By David E. Lundstrom
During this own memoir, electric engineer David Lundstrom remembers the heyday of early computing, the increase of keep an eye on information out of the Univac department of Sperry Rand, such milestone computers because the Univac and the Naval Tactical info method the exploits of CDC's most sensible clothier Seymour Cray, and the sluggish company shift from the fascinating and technically fascinating international of computing device layout to inner politics and clumsy forms. - writer. Read more...
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Additional resources for A few good men from Univac
Requires only sele cting the corr ect he ad and waiting until the desired record appears under the head as th e dru m rotates. Drums typically rotate at 2000 t05000 revolution s per minute, so this time interval known as the rotational latency time, is a few thousandths of a second. Moving-head drums have only one or a small number of heads that must be moved paralle l to the axis of rotation until they are over the desired track. The time for the head to move, called the positioner latency time, must be added to the rotational latency time to determine the total time required to access a given record Moving-head drum s are thus slowe r in accessing a data record but lower in cost beca use of the reduced number of magnetic h ead~ Eckert-Mauchly had devel oped a large moving-head drum for use with the LAn G The FASfRAN D drum actually was made up of two huge nickel-plated cylinders, each about six feet long and eighteen inches in diameter.
We at Univac took consolation from the fact that archri val IB:\1 had had a worse disaster with their early supe rcompute r, optimistically named STRETCH, because it was int ended to stretch the technology. Cynics-and there are many in the comp uter business-nicknamed the 113:\[ computer SHRINK, because it never met its p erformance criteria, which had to be revised downward continually. Th e history of supe rcomp uters is littered with costly failures. These were only two earl y examples. Dick was well acquaint ed with most of the senior engineers in Philadelphia who had designed Univac I and with their design methods.
All around th e circumfere nce of the cylinde r. Th e alph abe t (uppe rcase lette rs only) is followed by the nume rals 0 through 9, and the common pun ct uation marks, for a total of forty-eight characters. In operation the print dru m (or cylinder) rotat es at a con stant te n revolutio ns per second. Opposite eac h co lumn posit ion o n the drum is a print hammer, act ually a small elec tro magnet When each electromagnet is " fired," or pulsed with current the hammer pushes the paper against an inked ribbon that is between the rotatin g drum and the paper, a nd the character tha t is at th at instant opposite the ha mmer on the drum is printed in that column.
A few good men from Univac by David E. Lundstrom