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32 & 16 Years Ago

Pages: 13–14

Abstract—A summary of articles published in Computer 32 and 16 years ago.

Keywords—computing history

July 1982

SPECIAL MESSAGE (p. 4) “In the past, many computer science and engineering programs were considered specializations within electrical engineering departments and thus were accredited as part of the EE accreditation process. Computer science and engineering is now recognized as a discipline which complements, but is separate from, its sister disciplines of electrical engineering and mathematics.”

LETTER (p. 7) “This is the point about computer languages which we all know and seldom mention. No matter how excellent a programming language is, if it is not clearly described and the descriptions widely distributed, the language will never make it.”

INTRODUCTION (p. 16) “The investment that an enterprise makes in data processing equipment was once concentrated in the data center. The architecture of that data center is now changing into what might better be called a collection of cooperating subsystems that encompasses the geographic extent of the enterprise. … Associated with these data centers is the need for a central data repository of some description, whether it is based in paper, microfilm, or magnetic tape.”

OPTICAL DISKS (p. 21) “Today's laser-ablated metal-film optical disks could be the digital data storage system of the future. They are made of materials that can be stored for many years without stringent environmental controls, and because diffraction-limited optical systems in combination with disks have high storage densities, they promise a lower cost per bit than any other medium.”

FREE DATA STORAGE (p. 27) “This article takes the idea of ever-decreasing mass storage costs to its absolute limit and examines the hypothetical effects that free mass storage would likely have on the design and use of future data-base systems.”

MASS DATA SOFTWARE (p. 36) “This article looks at some possible MSS software requirements as they apply to single-host connections and a single MSS serving the data storage needs of more than one host computer. As various systems are developed, the aspects of the software functions for an MSS should fall into the categories described below.”

FILE MIGRATION (p. 45) “Virtual memory techniques can be used effectively to study file migration policies. An extensive data base of file access patterns allows simulation of policy performance.”

A CASE HISTORY (p. 57) “Perhaps the most important argument in favor of a central computer is the need of smaller computers to work with large, common data bases. This requires a center equipped with sufficient on-line mass storage and data management capabilities to serve the entire organization.”

KEYNOTE ADDRESS (p. 68) “The information industry has a potential for growth that could boost the productivity of the entire US economy. Five steps toward realizing that goal are proposed here.”

THE CHINESE MARKET (p. 79) “… Unless Americans make a dedicated effort to educate Chinese buyers on the pros and cons of different kinds of computers and the technical knowledge needed to operate them effectively, we will alienate a potentially huge market segment in the long run.”

A UNIX STANDARD? (p. 80) “We urge the IEEE standards group to join with the /usr/group committee to see if a useful standard for Unix-like systems can be established.”

COMPUTING AND PEOPLE (p. 83) “Improving the performance and density of dynamic RAM chips during the 1980s will require the use of aggressive submicron lithography, very thin oxides, and improved isolation.”

NEW DISKETTES (p. 89) “The diskette storage capacity of the IBM personal computer has been doubled, the company announced. The 320K-byte diskette drive accommodates up to 327,680 characters of programs and data on 5 1/4-inch diskettes, enabling users to store and update information on either 320K byte double-sided or 160 Kbyte single-sided diskettes.”

COMPUTED TOYS (p. 102) “Computer analysis of packaging requirements has recently smoothed the path of Cookie Monster, Snoopy, Woodstock, Snuggle Bunny, and a host of other toys and dolls into toy stores around the world.”

July 1998

CRAFTY PROGRAMMING (p. 6) “In today's market, uncredentialed programmers can insist on the title ‘software engineer’ while resisting the discipline that real engineers take for granted. Any journeyman in the building trades brings more craftsmanship to his or her work than almost every programmer.”

DATA ACCESS (p. 10) “… Many industry observers say Fibre-Channel-based SAN [storage area network] technology has so many advantages that it will become increasingly popular, particularly as researchers correct its problems and develop ways for it to transmit data over even longer distances.”

DATA DISTRIBUTION (p. 13) “… Multicasting will require a few years to be widely adopted because it requires infrastructure changes (to the kernels on routers' operating systems), as well as deployment and activation by vendors and ISPs.”

SATELLITE DEPENDENCY (p. 20) “The failure of the spacecraft control processor, which pointed antennas on PanAmSat's $250 million Galaxy IV satellite toward the Earth so they could receive and transmit signals, cut off service to an estimated 35 million to 40 million pager customers.”

COMPILED PARALLELISM (p. 24) “Two key architectural features—predication and control speculation—will enable IA-64 compilers to extract instruction-level parallelism. To show how compilers will use IA-64 instructions, the author uses code fragments from the pointer-chasing problem—an inherently serial code—and from a nested loop with difficult-to-predict branches.”

A CASE STUDY (p. 33) “Fifteen teams used the WinWin spiral model to prototype, plan, specify, and build multimedia applications for USC's Integrated Library System. The authors report how they extended the model's utility and cost-effectiveness in a second round of projects.”

GRAPHIC VISION (p. 46) “Computer graphics and computer vision are inverse problems. ... Lately, there has been a meeting in the middle, and the center—the prize—is to create stunning images in real time.”

REFERENCE STREAMING (p. 54) “In this article, we describe a technique that can convert more than 90 percent of a memory system's bandwidth into low-latency accesses, at least for a particular class of computations.”

SOFTWARE MAINTENANCE (p. 64) “In this article, we describe techniques that maintainers can use to enhance program understanding, debugging, and testing—the three most costly tasks in software maintenance. … To show how analyzing tests can reveal valuable maintenance information in legacy software systems, we present examples from the Tag Value Object utility library. …”

TREASURER'S REPORT (p. 79) “As treasurer of the IEEE Computer Society, I am pleased to present to the membership this report of the society's 1997 financial results. The surplus reflects a strengthening computer industry overall, an increase in membership, and higher member retention.”

STANDARD STREAMING (p. 94) “A real-time streaming protocol is more concerned about when a packet is supposed to arrive than if a packet has arrived. A standard for a streaming protocol, then, specifies how streaming protocols operate and allows streaming software from multiple vendors to interoperate.”

IMPLICITY (p. 97) “This is the open-closed principle, which in my opinion is one of the central innovations of object technology: the ability to use a software component as it is, while retaining the possibility of adding to it later through inheritance.”

REUSE (p. 100) “This refusal to harness software's inherent modifiability severely limits both the reusability of our parts and the usability (functionality, efficiency, ease of use) of the information systems we build from them.”

MITIGATING MICROSOFT (p. 105) “If having windows is at the heart of what turns users on these days, then what we need is a separation of the windows from the software that runs in them. Then simpler OSs and applications than Microsoft's could run in those windows.”

THE CLASSICAL WEB (p. 106) “The Web needs a Renaissance. It must return to its classical roots. One of its classical roots is HTML as a simple, scalable, document format that can be used for information exchange on virtually any platform. Coming back to this model means a return to the original principles of HTML and very carefully extending the language in the spirit of those principles.”

THE TWO HOUSE PLAGUE (p. 107) “Windows 98 is upon us like the plague. Consumers are poking at their Web browsers to download copies of Microsoft's cash cow as Intel and Microsoft rake in the profits from hardware and software upgrades.”

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