JULY 2005 (Vol. 38, No. 7) pp. 10-11
0018-9162/05/$31.00 © 2005 IEEE
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
32 & 16 Years Ago
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ELECTROCARDIOGRAPHY (p. 21). "The central issue is, of course, how we can provide more expeditious and efficient [electrocardiography] service. A computer can help us achieve this.
"We can quote from a publication entitled 'Computer Assisted Medical Practice: The AMA's Role' published by the AMA in 1971. 'It is reasonable to expect that government and industry will make broader commitments to develop further the applicability of the computer to medical practice. The ultimate responsibility for the effective utilization of computers, however, will lie within the medical community.' Correctly it is up to physicians to assure that efforts are successful. To do this they must begin to invite engineers into the clinical area. A case against computer electrocardiography can be made. One wonders who after even the shortest study would really want to make it."
INTENSIVE CARE (p. 29). "The application of technology and system engineering techniques to the delivery of health services has made possible the successful implementation of a computer-based system in the clinical care of patients during the crucial early hours following heart surgery."
"Routine, repetitive tasks which are well defined have been relegated to the system, enabling the nurses to devote more of their time to direct patient care. The computer automatically acquires the clinical measurements simultaneously from four patients each two minutes, displays and stores the current values, retrieves past data for review at bedside on command and periodically tabulates the data in hard copy form to be included in the patients' hospital records, relieving the nurses of nearly all measurement and charting chores."
SHEET PRINTER (p. 35). "Xerox Corporation has announced a new non-impact computer printing system that produces copy on 8 1/ 2 × 11-inch, ordinary, unsensitized paper faster than a page a second, or up to 4,000 lines per minute."
"It is about twice as fast as standard impact-type computer printers now on the market … and does away with a need for the large, unwieldy paper and pre-printed forms on which computer print-out has been produced in the past.
"A key advantage of the Xerox 1200 computer printing system is the elimination of the bursting and decollating operations—removing carbon paper and separating continuous-form sheet—associated with impact printers."
DISPLAY TERMINAL (p. 36). "A new CRT Data Display Terminal announced by Lear Siegler, Inc. has been described as a 'breakthrough' in the area of cost vs. performance. Exhibiting an impressive list of capabilities, the new terminal has been priced at under the $1000 level in quantities and is listed at $1500 in single units, roughly half the cost of conventional devices."
"Performance-wise, the ADM-1 has capabilities matching and exceeding most conventional CRT terminals. The display format of the terminal is 960 characters (12 lines of 80 characters), using 64 alphanumeric US ASCII characters in a 5 × 7 dot matrix. An optional screen is also available with 1920 characters consisting of 24 lines with 80 characters each."
COMPUTER ANIMATION (p. 40). "The computer has moved past science and business and into the creative arts with the announcement of 'SynthaVision', a process that makes multi-dimensional color films, completely by computer, without requiring the existence of an original 'except in the mind'—with realism comparable to photographs of an existing object.
"Representatives of the nation's leading advertisers and their agencies, television and film production companies, scientists, educators and urban planners attended the first in a two-day series of presentations … They saw a 22-minute demonstration film and heard Dr. Phillip S. Mittelman, who conceived the process, say that with SynthaVision, 'you can now produce on film a simulation of almost any form or object imaginable. It can grow, shrink, change shape and size—anything you wish it to do—and no original is required, only your idea of what it should look like and what it should do.'"
LIGHTING CONTROL (p. 41). "At the birthplace of William Shakespeare, one of the largest computerized lighting control systems in modern theater has been installed in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon, England."
"Each lighting state set up during rehearsal is recorded by the system. The data recorded are the voltage levels required to drive each dimmer circuit. The values are stored in the computer's memory for use during the actual performances.
"The computer is connected to a control console, output devices, and a casette recorder. The system scans the lighting controls, interprets the commands given to it, computes crossfade data for each control channel—updating when necessary—and initiates control commands to the theater lights."
INTERNATIONAL BANKING (p. 41). "S.W.I.F.T. (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) has been legally incorporated as a non-profit making society and the board of directors held its first meeting in Brussels.
"The S.W.I.F.T. network will carry financial transactions for a consortium of international banks. Out of a total of 256 banks which have participated in the design phases of the project 239 have now become members of S.W.I.F.T. They represent the major commercial and central banks in 13 countries in western Europe as well as in Canada and the United States."
"The S.W.I.F.T. network is planned to come into operation in 1976. It will be a store and forward switching network designed so that users with terminals of different speed and type can communicate with each other."
SDI LETTER (p. 5). "In short, SDI can only be called reliable by tampering with the very notion of reliability itself. Not all of the conferences, speeches, statistics, or appropriations in the world will change this fact. SDI has no intellectual credibility—it is the 'creation science' of the engineering world. Blandly reporting the double talk from the latest SDI conference is no service to the public. Who, except those bellying up to the federal feed trough, can think that SDI is worth $30 billion in software development costs? As an engineer, I say, let's build projects that actually work. As a taxpayer, I say, SDI is an outrageous grab for the federal purse, bleeding money away from legitimate projects, both military and civilian. Let's stop the SDI boondoggle."
DYNAMIC SCHEDULING (p. 21). "Many features of the pioneering CDC 6600 have found their way into modern pipelined processors. One noteworthy exception is the reordering of instructions at runtime, or dynamic instruction scheduling. … Another innovative computer of considerable historical interest, the IBM 360/91, used dynamic scheduling methods even more extensively than the CDC 6600.
"As the RISC philosophy becomes accepted by the design community, the benefits of dynamic instruction scheduling are apparently being overlooked. Dynamic instruction scheduling can provide performance improvements simply not possible with static scheduling alone."
DESIGN RECOVERY (p. 36). "Software maintenance and harvesting reusable components from software both require that an analyst reconstruct the software's design. Unfortunately, source code does not contain much of the original design information, which must be reconstructed from only the barest of clues. Thus, additional information sources, both human and automated, are required. Further, because the scale of the software is often large (hundreds of thousands of lines of code or more), the analyst also needs some automated support for the understanding process.
"Design recovery recreates design abstractions from a combination of code, existing design documentation (if available), personal experience, and general knowledge about problem and application domains."
ASSOCIATIVE MEMORY (p. 51). "Researchers have understood the basic principles of storing and retrieving data by content rather than by address for about 30 years. Despite this relatively long incubation period, information has spread slowly from the academic arena, and the technology has not been available to produce a successful commercial product. As a result, many designers have not developed the skills to work with associative and content-addressable memories. However, VLSI technology has improved the feasibility of associative systems and overcome many implementation obstacles."
MULTIPROCESSOR SYNCHRONIZATION (p. 66). "The growth of multiprocessors is evidence of an increasing focus on achieving high program speeds through parallelism. One of the primary problems confronting designers of multiprocessors is to provide efficient synchronization methods. The concurrent execution of programs may be limited by the parallelism exhibited in the control mechanism and by the associated overhead. A family of effective synchronization concepts can aid in the design and construction of parallel programs. Although synchronization is a long-standing area of research, existing solutions must be readdressed in the context of specific constraints posed by general-purpose, multiple-instruction, multiple-data (MIMD) architectures."
100,000th MEMBER (p. 82). "Mark Funkenhauser, a 30-year-old Canadian researcher and graduate student, has been honored as the 100,000th member of the IEEE Computer Society.
"Funkenhauser became the society's 100,000th member on December 5, 1988. To commemorate that milestone, the society presented him a plaque May 17 during its 11th International Conference on Software Engineering in Pittsburgh."
OFFICE AUTOMATION (p. 102). "IBM says that its OfficeVision family of office-automation software is its first major System Application Architecture software application. The new software family reportedly provides integrated office functions across the OS/2, MVS, VM, and OS/400 operating systems."
APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT (p. 104). "Oracle has added the CASE Generator to its computer-aided systems engineering family of application development tools. According to the company, CASE Generator automatically generates portable applications directly from design specifications.
"CASE Generator receives definitions about an application's database tables and program module definitions from CASE Dictionary and translates the information into functional applications using SQL Forms, the company's fourth-generation development tool. The resulting applications reportedly enforce all constraints and validation criteria in CASE Dictionary. They support lists of valid values, help and hint text, and automatic synchronization of data from multiple database tables."