Berkeley Enterprises 1956 Report

From: cswiger <>
Date: Tue Jan 12 10:55:04 1999

>In anticipation of such strawman arguments, I focused on Simon because it
>shares almost all of the same traits as the Altair:
> * digital
> * electronic (or electromechanical, in the case of Simon)
> * small
> * affordable to build
> * well publicized

Ok, well, one of the criteria of the Patent office for
registered 'firsts' is that it must have utility! What
makes it fun, promising, useful as opposed to an
academic intellectual curiosity?

We read about early logic devices with interest, but
the Simon seems to lack a certain critical mass to
generate widespread enthusiasm, it's basically an ALU
unit. That's like claiming a horizontal output unit,
affordable to a home user, was the 'first TV',
even tho a sophisticated hobbyist could buy it and use it
as a part of a larger project that could actually do
something useful. There's nothing really there that would cause
thousands of hobbyists to get excited over the possibilities
enough to rush out and plop down four grand and swamp the
manufacturer with so many orders they couldn't keep up.

But we want to know more - was the tape program storage,
could it make decisions and branch based on comparisons,
scalable, etc.

Received on Tue Jan 12 1999 - 10:55:04 GMT

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