What Happened Today, November 13th

TX-O
TX-O
 
MIT's TX-O Computer Turned On for Last Time
The MIT TX-0, an experimental transistorized computer, is brought back to life for the third (and final) time at The Computer Museum in Marlboro, Massachusetts. The resurrection was achieved under the care of its devoted technician, John McKenzie, MIT Professor Jack Dennis, who was in charge of the machine, and a number of users. The TX-0 was built at Lincoln Laboratories in 1955 then dismantled and moved to MIT in 1956 where it was deemed to be obsolete in two years. The TX-0 is considered to be one the earliest transitorized computers ever designed.

What Happened This Week

Robert Fano
Robert Fano
 
Timesharing Pioneer Fano Born
Robert Fano, who led Project MAC at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is born in Torino, Italy. Fano built on his studies at MIT when he directed Project MAC, which focused on developments in timesharing and interactive computing.
ILLIAC IV
ILLIAC IV
 
ILLIAC IV Designer Slotnick Born
ILLIAC IV designer Dan Slotnick is born. The ILLIAC IV, a project of the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency and the University of Illinois, was the first large-scale array computer to use semiconductor RAM memory. When it first operated at NASA’s Ames Research Center in 1972, it could compute 200 million instructions per second. The speed of the parallel-processing computer was achieved by its architecture and the overlapping structure of its 64 processing elements.
Alan Mathison Turing
Alan Mathison Turing
 
Alan Turing Defines the Universal Machine.
Alan Turing’s paper entitled On Computable Numbers with an Application to the Entscheidungs-problem appeared on November 12, 1937, somewhat contemporaneously with Konrad Zuse’s work on the first of the Z machines in Germany, John Vincent Atanasoff ‘s work on the ABC, George Stibitz’s work on the Bell Telephony relay machine, and Howard Aiken’s on the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator.

Later renamed the Turing Machine, this abstract engine provided the fundamental concepts of computers that the other inventors would realize independently. So Turing provided the abstraction that would form the basic theory of computability for several decades, while others provided the pragmatic means of computation.

TX-O
TX-O
 
MIT's TX-O Computer Turned On for Last Time
The MIT TX-0, an experimental transistorized computer, is brought back to life for the third (and final) time at The Computer Museum in Marlboro, Massachusetts. The resurrection was achieved under the care of its devoted technician, John McKenzie, MIT Professor Jack Dennis, who was in charge of the machine, and a number of users. The TX-0 was built at Lincoln Laboratories in 1955 then dismantled and moved to MIT in 1956 where it was deemed to be obsolete in two years. The TX-0 is considered to be one the earliest transitorized computers ever designed.
 
Software Publisher and Author Peter Norton Born
Peter Norton was born on this day in 1943 in Aberdeen, Washington. Norton would first come to note for producing tools that could retrieve erased data from DOS disks that would eventually be compiled into suite called Norton Utilities. Norton founded Peter Norton Computing, which produced both software utilities as well as publishing several manuals and books. In 1990, Norton sold his company to Symantec, which would keep the Norton name alive for more than a decade following the purchase. He currently heads up The Peter Norton Family Foundation, which is a major philanthropic group supporting the arts and human social services.
Intel 4004 had 2,250 transistors, handling data in four-bit chunks, and could perform 60,000 operations per second
Intel 4004 had 2,250 transistors, handling data in four-bit chunks, and could perform 60,000 operations per second
 
First Advertisement for Microprocessor Appears
The first advertisement for a microprocessor, the Intel 4004, appears in the journal Electronic News. The chip was designed by a four-person team at Intel, a start-up company founded by Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce a few years earlier. Intel engineers Federico Faggin, Ted Hoff, Stan Mazor, and Masatoshi Shima designed the 4004 while undertaking a custom circuit design for Busicom, a Japanese calculator maker.
Gene Amdahl and the WISC, Wisconsin Integrally Synchronized Computer
Gene Amdahl and the WISC, Wisconsin Integrally Synchronized Computer
 
IBM System 360 Designer Amdahl Born
IBM System/360 hardware designer Gene Amdahl is born in Flandreau, South Dakota. The System/360 marked IBM’s transition from discrete transistors to integrated circuits, as well as its move to a focus on electronic computer systems rather than punch card equipment. Amdahl went on from IBM to found his own company, Amdahl Computer Corp., which was very successful in making the first IBM-compatible mainframe systems.
Hollerith Electrical Printing and Tabulating Machine
Hollerith Electrical Printing and Tabulating Machine
 
Herman Hollerith Dies
Herman Hollerith dies of a heart attack at age 69. Hollerith's experience before he was 30 -- at the US Census Bureau and US Patent Office and as instructor in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- set the stage for inventing the successful card system for the 1890 census.

After this achievement, Hollerith set up his Tabulating Machine Co. in 1896. In 1911 it became the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co., which Thomas Watson, Sr. joined in 1914. A decade later it became International Business Machines.