Artifact Details


CAD/CAM at Boeing, What is a Computer?

Catalog Number



Moving Image


Boeing Aircraft Company

Place of Publication


Identifying Numbers

Other number 1000.B
Other number 1001.B




10" cassette


Betacam SP

Copyright Holder

Computer History Museum


This compilation film contains excerpts from various Boeing promotional films. The first portion focuses on CAD/CAM use in the Boeing 757 development program, and includes footage of a 757 cockpit simulator (1980 ca.). At 00:05:40, the IBM 4341 is shown and the Tiger Interactive Graphics Engineering Resource is discussed (1970 ca.). At 00:16:50, the VEGA IIIG CNC computer-aided inspection system is shown in silent footage, followed by more footage of the 757 cockpit simulator. The remainder of the film alternates between b-roll footage of the above technologies. This portion of the film has a runtime of approximately 00:26:00.

The second portion of this film (beginning at 00:26:45) contains the work "What is a computer?" by Encyclopedia Brittanica, which is a basic introduction to the capabilities and uses of computers. This animated film takes a general approach to the topic of computers, and is intended for an audience of young students (1970 ca.). Consists primarily of animated schematic drawings. Beginning with a discussion of the decimal and binary systems, the film covers a wide range of topics including punched card processing, magnetic memory stores, stored programs and basic Boolean logic.