Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-13 Thread Chuck Guzis via cctalk
On 3/13/19 7:10 AM, William Donzelli via cctalk wrote:

> Be careful handing out the praise. The idea of adding a external
> signals and biases to crystal detectors was an old trick from the
> 1920s. No one really knew what was going on, and no one really used
> this technology, simply because performance was beyond horrid - even
> original Audions worked better.

Sure--I recall reading an article from an issue of QST from the 1920s
that reported an "oscillating crystal".   One has to believe that
negative resistance in solid materials had to have been discovered
several times.

There is a web site, http://www.sparkbangbuzz.com/ that demonstrates
that a strip of galvanized steel can make a quite successful
negative-resistance device, including several transmitters.   The fellow
even shows how to make a memristor using some brass and sulfur.

--Chuck





Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-13 Thread William Donzelli via cctalk
> > This is a bit interesting in that Brattain, Bardeen and Shockley are
> > credited in the popular press as having invented the transistor.
> > However, that was a bit overstated; they had to re-word their patent
> > application to state that they'd developed a "junction" transistor, when
> > a patent search turned up the fact that a Hungarian immigrant named
> > Julius Lilienfeld had obtained a patent on a field-effect transistor in
> > 1930--a full year before he obtained a patent on the electrolytic
> > capacitor (ever heard of those?.  Dr. J applied for the patent in 1926,
> > which is a bit mind-boggling, when you consider that tubes like the
> > UV20A1 were introduced in 1924.   It's those field-effect transistors
> > that are widely used today, not Shockley and chums' bipolar cousins.

Be careful handing out the praise. The idea of adding a external
signals and biases to crystal detectors was an old trick from the
1920s. No one really knew what was going on, and no one really used
this technology, simply because performance was beyond horrid - even
original Audions worked better.

--
Will


Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-13 Thread Paul Koning via cctalk



> On Mar 13, 2019, at 12:02 AM, Chuck Guzis via cctalk  
> wrote:
> 
> ...
> This is a bit interesting in that Brattain, Bardeen and Shockley are
> credited in the popular press as having invented the transistor.
> However, that was a bit overstated; they had to re-word their patent
> application to state that they'd developed a "junction" transistor, when
> a patent search turned up the fact that a Hungarian immigrant named
> Julius Lilienfeld had obtained a patent on a field-effect transistor in
> 1930--a full year before he obtained a patent on the electrolytic
> capacitor (ever heard of those?.  Dr. J applied for the patent in 1926,
> which is a bit mind-boggling, when you consider that tubes like the
> UV20A1 were introduced in 1924.   It's those field-effect transistors
> that are widely used today, not Shockley and chums' bipolar cousins.

My father had an article about those FETs in his files somewhere, unfortunately 
it was lost years ago but I remember it.  I think the semiconductor used was 
copper oxide.

Interesting that they actually found this.  There are many examples of the same 
thing being patented several times, or a thing being invented long after it was 
first built.  An example of the former is frequency modulation (patented in 
1927 by Idzerda, then in 1935 by Armstrong).  An example of the latter is 
Abraham Lincoln's patent for what a Dutchman would recognize as a "camel" -- a 
device for carrying ships over shoals that goes back a century or two from 
Lincoln's patent.

> Such is history and those who write accounts of it.  Names like
> Atanasoff and Zuse are consigned to the dustbin of history, while Eckert
> and Mauchly get the historical mention.

That's what makes it interesting to dig into the less known corners of 
technology history.  I've enjoyed poking into Electrologica, which did a number 
of things early on, perhaps earlier than others that are well known or at least 
around the same time.  The core ROM I mentioned is an example (it looks vaguely 
like Ken Olsen's design that became the Apollo Computer ROM, but the operation 
is different and somewhat more efficient, with a shorter read latency).  They 
also seem to have been the first to deliver interrupts in a commercial computer 
as a standard feature.  But because of location and limited sales, few people 
even know the company's name, let alone much about it.

paul



Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-12 Thread Chuck Guzis via cctalk
On 3/12/19 5:59 PM, ben via cctalk wrote:

> That needed to say Half Word. The point I was making was you went
> down from 36 bits to 32 bits and that loss of word size made
> everything follow a similar architecture model between different
> computer manufactures as there is only a few ways to format your
> opcodes to fit into half a word. A bit here, a bit there and WOW you
> need a bigger opcode space. Ben.

It depends on how you design your instruction set.   On the CDC 6000
series, most instructions were 15 bits (6 bits of opcode + 3 x 3 bits of
registers--a 3-address architecture).  Longer instructions were 30 bits.
 Because addresses were of 60-bit word granularity, instruction
placement within a 15-bit parcel was important, as you couldn't just to
a quarter-word address.  I'd programmed S/360 before the CDC machines
and soon learned that there wasn't a whole lot to be gained with byte
addressability.  CDC 6600 COBOL ran faster than the COBOL on a 360/195
(as measured by the Navy Audit Test suite) in spite of the fact that the
6600 has no decimal instructions and is word-addressable--such is the
power of RISC.

--Chuck





Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-12 Thread Chuck Guzis via cctalk
On 3/12/19 5:23 PM, Paul Koning via cctalk wrote:
> 
> 
>> On Mar 12, 2019, at 5:51 PM, Murray McCullough via cctalk
>>  wrote:
>> 
>> ... I’ve written in my book on the History of the Microcomputer a
>> history of the processing chip as the timeline follows an
>> approximation of:
>> 
>> Late *1950*s – patent on integrated circuit by Texas Instruments
>> 
>> *1950*s to *1960*s – move from vacuum tubes to TTL technology
>> 
>> programs/functions in ROM
> 
> You turned two steps into one: vacuum tubes to discrete transistors
> (1958 to mid 1960s) then transistors to TTL SSI ICs (1965-1975 or
> so), then CMOS and LSI.  With some detours -- some high end computers
> using ECL, for example.

I recall that in the late 1960s, RTL and DTL were far more common IC
families than TTL.  ECL had several sub-families; the first was a bear
to work with.

I think bitsavers has a couple of old Motorola, TI and Fairchild IC
databooks from that time.

CMOS ICs, when they first came out, were glacially slow and could only
get speed by running them at 15 volts or so.   Except for some
low-speed/low-power applications, they weren't really a contender for
computer logic.

This is a bit interesting in that Brattain, Bardeen and Shockley are
credited in the popular press as having invented the transistor.
However, that was a bit overstated; they had to re-word their patent
application to state that they'd developed a "junction" transistor, when
a patent search turned up the fact that a Hungarian immigrant named
Julius Lilienfeld had obtained a patent on a field-effect transistor in
1930--a full year before he obtained a patent on the electrolytic
capacitor (ever heard of those?.  Dr. J applied for the patent in 1926,
which is a bit mind-boggling, when you consider that tubes like the
UV20A1 were introduced in 1924.   It's those field-effect transistors
that are widely used today, not Shockley and chums' bipolar cousins.

Such is history and those who write accounts of it.  Names like
Atanasoff and Zuse are consigned to the dustbin of history, while Eckert
and Mauchly get the historical mention.

Ah well, some people still believe that Thomas Edison invented the
incandescent lamp.

Also, there was capacitor ROM as well as transformer ROM.

--Chuck


Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-12 Thread Jon Elson via cctalk

On 03/12/2019 07:23 PM, Paul Koning via cctalk wrote:



On Mar 12, 2019, at 5:51 PM, Murray McCullough via cctalk 
 wrote:

...
I’ve written in my book on the History of the Microcomputer a history of
the processing chip as the timeline follows an approximation of:

Late *1950*s – patent on integrated circuit by Texas Instruments

*1950*s to *1960*s – move from vacuum tubes to TTL technology

  programs/functions in ROM

You turned two steps into one: vacuum tubes to discrete transistors (1958 to 
mid 1960s) then transistors to TTL SSI ICs (1965-1975 or so), then CMOS and 
LSI.  With some detours -- some high end computers using ECL, for example.
Yes, the IBM 360 was produced using discrete transistors and 
diodes on little ceramic hybrid modules until 1969 or so, 
when they finally moved into ICs.  The IBM 360/85 (really a 
prototype of the 370/165) was built in their version of ECL, 
in 1968.


Also, before TTL, there was RTL and DTL, and also MECL.

Also, when you said ROM you probably meant semiconductor ROM (mask ROM); 
earlier there was core ROM, invented (two variations, one in the USA and one in 
Holland, apparently independently) around 1957 and first appearing in a 
commercial computer in the 1958 Electrologica X1.


IBM 360 models 30, 50 and 65 used capacitive ROM (they 
called it read only Storage) for their control store 
(microcode), called CROS, or CCROS for a semi-differential 
version in the 50 and 65.  The 360/40 used transformers, so 
TROS for microcode.


Jon


Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-12 Thread ben via cctalk

On 3/11/2019 10:29 AM, Jon Elson wrote:

On 03/11/2019 02:35 AM, ben via cctalk wrote:

IBM 360 32 bits 16 word reg file - 16 bit word.


While some 360 models had a hardware architecture of 8, 16, or even 64 
bits, all of the 360s (except the model 20, which was not really a 360) 
had 16 32-bit registers as the program saw it.


Jon
  That needed to say Half Word. The point I was making was you went down

from 36 bits to 32 bits and that loss of word size made everything
follow a similar architecture model between different computer 
manufactures as there is only a few ways to format your opcodes to fit 
into half a word. A bit here, a bit there and WOW you need a bigger

opcode space. Ben.




Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-12 Thread Paul Koning via cctalk



> On Mar 12, 2019, at 5:51 PM, Murray McCullough via cctalk 
>  wrote:
> 
> ...
> I’ve written in my book on the History of the Microcomputer a history of
> the processing chip as the timeline follows an approximation of:
> 
> Late *1950*s – patent on integrated circuit by Texas Instruments
> 
> *1950*s to *1960*s – move from vacuum tubes to TTL technology
> 
>  programs/functions in ROM

You turned two steps into one: vacuum tubes to discrete transistors (1958 to 
mid 1960s) then transistors to TTL SSI ICs (1965-1975 or so), then CMOS and 
LSI.  With some detours -- some high end computers using ECL, for example.

Also, when you said ROM you probably meant semiconductor ROM (mask ROM); 
earlier there was core ROM, invented (two variations, one in the USA and one in 
Holland, apparently independently) around 1957 and first appearing in a 
commercial computer in the 1958 Electrologica X1.

paul



Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-12 Thread Murray McCullough via cctalk
Thanks for the info on chip made by Texas Instruments. It was used in a
pocket/plug-in calculator I had while working as a payroll clerk back in
the early 70s.



The link is: http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/ti_cal-tech1.html



I’ve written in my book on the History of the Microcomputer a history of
the processing chip as the timeline follows an approximation of:



Late *1950*s – patent on integrated circuit by Texas Instruments


*1950*s to *1960*s – move from vacuum tubes to TTL technology

  programs/functions in ROM



*1970*s – 4004 to 8008 to 8086  -> This begins the era of electronic
computerization of society.

->  programmable by user and/or firmware


We are now in the early human era of the electronification-computerization
of society. *Classic Computing* takes us back to the very early years.


Happy computing!


Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-11 Thread Paul Koning via cctalk



> On Mar 11, 2019, at 1:13 PM, Robert Feldman via cctalk 
>  wrote:
> 
>> Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2019 17:18:26 -0400
>> From: Murray McCullough 
> 
> 
>> Back in 1965 Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman and James Van Tassel at texas
>> Instruments
> 
> Merryman died on February 27.
> 
> From the New York Times (March 7, 2019):
> Jerry Merryman, Co-Inventor of the Pocket Calculator, Dies at 86
> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/obituaries/jerry-merryman-dead.html
> 
> Bob

The WSJ had a very nice obit on him in the weekend issue.  One interesting 
tidbit is that he learned electronics as a teenager by reading Terman's Radio 
Engineer Handbook.  Wow.

I have that book.  It's a professional engineering textbook.  I would hesitate 
to use it as an undergraduate college text (though it might have served in 
Merryman's youth, given that schools tended to teach better).  I learned 
electronics as a teenager also, but I certainly didn't use anything as tough as 
Terman -- I had a book aimed at youth and graduated from there to the ARRL 
Radio Amateur Handbook.

paul



RE: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-11 Thread Robert Feldman via cctalk
>Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2019 17:18:26 -0400
>From: Murray McCullough 


>Back in 1965 Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman and James Van Tassel at texas
>Instruments

Merryman died on February 27.

>From the New York Times (March 7, 2019):
Jerry Merryman, Co-Inventor of the Pocket Calculator, Dies at 86
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/obituaries/jerry-merryman-dead.html

Bob


Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-11 Thread Jon Elson via cctalk

On 03/11/2019 02:35 AM, ben via cctalk wrote:

IBM 360 32 bits 16 word reg file - 16 bit word.


While some 360 models had a hardware architecture of 8, 16, 
or even 64 bits, all of the 360s (except the model 20, which 
was not really a 360) had 16 32-bit registers as the program 
saw it.


Jon


Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-11 Thread allison via cctalk
On 03/11/2019 04:49 AM, Brent Hilpert via cctalk wrote:
> On 2019-Mar-10, at 3:59 PM, Will Cooke via cctalk wrote:
>>> On 3/10/2019 3:18 PM, Murray McCullough via cctalk wrote:
 Back in 1965 Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman and James Van Tassel at texas
 Instruments created an integrated circuit designed to replace the
 calulator. Historians, though not all, credit this development as the
 beginning of the electronic-computing revolution that was truly underway by
 the mid-70s. Vintage/classic computing our hobby goes back that far as us
 baby-boomers can attest to.
> . . .
>> Here is a little bit of info on it:
>> http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/ti_cal-tech1.html
>
> On 2019-Mar-10, at 10:48 PM, ben via cctalk wrote:
>> On 3/10/2019 7:30 PM, Guy Dunphy via cctalk wrote:
>>
 Here is a little bit of info on it:
 http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/ti_cal-tech1.html
>>> That's fascinating, thanks. I'd never heard of it.
>>> The Intel 4004 came out in 1971.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_4004
>>> I'd understood that was the first chip that could be considered a 
>>> 'processor' (though it required some support chips to do anything.)
>>> The TI Cal-Tech design was begun in 1965 and they had a working calculator 
>>> in 1967. I wonder if the chips in that had any kind of code programmability?
>> Looking at the vintage calculator page, I would give the "FAR EAST" my vote 
>> for the first processor type chips. Everything was in-house development you 
>> can say they all came out at the same time. Look at TTL
>> pre 1970 4 gate logic, after 1970 74181 alu 7416x 4 bit counters 7489 16x4 
>> RAM. About 1973 Tristate logic and 32x8 , 256x4 PROMS.
>
> If you read the link provided by Will, the Cal-tech was four ICs, not one.
> It was a forward-thinking lab R project which you would expect to be ahead 
> of the IC technology on the market.
>
> It would be several more years, ca. 1971 before the complete logic for a 
> calculator was stuffed onto one chip and available on the market,
> so coincident in time with the 4004.
> There was the TMS-0100 series from TI , single-chip calculators, 1971.
>   https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/ti/tms0100
>
> TI and others did produce some calculator chip-sets (calc on several 
> dedicated LSI chips) for the market prior to the single-chip implementations.
>
> No, the first 'processor-type' chips didn't come out of the 'far east'.
> The Japanese were producing calculators with hard-wired / random logic / 
> dedicated state-machine architectures in the late 60s.
> With the advent of LSI, they came to the Americans to get chips designed, 
> resulting in one case in the 4004.
>
> See also the TMS1795 (1971) and TMS1000 (1974).
> Rockwell was another of the big players.
>
First I prefix thing with how many of you were over the age of 8 or 10
at the time of the introduction of the calculator?

OK, I was well over that by then.  I started in Jr high with a slipstick
(slide rule) as an early techno geek
so I got to see the industry develop and yes the desk sized computers
were easily early on but the
key thing is pocket calculator just like the Pocket transistor radio. 
Each were of similar level of
change. radios weren't a new idea but mass produced and cheap  pocket
sized was.  So the pocket
calculator was big and when the cost got under 50$ then everyone wanted
it.  I was an early adopter
of the Ti 8 digit 4 banger (-+/*) (TMS103) and took that to college in
the very early 70s.  After that I'd
seen and gotten to use the famous HP65 (then about 650$).  It was a very
different market and use
for the pocket calc than the desktop calc.  The biggest part of the
desktop was printing, the
transactional record of what was done.

The key is we (users and market) went from slide rules in about 69-70 to
calculators in 71-72 and
they were everywhere by 74 and prices dropping very fast.

As to microcomputers and calculators I see them on the parallel path as
they both required the same
technologies to be present to be able to make wither but one was market
driven and the other was
technology driven.  The calculator is however become a dead end in that
it never advanced beyond
a point then it was a computer.  Its utility however is every cell phone
has one.

The CADC Central air data computer was the fly by wire for the F14 and
was a multi-chip system
and programmable, making it the first LSI micro.  The question of single
chip is moot as it was the
later 70s with TMS1000, F8, and 8048 that would put all of the computer
functions on one chip.
The 8080/6502/6800/and friends were all multichip to realize even a
simple functioning system.

Oddly science fiction had computers but calculators were not part of
their forecast..  I know of
only one example that had pocket/portable calculator.

Allison



Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-11 Thread dwight via cctalk
Calculators are clearly a step in the progression. Also, clearly not the 
beginning.  To pick any one even and say that was the beginning is absurd. 
There are to many steps involved. The need to do mathematical calculations was 
clearly a driving force but that goes back before Babbage.
Dwight


From: cctalk  on behalf of Noel Chiappa via 
cctalk 
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2019 7:09 AM
To: cctalk@classiccmp.org
Cc: j...@mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Subject: Re: Pioneers of computing

> From: Brent Hilpert

>>> Back in 1965 Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman and James Van Tassel at texas
>>> Instruments created an integrated circuit designed to replace the
>>> calulator. Historians, though not all, credit this development as the
>>> beginning of the electronic-computing revolution that was truly underway
>>> by the mid-70s.

>> Scotty, more power to the Reality Distortion Field!

> It's not an out-to-lunch suggestion.
> The digital pocket calculator was the first mass-market digital electronic
> device to be put in the hands of the consumer.

It's not clear which element of the original post that Al was referring to; I
saw several things I might disagree with:

- Unless you look at the date carefully, the notion that TI's work developing
chips was intended to replace the calculator.

- The notion that it was calculators that drove the development of micros;
Intel had actually started work on a micro for Datapoint, which was
eventually released as the 8008, _before_ they started on the 4004 for
Busicom.


I'd have to think long and hard before I rendered a judgement on how
important digital pocket calculators were to where we are today.

My initial reaction is to say 'not very', though - early personal computers,
centered on Silicon Valley, were mostly driven by having, well, a personal
computer. It's not clear that widespread ownership of personal calculators
did anything to drive that.

Noel


Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-11 Thread Noel Chiappa via cctalk
> From: Brent Hilpert   

>>> Back in 1965 Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman and James Van Tassel at texas
>>> Instruments created an integrated circuit designed to replace the
>>> calulator. Historians, though not all, credit this development as the
>>> beginning of the electronic-computing revolution that was truly underway
>>> by the mid-70s. 

>> Scotty, more power to the Reality Distortion Field!

> It's not an out-to-lunch suggestion.
> The digital pocket calculator was the first mass-market digital electronic
> device to be put in the hands of the consumer.

It's not clear which element of the original post that Al was referring to; I
saw several things I might disagree with:

- Unless you look at the date carefully, the notion that TI's work developing
chips was intended to replace the calculator.

- The notion that it was calculators that drove the development of micros;
Intel had actually started work on a micro for Datapoint, which was
eventually released as the 8008, _before_ they started on the 4004 for
Busicom.


I'd have to think long and hard before I rendered a judgement on how
important digital pocket calculators were to where we are today.

My initial reaction is to say 'not very', though - early personal computers,
centered on Silicon Valley, were mostly driven by having, well, a personal
computer. It's not clear that widespread ownership of personal calculators
did anything to drive that.

Noel


Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-11 Thread Michael Mulhern via cctalk
Talking of calculators, my first full time job was selling HP calculators
and Apple computers which was appropriate, but not necessary for my second
full time job as a calculator. Yes my job title was calculator, where I did
actuarial calculations on insurance products for variations.

So I went from selling them, to being one :)

//m

On Mon, 11 Mar 2019 at 9:43 pm, Bill Degnan via cctalk <
cctalk@classiccmp.org> wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 4:50 AM Brent Hilpert via cctalk <
> cctalk@classiccmp.org> wrote:
>
> > On 2019-Mar-10, at 5:16 PM, Al Kossow via cctalk wrote:
> > > On 3/10/19 2:18 PM, Murray McCullough via cctalk wrote:
> > >> Historians, though not all, credit this development as the
> > >> beginning of the electronic-computing revolution that was truly
> > underway by
> > >> the mid-70s.
> > >
> > > Scotty, more power to the Reality Distortion Field!
> >
> >
> > It's not an out-to-lunch suggestion.
> >
> > The digital pocket calculator was the first mass-market digital
> electronic
> > device to be put in the hands of the consumer.
> >
> > Yes, all of us here know there were digital computers and other digital
> > electronic devices around many years before,
> > but the digital pocket calculator has a significant place at the
> > beginnings of the transition to the ubiquity of such technology in
> everyday
> > life,
> > as opposed to being behind-the-scenes in business, labs, and industry.
> >
> > One can argue the transition would have happened without the
> > pocket-calculator market -
> > just how influential it was in driving the innovation can be debated -
> but
> > the historical fact is it was there,
> > and a large market in the context.
> >
>
> Reading this thread...
>
> >
> Not sure why this suddenly became a thing to debate, but I will add that
> the multifunction function 1960s calculators were called "desktop
> computers" by publishers then
>
> https://www.vintagecomputer.net/browse_thread_record.cfm?id=536
>
> Also, I did an talk at HOPE on the subject of the how the early handheld
> calculator class fit into the development of micro computers a few years
> later. The talk was my take on the subject anyway.
>
> Bottom line, one should avoid putting the modern 2019 definition a
> microcomputer/personal computer into what people were talking about in the
> mid 60s into the 70s "small/personal/microcomputer".
>
> Also, the significance of the single chip vs multi chip or single board
> CPU...is independent of the intended use or capacity/capabilities of the
> computer they went into.  Over time the significance of a "single chip" CPU
> will fade.  Modern computers no longer rely on this approach anyway, it was
> only a blip in time that "single chip cou"  mattered as much.
>
> My opinion of course
>
> Bill
>
> Bill
>
> >
>
-- 


*Blog: RetroRetrospective – Fun today with yesterday's gear……..
*
*Podcast*: *Retro Computing Roundtable * (Co-Host)


Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-11 Thread Bill Degnan via cctalk
On Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 4:50 AM Brent Hilpert via cctalk <
cctalk@classiccmp.org> wrote:

> On 2019-Mar-10, at 5:16 PM, Al Kossow via cctalk wrote:
> > On 3/10/19 2:18 PM, Murray McCullough via cctalk wrote:
> >> Historians, though not all, credit this development as the
> >> beginning of the electronic-computing revolution that was truly
> underway by
> >> the mid-70s.
> >
> > Scotty, more power to the Reality Distortion Field!
>
>
> It's not an out-to-lunch suggestion.
>
> The digital pocket calculator was the first mass-market digital electronic
> device to be put in the hands of the consumer.
>
> Yes, all of us here know there were digital computers and other digital
> electronic devices around many years before,
> but the digital pocket calculator has a significant place at the
> beginnings of the transition to the ubiquity of such technology in everyday
> life,
> as opposed to being behind-the-scenes in business, labs, and industry.
>
> One can argue the transition would have happened without the
> pocket-calculator market -
> just how influential it was in driving the innovation can be debated - but
> the historical fact is it was there,
> and a large market in the context.
>

Reading this thread...

>
Not sure why this suddenly became a thing to debate, but I will add that
the multifunction function 1960s calculators were called "desktop
computers" by publishers then

https://www.vintagecomputer.net/browse_thread_record.cfm?id=536

Also, I did an talk at HOPE on the subject of the how the early handheld
calculator class fit into the development of micro computers a few years
later. The talk was my take on the subject anyway.

Bottom line, one should avoid putting the modern 2019 definition a
microcomputer/personal computer into what people were talking about in the
mid 60s into the 70s "small/personal/microcomputer".

Also, the significance of the single chip vs multi chip or single board
CPU...is independent of the intended use or capacity/capabilities of the
computer they went into.  Over time the significance of a "single chip" CPU
will fade.  Modern computers no longer rely on this approach anyway, it was
only a blip in time that "single chip cou"  mattered as much.

My opinion of course

Bill

Bill

>


Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-11 Thread Brent Hilpert via cctalk
On 2019-Mar-10, at 5:16 PM, Al Kossow via cctalk wrote:
> On 3/10/19 2:18 PM, Murray McCullough via cctalk wrote:
>> Historians, though not all, credit this development as the
>> beginning of the electronic-computing revolution that was truly underway by
>> the mid-70s.
> 
> Scotty, more power to the Reality Distortion Field!


It's not an out-to-lunch suggestion.

The digital pocket calculator was the first mass-market digital electronic 
device to be put in the hands of the consumer.

Yes, all of us here know there were digital computers and other digital 
electronic devices around many years before, 
but the digital pocket calculator has a significant place at the beginnings of 
the transition to the ubiquity of such technology in everyday life,
as opposed to being behind-the-scenes in business, labs, and industry.

One can argue the transition would have happened without the pocket-calculator 
market -
just how influential it was in driving the innovation can be debated - but the 
historical fact is it was there,
and a large market in the context.



Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-11 Thread Brent Hilpert via cctalk
On 2019-Mar-10, at 3:59 PM, Will Cooke via cctalk wrote:
>> On 3/10/2019 3:18 PM, Murray McCullough via cctalk wrote:
>>> Back in 1965 Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman and James Van Tassel at texas
>>> Instruments created an integrated circuit designed to replace the
>>> calulator. Historians, though not all, credit this development as the
>>> beginning of the electronic-computing revolution that was truly underway by
>>> the mid-70s. Vintage/classic computing our hobby goes back that far as us
>>> baby-boomers can attest to.
. . .
> Here is a little bit of info on it:
> http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/ti_cal-tech1.html


On 2019-Mar-10, at 10:48 PM, ben via cctalk wrote:
> On 3/10/2019 7:30 PM, Guy Dunphy via cctalk wrote:
> 
>>> Here is a little bit of info on it:
>>> http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/ti_cal-tech1.html
>> That's fascinating, thanks. I'd never heard of it.
>> The Intel 4004 came out in 1971.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_4004
>> I'd understood that was the first chip that could be considered a 
>> 'processor' (though it required some support chips to do anything.)
>> The TI Cal-Tech design was begun in 1965 and they had a working calculator 
>> in 1967. I wonder if the chips in that had any kind of code programmability?

> Looking at the vintage calculator page, I would give the "FAR EAST" my vote 
> for the first processor type chips. Everything was in-house development you 
> can say they all came out at the same time. Look at TTL
> pre 1970 4 gate logic, after 1970 74181 alu 7416x 4 bit counters 7489 16x4 
> RAM. About 1973 Tristate logic and 32x8 , 256x4 PROMS.


If you read the link provided by Will, the Cal-tech was four ICs, not one.
It was a forward-thinking lab R project which you would expect to be ahead of 
the IC technology on the market.

It would be several more years, ca. 1971 before the complete logic for a 
calculator was stuffed onto one chip and available on the market,
so coincident in time with the 4004.
There was the TMS-0100 series from TI , single-chip calculators, 1971.
https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/ti/tms0100

TI and others did produce some calculator chip-sets (calc on several dedicated 
LSI chips) for the market prior to the single-chip implementations.

No, the first 'processor-type' chips didn't come out of the 'far east'.
The Japanese were producing calculators with hard-wired / random logic / 
dedicated state-machine architectures in the late 60s.
With the advent of LSI, they came to the Americans to get chips designed, 
resulting in one case in the 4004.

See also the TMS1795 (1971) and TMS1000 (1974).
Rockwell was another of the big players.




Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-11 Thread ben via cctalk

On 3/10/2019 9:11 PM, Will Cooke via cctalk wrote:



I have seen some claims that this was the first microprocessor -- although not 
a single chip
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Air_Data_Computer

Will

I would say it was JUST too early to count as valid microprocessor. I 
expect they all were 'hand picked' from the few chips that tested as 
working.


In some ways those designs seem better developed that the 'consumer'
computer products that came out. I would say the IBM 360 halted any real
progress since the 1960's with packing 4 8 bit BCD/text characters in a
32 bit word. I like 10/20 bits or 12/24 bits as a computer word length 
with byte addressing. IBM 360 32 bits 16 word reg file - 16 bit word.

PDP 11 8 word reg file 16 bit word. RISC 16 word reg file - 16 bit
word. RISC 256 word reg file 32 bit word.

Mostly the same format as reg to reg and load/store as the
be the model for most computer languages around 1970 ish. WOW a new
university computer from IBM ( 360 or clone) or a PDP 11 for the lab.

I was just reading somewhere , a  single user ? linux machine had 233 
threads going. What would that be like multi-user when it starts thrashing?

I think PDP8/e time sharing @ 110 baud got more real work done.

In hindsight, only after the fast 4K x 1 dynamic ram came out did
computing make it from the lab to the public with 16KB for OS
and 32KB+ for user programs. CP/M (8080) and FLEX (6800).

The lack of hefty card edge connectors like for the S100 bus
has me developing a 3 card cpu using 72 pin .156" pitch and
50 pin .156" pitch card edge connectors for a 12/24 bit
CPU. Emulated I/O planned is a TTY (terminal 1200 baud) and RK05
disc (PDP8) on a SDC card.  The time frame is 1975 ish
with the advent of 256x8 PROM's and 2901's and 74LS TTL with
250ns 4K DRAMS.

The bare machine is just burned today into a ALTERA DE1 FPGA development 
kit. Right now I am looking for few good books on a SIMPLE OS

and a SIMPLE programing language in the 1975 to 1980 time frame.
The catch is for now disk I/O is 12 bit words packed into 2 8 bit
bytes.

While it is TOO late to implement, a 8" floppy could be formatted
using GCR to give 8 512 (12 bit word) sectors per track using ballpark
calulations.
Ben.


Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-10 Thread ben via cctalk

On 3/10/2019 7:30 PM, Guy Dunphy via cctalk wrote:


Here is a little bit of info on it:
http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/ti_cal-tech1.html



That's fascinating, thanks. I'd never heard of it.

The Intel 4004 came out in 1971.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_4004
I'd understood that was the first chip that could be considered a 'processor' 
(though it required some support chips to do anything.)
The TI Cal-Tech design was begun in 1965 and they had a working calculator in 
1967. I wonder if the chips in that had any kind of code programmability?

Looking at the vintage calculator page, I would give the "FAR EAST" my 
vote for the first processor type chips. Everything was in-house 
development you can say they all came out at the same time. Look at TTL
pre 1970 4 gate logic, after 1970 74181 alu 7416x 4 bit counters 7489 
16x4 RAM. About 1973 Tristate logic and 32x8 , 256x4 PROMS.



Guy






Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-10 Thread Will Cooke via cctalk


> On March 10, 2019 at 9:30 PM Guy Dunphy  wrote:
> 
> 
> At 06:59 PM 10/03/2019 -0400, you wrote:
> >
> >> On March 10, 2019 at 6:10 PM ben via cctalk  wrote:
> >> 
> >> 
> >> On 3/10/2019 3:18 PM, Murray McCullough via cctalk wrote:
> >> > Back in 1965 Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman and James Van Tassel at texas
> >> > Instruments created an integrated circuit designed to replace the
> >> > calulator. Historians, though not all, credit this development as the
> >> > beginning of the electronic-computing revolution that was truly underway 
> >> > by
> >> > the mid-70s. Vintage/classic computing our hobby goes back that far as us
> >> > baby-boomers can attest to.
> >> > 
> >> > Happy computing all!
> >> So do have more information on said device?
> >> I am using a 2901 bit slice and that came out in 1975. :)
> >> Ben.
> >
> >Here is a little bit of info on it:
> >http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/ti_cal-tech1.html
> 
> 
> That's fascinating, thanks. I'd never heard of it.
> 
> The Intel 4004 came out in 1971. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_4004
> I'd understood that was the first chip that could be considered a 'processor' 
> (though it required some support chips to do anything.)
> The TI Cal-Tech design was begun in 1965 and they had a working calculator in 
> 1967. I wonder if the chips in that had any kind of code programmability?
> 
> Guy


I have seen some claims that this was the first microprocessor -- although not 
a single chip
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Air_Data_Computer

Will


"He may look dumb but that's just a disguise."  -- Charlie Daniels


"The names of global variables should start with    // "  -- https://isocpp.org


Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-10 Thread Guy Dunphy via cctalk
At 06:59 PM 10/03/2019 -0400, you wrote:
>
>> On March 10, 2019 at 6:10 PM ben via cctalk  wrote:
>> 
>> 
>> On 3/10/2019 3:18 PM, Murray McCullough via cctalk wrote:
>> > Back in 1965 Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman and James Van Tassel at texas
>> > Instruments created an integrated circuit designed to replace the
>> > calulator. Historians, though not all, credit this development as the
>> > beginning of the electronic-computing revolution that was truly underway by
>> > the mid-70s. Vintage/classic computing our hobby goes back that far as us
>> > baby-boomers can attest to.
>> > 
>> > Happy computing all!
>> So do have more information on said device?
>> I am using a 2901 bit slice and that came out in 1975. :)
>> Ben.
>
>Here is a little bit of info on it:
>http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/ti_cal-tech1.html


That's fascinating, thanks. I'd never heard of it.

The Intel 4004 came out in 1971.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_4004
I'd understood that was the first chip that could be considered a 'processor' 
(though it required some support chips to do anything.)
The TI Cal-Tech design was begun in 1965 and they had a working calculator in 
1967. I wonder if the chips in that had any kind of code programmability?

Guy



Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-10 Thread Al Kossow via cctalk



On 3/10/19 2:18 PM, Murray McCullough via cctalk wrote:
> Historians, though not all, credit this development as the
> beginning of the electronic-computing revolution that was truly underway by
> the mid-70s.

Scotty, more power to the Reality Distortion Field!





Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-10 Thread Will Cooke via cctalk


> On March 10, 2019 at 6:10 PM ben via cctalk  wrote:
> 
> 
> On 3/10/2019 3:18 PM, Murray McCullough via cctalk wrote:
> > Back in 1965 Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman and James Van Tassel at texas
> > Instruments created an integrated circuit designed to replace the
> > calulator. Historians, though not all, credit this development as the
> > beginning of the electronic-computing revolution that was truly underway by
> > the mid-70s. Vintage/classic computing our hobby goes back that far as us
> > baby-boomers can attest to.
> > 
> > Happy computing all!
> So do have more information on said device?
> I am using a 2901 bit slice and that came out in 1975. :)
> Ben.

Here is a little bit of info on it:
http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/ti_cal-tech1.html

"He may look dumb but that's just a disguise."  -- Charlie Daniels


"The names of global variables should start with    // "  -- https://isocpp.org


Re: Pioneers of computing

2019-03-10 Thread ben via cctalk

On 3/10/2019 3:18 PM, Murray McCullough via cctalk wrote:

Back in 1965 Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman and James Van Tassel at texas
Instruments created an integrated circuit designed to replace the
calulator. Historians, though not all, credit this development as the
beginning of the electronic-computing revolution that was truly underway by
the mid-70s. Vintage/classic computing our hobby goes back that far as us
baby-boomers can attest to.

Happy computing all!


So do have more information on said device?
I am using a 2901 bit slice and that came out in 1975. :)
Ben.



Pioneers of computing

2019-03-10 Thread Murray McCullough via cctalk
Back in 1965 Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman and James Van Tassel at texas
Instruments created an integrated circuit designed to replace the
calulator. Historians, though not all, credit this development as the
beginning of the electronic-computing revolution that was truly underway by
the mid-70s. Vintage/classic computing our hobby goes back that far as us
baby-boomers can attest to.

Happy computing all!