Another ~1960 computer kit - Philips?

From: Doug Yowza <>
Date: Thu Dec 17 18:50:35 1998

On Thu, 17 Dec 1998, D. Peschel wrote:

> Well, from what I've read about SIMON, it has about two bits of RAM and a
> few instructions. (There are actually TWO paper tapes -- one for data, the
> other for instructions.) So you can program it and maybe use conditions,
> but I don't think you can store a program anywhere in the machine.

AFAIK, MAGDUM was an accessory for SIMON which gave you external
*primary* storage. I think there were other "real" computers that also
used magnetic drum for primary storage.

> The other kits may have been more powerful.

No, the other kits were generally less powerful and less expensive to
built. The estimated cost to build SIMON was $300, I think, whereas
GENIAC was $15 or so to buy from Oliver Garfield and other distributors.

> But Supnik says he got the sources from Berkeley's book! I just checked.

Interesting. I thought that I had heard that is was from an early copy
at MIT. Not only was Berkeley the father of personal computing, but he
was an early computer history archivist as well :-)

> Yeah, he doesn't get much press. (Also, when your work exists to make money
> for your company, you're wise not to say too much about it.) I really want
> Sketchpad or a clone on MY machine. I don't know anything about dataflow
> languages.

Sutherland's now down here at Sun Microsystems. Come on down and let's
approach him about an interview and preserving/emulating some of his work.
The Smithsonian already has a bunch of his stuff, I think, but I don't
exactly what they have.

-- Doug
Received on Thu Dec 17 1998 - 18:50:35 GMT

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