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Pages: pp. 10-11

October 1974

PARIMUTUEL BETTING (p. 27). "The introduction of computers and especially the minicomputer has probably been the most significant technological development in totalisator systems since the advent of the electro-mechanical relay totalisator. It is the minicomputer's low cost, small size, and reliable performance that has enabled the racing industry to offer racing fans throughout the United States the most up-to-date betting action. Utilization of inexpensive computer memory, fast access mass storage, and sophisticated software techniques has enabled expansion to satisfy the racing industry's continual need for new pools, information displays, and system control. External system requirements such as the introduction of off-track betting in New York have been accommodated through software modifications and the attachment of external devices."

OPTICAL MARK BETTING (p. 36). "The Western Australia (W.A.) system is scheduled for installation in late 1975. To increase flexibility and throughput, they are … placing the onus for making a bet directly on the bettor himself by using optical mark reading and standard system hardware ….

"The bettors place bets by marking their selections on IBM System/3-size paper cards … and inserting them directly into the terminal. The terminal … reads the pencil marks and transmits them at 1200 bps to a remote multiplexer. After verification and editing, print information is returned over the teleprocessing line to print the bettor's selections on the same card …. … the system also prints a unique machine-readable bar code on the betting ticket, which identifies this particular bet. Invalid bet tickets are returned with an error message across the top, describing the error."

INTERACTIVE COMPUTER ENVIRONMENT (p. 49). "An interactive computer environment is one which attempts to facilitate the interplay between man and machine in pursuit of a goal defined by man. Presumably, to be effective, this environment should allow the calculating speed, precision, and structured logical/iterative skill of the machine to serve the conceptual, intuitive, highly associative, and contexturally sensitive attributes of human mental function in the solution of problems. Too often the match is obtuse, the goals vague, and the result frustration. Much emphasis ought to be placed on the a priori specific problem oriented knowledge, gained through experience, which the man brings to the machine and wishes to share with it in a versatile but structured way.

"The areas of graphics, image processing, and pattern recognition are particularly appropriate candidates for this interactive approach, for they are all areas in which man performs exceptionally well although he understands in only a very small way the mechanisms he brings to bear in exercising these skills.

MASS STORAGE WORKSHOP (p. 65). "A problem which drew a great deal of the focus by the architecture and systems people was the logical interface which mass storage should present to the host system."

"One example of a high level language interface to mass storage, the Datacomputer, was presented. This design would allow a data storage subsystem to be attached to a network of computers with only a modest bandwidth required between the storage subsystem and the other CPUs. This was achieved by placing a very sophisticated logical capability in the Datacomputer in order to handle all data organization and searching requirements. Only the results of queries would be transmitted on the network, not the entire raw data file."

PRODUCTION SCHEDULING (p. 71). "A Nova 1220 computer, made by Data General Corporation, is helping schedule operations in a concrete coating process for pipe at the new MK-Shand plant in Invergordon. One of the first orders at the plant was for the production of coated pipe for the 110-mile BP Forties Field underwater pipeline in the North Sea."

"The system makes calculations to assure the pipe's weight, strength and dimensions are consistent, and to establish a controlled negative buoyancy when submerged in depths of up to 420 feet. These tasks are done to keep up with a plant production rate of 200 pipes each day."

GLOBAL WEATHER (p. 72). "An airborne computer system programmed by Informatics Inc. is part of an international scientific research investigation aimed at gathering the information needed to understand the tropical atmosphere and its effects on global weather.

"The experiment, called GATE (GARP Atlantic Tropical Experiment), is a major subprogram of the Global Atmosphere Research Program (GARP). GATE is attempting to extend existing knowledge of those aspects of meteorology in the equatorial belt that are essential to a proper understanding of the circulation of the earth's atmosphere as a whole. GATE will also facilitate the development of computerized numerical models and prediction methods to provide better and longer-ranged weather forecasts—up to two weeks time, with reasonable accuracy."

October 1990

DEPENDABILITY MODELING (p. 7). "As multiprocessors take on more and increasingly critical tasks, quick and accurate evaluation of both the performance and the dependability of these parallel architectures becomes essential. However, while considerable research efforts have been directed at analyzing multiprocessor performance, dependability prediction has received less attention.

"In general, increasing system dependability requires shifting resources from other design goals, such as high performance. Achieving both high computing power and high dependability makes system design very complex. However, through modeling, a system designer can assess whether a design meets dependability requirements, identify design bottlenecks, and select an optimal architecture."

FAULT-TOLERANT SOFTWARE (p. 23). "Several researchers have developed methods and tools that use redundancy to help critical systems tolerate errors caused by software faults. Two of the most widely used techniques for sequential software are recovery block programming and N-version programming. The most suitable mechanisms for concurrent systems are programmer transparent coordination and conversation. All four of these approaches are general and apply to any type of computation."

"Unfortunately, the few languages that provide adequate syntax and runtime support to implement fault-tolerant mechanisms are still experimental. Usually, the programmer must describe the desired fault-tolerance policy explicitly, greatly complicating the program's implementation, readability, and maintenance."

BUILT-IN SELF-TESTING (p. 45). "Built-in self-test techniques are gaining ground in the testing of logic circuits because they offer a cost-effective way to test high-density digital devices. The basic philosophy behind the BIST technique is 'let the hardware test itself'—that is, enhance the functionality of a logic circuit to test itself. The BIST concept was first proposed for combinational circuits, but it later found a quick application in the testing of such regular structures as random-access memories, read-only memories, and programmable logic arrays."

USER INTERFACE MANAGEMENT (p. 73). "The term user interface management system was coined at the 1982 Workshop on Graphical Input Interaction Technique (GIIT). Among other things, UIMSs are intended to encourage the separation of a software system into an application portion and a user interface portion. …

"UIMSs provide facilities for defining both presentation and the computer-human dialogue components of a user interface. A UIMS also may provide facilities to support prototyping, encourage a design that allows for easy modification of the user interface, support implementation and maintenance of the user interface, and allow for the incorporation of new user interface technologies."

MICROPROCESSOR PATENT (p. 79). "With potentially huge sums in royalties at stake, attorneys for Intel and other microprocessor manufacturers have been poring over the patent recently issued to Gilbert P. Hyatt of La Palma, California, for the invention of the microprocessor. Hyatt's successful bid for a patent on technology he claims to have devised in 1968 climaxed a 20-year effort by the engineer and inventor.

"Hyatt … says that he began work on the invention early in 1968 and built his first working computer later that year. He formed Micro Computer, Inc., the same year with the intent of developing the microcomputer technology. The company folded after about three years. Hyatt applied for the parent patent on December 28, 1970."

COMPUTER CRIME (p. 80). "The United States Activities component of the IEEE has adopted a position on computer crime stating, in part, that existing legislation may not be clear and comprehensive enough to address all the problems of computer crime. Well-crafted federal legislation is recommended to promote uniform treatment of computer crime across the nation and provide significant deterrence as well as punishment.

"According to the IEEE, such legislation should

  • distinguish deliberately malicious acts from accidents;
  • avoid imposing overly specific and burdensome operating requirements …;
  • cover a broad range of computer crimes and techniques and not be tool-specific;
  • recognize trespass within an information system as a criminal act without requiring the system owner or operator to show that there has been damage or the potential to do damage.

"Furthermore, the IEEE says that the law should not be written in a way that would discourage research on or discussion of the technology of malicious codes. Research into such techniques is an essential part of legitimate efforts to understand and control the threat of computer crime."

IBM MAINFRAMES (p. 92). "In a massive product announcement, IBM has rolled out its System/390, including new operating systems, connection architectures, and 18 new Enterprise System/9000 mainframe processors.

"All ES/9000 processors support the new Enterprise Systems Connection (Escon) architecture, which uses fiber optic channels that transfer data at up to 10 Mbytes/sec. Escon lets users place I/O equipment as far as 5.6 miles (9 kilometers) from the processor, according to the company.

PDFs of the articles and departments from Computer's October 1990 issue are available at

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