMA) system, and combined with the development of Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) for the rapid processing of bank checks, and backed by one of the largest corporations in the world, GE had the opportunity to effectively chase and catch IBM in the field of data processing. Succeeding developments also portended well for the future but the continuing reluctance of the GE headquarters to support the Computer Department competitively with other companies whose one and only product was a computer eventually led to the sale of the operation to Honeywell Corporation. This is the story of those beginnings as seen and remembered by the first general manager of the Computer Department, H.R. (Barney) Oldfield.</it></p>
CITATION
H.R. Oldfield, "General Electric Enters the Computer Business-Revisited", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.17, no. 4, pp. 46-55, Winter 1995, doi:10.1109/85.477435
REFERENCES
1. Anon. 1990. “More on general electric’s start in the computer business,” An interview with Robert Johnson, Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 130-137.
2. A.W. Fisher and J.L. McKenney, "The Development of the ERMA Banking System: Lessons From History," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 44-57, 1993.
3. H.R.J. Grosch, 1989. “In von Braun Country,” Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 44-48.
4. W.J. Jones, “MGDPS and DSDPS—Two stages of an early operating system,” Annals of the History of Computing, Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 99-108, 1989.
5. J. McKenney and A. Fisher, “Manufacturing the ERMA banking systems,” Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 12, 1993.
6. G. Snively, “General Electric enters computer business,” Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 74-78, 1988.
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