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Anecdotes
April-June 2002 (vol. 24 no. 2)
pp. 86-93

Philip L. Frana's description of the Halloween Problem demonstrates the role of cautionary tales in the history of computing. Laurie Robertson traces the lineage of the DEC software to the present day. Elaborating on the MESM development, Anne Fitzpatrick and Boris N. Malinovsky take a look at Sergei Alexeevich Lebedev?s early career and work in the Ukraine.

1. F.P. Brooks Jr., The Mythical Man-Month (20th Anniversary Edition).Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1995.
2. Andrew S. Tanenbaum to Linus Benedict Torvalds, as quoted from the post to Usenet group comp.os.minix: "Re: LINUX is obsolete,"30 Jan. 1992, 13:44:34 GMT.
3. E. Raymond, The New Hacker's Dictionary, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1991.
4. Marvin Minsky, for instance, has argued that his particular expertise, artificial intelligence, is conterminant with computer science as a whole. Founders of various other computer science disciplines have argued likewise. See M. Minsky, "Introduction," Artificial Intelligence Memoranda, AI Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1958-1979, Scientific DataLink, New York, 1982, pp. vi-vii. For primary sources devoted to issues of professionalism in computer science, see J.A. Archibald, Jr., and M. Katzper, "On the Preparation of Computer Science Professionals in Academic Institutions," Proc. 1974 Nat'l Computer Conf. and Exposition, AFIPS Press, Montvale, N.J., 1974, pp. 313-319; G.F. Palmer, "Programming: The Profession That Isn't," Datamation,vol. 21, no. 4, 1975, pp. 171-173; and "The 'Professional' Programmer: Some Industry Opinions,"Data Processing Magazine,vol. 12, Jan. 1970, pp. 18-21.
5. See the brief biographical sketch "Edgar F. Codd," by J.R. Yost in Encyclopedia of Computers and Computer History, vol. 1, R. Rojas, ed., Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, Chicago, 2001, pp. 161-162.
6. On the navigational model for database design, see C.W. Bachman, "The Programmer as Navigator," Comm. ACM, vol. 16, no. 11, 1973, pp. 635-658.
7. C.J. Date,An Introduction to Database Systems, 2nd ed., Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass., 1977.
8. C.J. Date, "Thirty Years of Relational: Relational Really is Different," Intelligent Enterprise Magazine, vol. 2, no. 7, 11 May 1999.
9. On the technical history of System R, see D.D. Chamberlin et al., "A History and Evaluation of System R," Comm. ACM, vol. 24, no. 10, 1981, pp. 632-646. On the history of database design, generally see J. Gray, "Evolution of Data Management,"Computer,vol. 29, no. 10, 1996, pp. 38-46, and A. Silberschatz, M. Stonebraker, and J. Ullman, "Database Systems: Achievements and Opportunities,"Comm. ACM, vol. 34, no. 10, 1991, pp. 110-120. For a brief popular gloss on System R, see S. Lohr,Go To,Basic Books, New York, 2001, pp. 161-68.
10. See D.D. Chamberlin, OH 329. Oral history interview by Philip L. Frana, 3 Oct. 2001, San Jose, California. Charles Babbage Inst., Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis,http://www.cbi.umn.eduoh/.
11. NSF Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence Directorate grant #9979981.
12. Selinger became an IBM Fellow in 1994 for her work on cost-based optimizers. Five years later, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. She has directed the IBM Database Technology Institute for 13 years.
13. Selinger's comment is transcribed in P. McJones, The 1995 SQL Reunion: People, Projects, and Politics, SRC tech. note 1997-018, Aug. 1997, http://www.mcjones.orgSystem_R/.
14. Quotation from Donald D. Chamberlin, Charles Babbage Institute, OH 329.
15. Quotation from P. McJones, The 1995 SQL Reunion: People, Projects, and Politics, SRC tech. note 1997-018.
16. See Z. Qingqing, "Relational DBMS Implementation: OS vs. DBMS," unpublished essay, Jan. 2002, http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~zhouqq/readings r_OS.html. Jim Gray and Rick Cattell have described another such update query that has been confused with the Halloween Problem. See J. Gray, The Benchmark Handbook, 2nd ed., Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, Calif., 1993, chapter 4.
1. C.G. Bell,J.C. Mudge,, and J.E. McNamara,Computer Engineering: A DEC View of Hardware System Design, Digital Equipment Corp., Bedford, Mass., 1978.
2. J. Pearson,Digital at Work, Digital Press, Burlington, Mass., 1992, p. 60.
3. Digital Equipment Corporation: Nineteen Fifty-Seven to the Present, Digital Equipment Corp., Bedford, Mass., 1978, p. 31.
4. C.G. Bell,A Retrospective on What We Have Learned From the PDP-11: What Else Did We Need To Know That Could Have Been Useful in the Design of the VAX-11 to Make Alpha Easier? 1998, http://research.microsoft.com/users/GBell/ DigitalBell_Retrospective_PDP11_paper_c1998.htm .
5. The VAX instruction set provided special instructions for procedure call and return, saving and restoring process context, array index computation, polynomial evaluation, character string manipulation, and the transformation of packed decimal strings to character strings.
6. A. Ralston and E.D. Reilly,Encyclopedia of Computer Science, 3rd ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1993, p. 464.
7. The Open VMS FAQ (http://www.openvms.compaq.com/wizardopenvms_faq.html ) identifies 14 different component languages used in VMS—Bliss, Macro, Ada, PLI, C, Fortan, UIL, SDL, Pascal, MDL, C++, DCL, Message, and Document.
8. H. Custer,Inside Windows NT, Microsoft Press, Redmond, Wash., 1993, p. 4.
9. H. Custer,Inside Windows NT, Microsoft Press, Redmond, Wash., 1993, p. 4.
1. G.D. Crowe and S. Goodman,"S.A. Lebedev and the Birth of Soviet Computing," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 16, no. 1, Spring 1994, pp. 4-24.
2. L.R. Graham,What Have We Learned about Science and Technology from the Russian Experience? Stanford Univ. Press, Stanford, Calif., 1998.
3. B.N. Malinovsky,Istoriya Vuichislitel'noi Tekkhniki v Litsakh [A History of Computing Technology in Personalities], KIT, Kiev, 1995, pp. 23-27.
4. J. Coopersmith,The Electrification of Russia, 1880-1926, Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, N.Y., 1992.
5. G.D. Crowe and S. Goodman,p. 5.
6. Fitzpatrick personal communication with B.N. Malinovsky and O.A. Malinovskaya, 1 May 2001, Kiev.
7. See, for example, V.M. Glushkov, G.E. Tseitlin, and E.L. Yushenko, Algebra, Iazyki, Programmirovanie [Algebra, Languages, Programming], Akademiia nauk Ukrainskoi SSR, Kiev, 1974.
8. B.N. Malinovsky,p. 37; Fitzpatrick personal discussion with Zinovuiy L. Rabinovich, July 2000, Kiev.
9. S.V. Klimenko,"Computer Science in Russia: A Personal View," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 21, no. 3., July-Sept. 1999, pp. 16-30; Fitzpatrick personal discussion with Malinovsky, July 2000, Kiev.
10. B.N. Malinovsky,p. 33.
11. L.N. Dashevsky and E.A. Shkabara,Kak eto nachinalos' [How it Began], Znaniye, Moscow, 1981, p. 53.

Citation:
Anne Fitzpatrick, "Anecdotes," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 86-93, April-June 2002, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2002.1010071
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