Issue No. 03 - July-September (1998 vol. 20)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/85.707572
<p>According to a remark by Howard Aiken, one that is often quoted, only a very small number of computers would be needed to serve the needs of the whole world, perhaps a dozen, with eight or 10 for the United States. Sometimes the number is given as six or even two or three. As we shall see, documentary evidence confirms that Aiken did, indeed, once say that one or two "computers" would suffice, but he was referring to a special kind of use and not to all possible needs for computer power in every aspect of activity in the whole of the United States. The context shows that his remark did not have the general context that may be supposed and that it was not, therefore, as incorrect as might at first appear.</p>
I. B. Cohen, "Howard Aiken on the Number of Computers Needed for the Nation," in IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 20, no. , pp. 27-32, 1998.