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32 & 16 Years Ago

Pages: p. 8



(p. 17). "We have passed through a period when for technological reasons there was real meaning to the concept of machine instructions interpreted by a microprogram in read-only storage. The period was the '60s and the reasons were that we could get read-only memory that was exceedingly faster than core."


(p. 42). "I believe that the average computer of the year 2000 will:

  • be an interpretive engine capable of executing directly one or more higher level languages,
  • have wider words than today's machines, possibly with as many as six addressing fields per instruction,
  • be predominately a stand alone machine with provision for occasional remote accessing of data,
  • have no central registers,
  • probably be a decimal machine,
  • have a small wired in (microprogrammed?) operating system,
  • have word by word protection and data description,
  • be a monoprocessor doing its own I/O,
  • most probably be privately owned and monoprogrammed."


(p. 48). "Evidence was found that soundness of management policy was what makes the difference between a good and poor documentation picture. The problem was not so much the attitude of the programmer as it was the attempts made by those in middle management to deal with the problem of documentation in their own way."


(p. 59). "Memorex Corporation has announced their new 650 Flexible Disc File, a compact, direct access unit which enables OEM's to greatly simplify the storage and handling of digital information with much greater reliability and higher performance than possible with cassettes or any other comparably priced file on the market today.

"… The unit has a capacity of 1.5 megabits, track to track access time of less than 50 milliseconds and a data rate of 200 kilobits per second."


(p. 63). "Customers who buy lawn equipment from Marr Brothers, Inc., don't have to wait long for their invoices. Owner James Marr says the firm's IBM computer, located behind the sales counter, has eliminated the need for time-consuming, hand-written paperwork on each sale.

"When a customer first visits the store, his name, address and pricing information about his account are keyed onto a punched card. On that and subsequent visits, the customer's card, along with cards describing the parts he purchases, are entered into the IBM System/3 Model 10. The computer automatically prepares a complete invoice."

MARCH 1988


(p. 9). "Both the literature and the number of professional society meetings focusing on artificial neural systems are growing at an amazing rate. …

"… Although the field of artificial neural systems has roots going back over 25 years, there currently is no consensus of what is important to study or how to go about studying it."


(p.13). "Because the brain has already implemented the speech recognition function (and many others), some researchers have reached the straightforward conclusion that artificial neural networks should be able to do the same, regarding these networks as a panacea for such 'natural' problems. . . . What these people fail to realize is that we may not yet have discovered what biological neurons and neural systems are like."


(p. 125). "Starting salaries for data processors have reached an all-time high in 1988, … The average increase over 1987 is 4.2 percent.

"Some specific starting-salary ranges are $37,000— $44,000 for project managers at medium-size installations, … $61,000—$81,000 for management information systems directors at large installations, … $20,000—$25,000 for programmers at small installations, … and $36,000— $44,000 for systems analysts at large installations …"


(p. 125). "The US Strategic Defense Initiative Organization has awarded the contract for the National Test Bed to Martin Marietta Corp. The $500-million contract is for five years to develop a national network of supercomputer and simulation facilities designed to evaluate the feasibility of the Strategic Defense Initiative, commonly called 'Star Wars.'

"… Members of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, a nonprofit public interest organization of people in the computing field, have studied the project's official request for proposals, as well as available news stories.

"… In summary, the organization, based in Palo Alto, Calif., feels that 'the National Test Bed is a waste of taxpayers' money.'"


(p. 136). "Unisys has added two new models to its 1100/90 family of mainframe computers."

"… The single-processor 1100/91 Model II SV uses 256K RAM chips and comes in 8M-byte or 16M-byte memory units. Including operator console and system control software, it costs $1,429,000.

"The dual-processor 1100/92 Model II SV costs $2,605,000. It features a maximum system memory of 32M bytes."

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