Origin of row/column based database software

From: Tom Jennings <tomj_at_wps.com>
Date: Fri Aug 20 16:41:32 2004

On Wed, 2004-08-18 at 10:27, Hans Franke wrote:

> Well, I don't want to destroy your impression, but organizeing
> data(bases) as rows and columns is as old as the punch card.

I can't even believe this is a real thread; punched paper cards is the
paradigm, and 18th century jacquard loom (what, 1730?), hey, fabric is
'row' and 'column' aka warp & weft is the precise mapping of jacquard
cards to reality.

Los Alamos research into ahem "metal driven explosive systems", was done
with electromechanical card storage and calculation, and explicitly, in
the modern sense, compiled runs and explosion simulation data
(millisecond by millisecond) as physical trays of data. Clearly and
intentionally a database in the modern sense, and they rushed like hell
into the tape/disk era ASAP. ANd that's 1940's.

VisiCalc is of course famous, but all those IBM RJE type terminals have
a direct mapping between screen columns/rows and punched card format.

As a general rule: nearly nothing was first done on beige boxes. Nearly
every computer paradigm is pushing 40, 50 years old minimum. Look at the
old BELFLIX graphics, CPC II "transciever" phone-line-data transmission,
lookahead-carry, blah blah it was done in wood, bone, brass, and vacuum.
Received on Fri Aug 20 2004 - 16:41:32 BST

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