Language and English

From: John Lawson <>
Date: Sun Jan 6 00:13:51 2002

> (Yes, he's related to the Burroughs calculator and computer firms -- his
> grandfather invented the hydraulic piston which made the adding machine
> possible.)

 Oooohhh... it looped back into on-topic-ness!

  I believe that in actual fact, Burroughs, after a few years of
night-and-day work on his mechanical calculator design, including tossing
one finished prototype out a second story window in frustration, patented
the *application* of a hydraulic damper to the actuator crank. His
problem was that if the actuator lever was pulled down by the operator
too quickly, the machine would jam very destructively. This 'bug' very
nearly killed the product in the early market. He added what amounts to a
small shock absorber to the crank lever, slowing it down enough so the
machine could operate efficiently but not be overdriven. Then, there was
no stopping it and the rest is well-known.

  My source is some Burroughs (Unisys) literature I gleaned while an
employee of the company in the middle 80s. I bet Derrek Peschel could
elaborate more on this.

  Now, just a sec, I wanna check my spelling, grammar, syntax,
orthography, references, style, Flesch Rating, ....

   Cheerz D00DZ!

Received on Sun Jan 06 2002 - 00:13:51 GMT

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