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Issue No.03 - July-Sept. (2012 vol.34)
pp: 22-33
J. Alvarez , Univ. of Chile, Santiago, Chile
C. Gutierrez , Univ. of Chile, Santiago, Chile
ABSTRACT
Digital computing in Chile dates back to the years between 1961, when the first digital computer arrived in the country, and 1982, when the discipline reached a critical mass in equipment, personnel, education, research, and applications. The authors distinguish three stages in this historical period: the introduction of computers; the convergence and consolidation of academic, state, and industrial development; and the expansion of the discipline.
INDEX TERMS
history, digital computers, critical mass, digital computing, Chile, digital computer, Digital systems, Computers, South America, Programming, History, Data processing, Latin America, Computers, Educational institutions, Companies, Programming, Training, Convergence, Chile, history of computing, data processing, Chilean history
CITATION
J. Alvarez, C. Gutierrez, "History of Computing in Chile, 1961-1982: Early Years, Consolidation, and Expansion", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.34, no. 3, pp. 22-33, July-Sept. 2012, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2012.17
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16. G. Fliess and R. Cabezas, (Aduana contemporary staff) and F. Cavada (IBM system support staff), interview by J. Alvarez, and C. Gutierrez, Aug. 2010. See J. Alvarez, "El primer computador digital en Chile" [The First Digital Computer in Chile], Revista BITS [BITS Magazine], no. 6, 2011. pp. 19–24; http://dcc.comopapel.com/revista_bits_de_ciencia/ 6/#/page20-21.
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18. W. Muñoz, O. Sáez, and J. Durán interview by J. Alvarez, Jan. 2009; they were part of the first group of engineers that developed the first applications. All of them studied at the Tech. Univ. Federico Santa Marí, a and were influenced by J. Hernández.
19. This information was provided by G. González in his presentation in the first Workshop of History of Computing in Chile, 2009.
20. The machine donation was arranged by J. Michelow. Information provided by J. Michelow interview by J. Alvarez, and C. Gutierrez, 2009.
21. "Acta del Consejo de la Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas" [Minutes of Council of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Mathematics], 17 Aug. 1961.
22. Faculty of Physical Sciences and Mathematics, "El Centro de Computación" [The Computing Center], 1964, pp. 24–31.
23. G. González, "Curso de Programación del Computador ER-56" [Computer Programming Course ER-56], 1961.
24. UTFSM monthly newsletter, no. 25, Sept. 1963, p. 3. R. Frucht was a German graph theorist who came to Chile in the late 1930s. A summer school Fortran course introduced the Tech. Univ. Federico Santa María community to the recently acquired IBM 1620.
25. A. Kardonsky and V. Sánchez (revision), "Curso de Programación" [Programming Course], Computer Center, Univ. of Chile, 1965.
26. See Ortega Martínez et al., "CORFO," especially the chap. "La Corfo entre 1965 y 1970", [The Corfo Between 1965 and 1970].
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28. H. Segovia, P. Fritis, and V. Sánchez interview by J. Alvarez, and C. Gutierrez, Jan. 2009; they were the creators of the first university career program in computer science at the Univ. of Chile in 1968. Information about Univ. of Concepcion and Catholic Univ. taken from presentations of Y. Farrán, and I. Casas (respectively) at Workshop of History of Computing in Chile, Nov. 2009.
29. C. Lauterbach interview by J. Alvarez, and C. Gutierrez, Mar. 2011. See also the presentation by W. Riesenkönig, and A. Migliaro at the I Workshop on Chilean Computer History, Nov. 2009.
30. J. Alvarez, "Antecedentes, creación y primeros años del Departamento de Ciencias de la Computación de la Universidad de Chile", [History, Creation and Early Years of the Department of Computer Science, University of Chile], Revista BITS; no. 4, 2010; www.dcc.uchile.cl/revista/2009Bits_de_Ciencias-04.pdf . C. Castro, "Algunos Antecedentes Sobre la Historia de la Computación en la UTFSM" [Some Background on the History of Computing in UTFSM], Proc. 1st Workshop of History of Computing in Chile, 2009; C. Castro, and J. Gana, "Algunos Antecedentes Sobre el Programa de Magister en Ciencias de la Computación e Informática de la UTFSM" [Some Background About the Master's Program in Computer Science and Informatics UTFSM], Proc. 1st Workshop of History of Computing in Chile, 2009.
31. J. Michelow interview by J. Alvarez, and C. Gutierrez, Apr. 2009. The textbook is J. Michelow, and I. Harding, Elementos de Computación [Elements of Computing], Edit. Universitaria, 1973.
32. Presentations of ECOM contemporary executives R. Beca, H. Segovia, I. Bozzi, and I. Benadof at in the "40 Years of the Creation of ECOM" Meeting, Dec. 2008.
33. A detailed description of these developments is available in the conference documentation: Facilidades de Procesamiento Electrónico de Datos para Empresas y Organismos Gubernamentales, [Electronic Data Processing Facilities for Business and Government Agencies], ECOM, 12 June 1973.
34. E. Medina, Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende's Chile, MIT Press, 2011. The original report is Project SYNCO, "Conceptos y Práctica del Control; Una experiencia concreta: la dirección industrial en Chile" [Concepts and Practice of Control. A Concrete Experience: Industrial Management in Chile], CORFO, Feb. 1973. See also the Project Cybersyn website, www.cybersyn.cl.
35. "LatinData, Obras son Amores" [LatinData, Actions Speak Louder], Informática, vol. 1, no. 9, 1979, pp. 11–14.
36. "Rebaja derecho ad valorem a bienes de capital que indica" [Reduced Duty to Capital Goods Indicated], decree 1130, Ministerio de Hacienda [Ministry of Finance], 19 July 1974. This decree was suspiciously "urgent" (only applicable to those imports before Dec. 1974), and it referred only to "magnetic readers." A new decree, 1383, on 3 Sept. 1974 changed the wording "magnetic readers" to "automated machines for information processing." In her doctoral dissertation, Medina estimates the tax drop from 120 to 10 percent (p. 318).
37. "Plan Nacional de Capacitación Intensiva en Procesamiento de Datos" [National Training Intensive Data Processing], Boletín ECOM, vol. 1, no. 5, 1975, pp. 72–82. The plan's development is analyzed in F. Silva, "Formación de Recursos Humanos en Procesamiento de Datos" [Human Resources Training in Data Processing], Proc. Tercer Panel de Discusión sobre Tópicos de Computación [Proc. 3rd Panel Discussion on Computer Topics], Valparaíso, 1976, pp. 215–225.
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39. Wolfgang Riesenkönig, presentation at the I Workshop of History of Computing in Chile (2009). Also A. Finerman, "Computing Capabilities at Argentina and Chilean Universities," Comm. ACM, vol. 12, no. 8, 1969, pp. 425–431.
40. "Centro Regional de Computación e Informática de Concepción Ltda. S.P.A., CRECIC" [Regional Center of Design Computing and Informatics Ltd. SPA CRECIC], Seminario de Administración de Centros de Procesamiento de Datos, Estudio de Casos [Seminar on Management of Data Processing Centers, Case Studies], Univ. of Chile, 1976, pp. 19–33.
41. For Sonda's history, see www.sonda.cl/acercahistoria.
42. "ARIEL, Embajador de un software Autóctono" [ARIEL: Ambassador of Native Software], interview with J. Muñoz Porras, Informática, vol. 5, no. 10, 1983, pp. 6–10.
43. See the whole point of view in Medina, "The State Machine," introduction.
44. Decree 887, 1975, Official Journal,18 Aug. 1975.
45. "The Application of Computer Technology for Development," Second Report of the Secretary-General, United Nations, 1973.
46. J. Durán, A. Castruccio, and O. García, "Desarrollo de la utilización de la tecnología de computadores en Chile" [Developing the Use of Computer Technology in Chile], Informática, vol. 1, no. 3, 1979, pp. 21–26.
47. R.C. Barquin, "Some Political Effects of Computation in Latin America," working paper 655–73, A.P. Sloan School of Management, MIT, 1973.
48. BIRDS: Proc. 1a. Conferencia Nacional en Teoría de la Computación y Desarrollo de Software, Aug. 1979, pp. 128–140. For Registro Civil, C. Lauterbach interview by J. Alvarez, and C. Gutierrez, Mar. 2011.
49. Some of the first to return with PhDs from foreign universities were Carlos Lauterbach (University of California, Berkeley, 1977) to Catholic University; Atendolfo Pereda (PUC Rio Janeiro, 1979) to University of Concepcion; Raúl Camposano (Karlsruhe, 1981) to the Northern University in Antofagasta; and Alfredo Piquer and Patricio Poblete (University of Waterloo, 1982) to University of Chile.
50. Simposio Nacional de Aplicaciones Computación e Informática [Proc. Nat'l Symp. Computer Applications and Information], Northern Univ., Antofagasta, 1979.
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53. C. Lauterbach, "La Computación se prestigia con Orden" [Computer is Very Proud to Order], Informática, vol. 4, no. 6, 1982, pp. 18–22. Information reaffirmed in interview with Lauterbach, Mar. 2011.
54. "Seminario de Administración de Centros de Procesamiento de Datos, Estudio de Casos" [Seminar on Management of Data Processing Centers, Case Studies], Univ. of Chile, 1976. For Codelco, see J. Acuña, "La Informática en Codelco Chile" [Informatics in Codelco Chile], Revista Colegio de Ingenieros [College of Eng. Magazine], no. 74, 1977, pp. 71–72.
55. Medina, "The State Machine," pp. 319–325.
56. Information provided in 2011 by J. Chateau, P. Gutiérrez, C. Garretón, and J. Alvarez contemporary members of the project.
57. E. Friedmann,, "The Informatics Revolution and the Developing Countries," North-South Roundtable, Pakistan, 1986.
58. G. Jiménez, "Aprendizaje y Computación: Una brillante realidad" [Learning and Computing: A Brilliant Reality], Revista Creces [Scientist], vol. 4, nos. 6–7, 1983, pp. 19–30.
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60. "The Application of Computer Technology for Development, Report of the Secretary-General,", report E-4800 GE-70-11926, United Nations Economic and Social Council, 1970.
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