Issue No. 02 - February (2006 vol. 39)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2006.39
THE COMPUTER SOCIETY (p. 3). "Within the IEEE, the Computer Society is one of the 31 Technical Societies/ Groups. However, we are the largest Society/Group within IEEE (at the end of 1973 our membership totalled about 18,500). … We are a charter member of both AFIPS and ICCP (Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals), as well as being the only IEEE component represented in those bodies."
FILM FESTIVAL (p. 9). "The First Annual International Computer Film Festival will be held March 7-9, 1974, at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington."
"For purposes of judging and evaluation, a 'computer film' means any film which contains footage animated, generated, or containing graphic material manipulated by a computer. They must be in 16mm, silent or sound (optical soundtrack), color or B/W. Films submitted must be under 40 minutes long."
COMPUTER NETWORKS (p. 21). "The needless duplication of computer and data communication facilities, the need for new teleprocessing systems, and separate communication networks for each major new application are all being obviated with well-conceived plans for computer networks. A single large data base distributed over a small number of regional centers in a computer network can replace fragmented and highly specialized stand-alone systems which often contain redundant information. … Probably the main remaining hurdle is the economic question which forces a user to ask, 'How much is a computer network connection worth?' Only time will tell the complete story, but the possibilities appear limitless."
DATA SECURITY (p. 31). "The need for data security is in direct conflict with the requirement for increased accessibility and sharing of data banks. The only certainty in this rapidly developing field of data security appears to be that technical solutions to avert known threats will be developed. With equal certainty, new threats will evolve. To paraphrase a famous saying: eternal vigilance is the price of data security."
COMMUNICATION STANDARDS (pp. 35-36). "A great deal of attention is now being given to the relationship between the value added networks, such as the ARPA Network, the SITA Network, the CIDIN, etc., and the public data networks now being planned by the Bell System and other international organizations in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. It is increasingly apparent that the interworking of these very closely related networks will not be possible unless close attention is given to the standards that are developed for these systems."
MULTIMINIPROCESSORS (p. 42). "It is reasonable to assume that in the near future many more systems will exist to exploit the advantages of multiple independent minicomputers. The Carnegie Mellon system … is specifically designed to distribute the computing power among a number of autonomous minicomputers. Some computer manufacturers are investigating systems that utilize several functionally dedicated miniprocessors. The science of operating system software has developed to the stage where it is possible to write multiprogramming systems to utilize multiple processors efficiently—for example, Dijkstra's 'THE' operating system methodology elegantly makes provision for more than one miniprocessor. Reduced logic costs now make such systems more and more economical."
URANIUM MONITORING (p. 57). "A computerized manufacturing system capable of pinpointing the locations of tens of thousands of moving objects in a factory has been designed and built by General Electric.
"The system, called MICS (Manufacturing Information and Control System), is now in operation at GE's Nuclear Fuel Department plant in Wilmington, North Carolina. It can simultaneously identify and follow thousands of containers of uranium fuel as they progress through the factory."
"The system employs two computers, two 12-million-character random access memory discs, two magnetic tape recorders, and 79 computer terminals located throughout the factory. Duplicate equipment is featured for reliability."
COWBOY COMPUTER (p. 58). "An NCR Century 200 computer is supporting a nationwide effort in The Netherlands to maintain and upgrade the quality of Dutch milk cattle.
"These cattle represent 40 percent of Holland's cow population and are the basis for its worldwide reputation for high-quality cheeses. To ensure this quality, the computer has been installed by Stichting Gemeenschappelijke Informatieverwerking voor de Rundveehouderij. It is keeping track of the daily production and tri-weekly protein-fat content of the milk from 1,600,000 horned cattle, along with the breeding data for the herds.
"Daily production figures and content analysis records, along with artificial insemination and birth data from each small dairy farm, are sent to one of 11 provincial milk production audit centers. The centers use cassette-to-tape equipment to input the data to the central computer. Here production records of each cow are kept, sorted by parent bull.
"The $650,000 system includes a 64K-memory central processor, two dual-spindle disk units, a magnetic tape handler, two card random access memory units, a paper tape reader, and a high-speed printer."
WAVEFRONT ARRAY PROCESSORS (p. 14). "Wavefront and systolic architectures are both characterized by modular processors and regular, local interconnection networks. However, wavefront arrays replace the global clock and explicit time delays used for synchronizing systolic data pipelining with asynchronous handshaking as the mechanism for coordinating interprocessor data movement. Thus, when a processor has performed its computations and is ready to pass data to its successor, it informs the successor, sends data when the successor indicates it is ready, and receives an acknowledgment from the successor. The handshaking mechanism makes computational wavefronts pass smoothly through the array without intersecting, as the array's processors act as a wave propagating medium. In this manner, correct sequencing of computations replaces the correct timing of systolic architectures."
VLSI CELL LIBRARIES (p. 18). "As the complexity of VLSI circuits continues to grow, the need for a common, shared cell library is becoming inevitable. This is particularly true because of the diverse technologies that have evolved during the computer age—for example, the bipolar junction transistor (BJT), n-channel metal-oxide semiconductor (NMOS), complementary MOS (CMOS), gallium arsenide (GaAs), and bipolar MOS (BiMOS)."
MULTIPROCESSING (p. 43). "The shift from pseudo parallelism to true parallelism involves taking the multiple processes of a multiprogramming system and running them on the separate processors of a multiprocessing system. This form of parallelism is commonly called multiple-instruction, multiple-data parallelism. MIMD computers generally fall into two categories: shared memory, and distributed memory."
GROUP COMMUNICATION (p. 65). "Before designing a general, coherent, and integrated group communication system, we must understand how it will be used, that is, the basic application requirements. …
"A basic conclusion from this analysis is that group transparency is important and desirable. When integrated into the underlying group support, it simplifies the interface between server groups and their clients by hiding from the clients, as much as possible, the membership of server groups and interactions among group members. This enables designers of clients and servers to concentrate on the problems to be solved—as they do in the unicast environment—without concern for coordinating multiple servers. Group transparency is manifested in group communication, group naming, multiple-reply handling, group view change, and partial failure."
APPLICATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROFILES (p. 69). "As we try to establish a comprehensive range of standards, we find that a new set of issues starts to emerge. Standards that fill the gap between existing projects necessarily have scope statements that overlap the standards on either side. (For example, developing APIs for the Open Systems Interconnection Layer 7 file transfer and management service in the Posix domain touches both the OSI FTAM and various Posix projects.) So, we need coordination. Second, there is a rapid proliferation of such work, increasing the need for coordination and the number of standards. Finally, from a user perspective, there is an increasingly complex alphabet soup of standards and no way to clearly associate these with user needs.
"This leads to the focus on an additional type of standard: applications environment profiles. Like OSI profile work, AEPs embrace a group of standards, together with specific options within them, designed to fulfill specific functional needs."
US GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS (p. 71). "'The short-term orientation of US firms and their unwillingness to commit resources to the development and commercialization of new technologies is a critical factor in explaining the failure of US firms to compete in the fast changing electronics industry,' states a new report on the US consumer electronics market.
"The Consumer Electronics Industry and the Future of American Manufacturing cites barriers to US competitiveness in the global electronics market as well as several possible solutions, including the creation of a new 'silicon culture.'"
COMPUTER ETHICS (p. 74). "In January, Robert Morris, Jr., went on trial for 'invading 6,000 computers in four hours' with his November 1988 Internet 'worm.' At that time, there was no law on the books defining exactly what he might have done wrong. Professionally and ethically, his actions were wrong, but the courts will have to decide whether he violated any laws. This places the public in an unnecessary and costly situation. The issues seem too broad for proposing a simple solution, such as outlawing computer viruses."
"The Committee on Public Policy is working with the IEEE/USA Information Security Subcommittee on a position paper to guide IEEE members on the ethical behavior of computer users and at the same time educate legislators and the general public about computer crime so that lawmakers might take appropriate legislative action."
PDFs of the articles and departments from Computer's February 1990 issue are available at www.computer.org/computer.