tv Early Business Computing CSPAN March 4, 2017 11:35am-11:51am EST
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tv. good morning. i'm bill worthington, it onto here at the computer history museum in mountain view, california. i was a programmer for the 1401. back in the timeframe we are looking at, in the 1930's, 19 is 1950's, -- 1940's, each hole representing a piece of information whether a 01, 2, -- 0, 1, 2, 3. or it could be alphabetic information. this is the means of storing information, it was the key for every business in the 1930's, 1940's, 1950's. when i started working for a bank on the east coast where
they were in need of programmers, but their business ran on punch cards, 1401's were installed. what only go ahead, and we need to get some data ready? we are going to need a volunteer also to comment. why don't you give a hand here? installed. what debbie has done is to type her name into the card, making holes for debbie as the name in the card. all i'm doing is putting debbie's card into the deck. what i have here is a program,
the printer was a breakthrough as part of the design of the 1401, because it printed 10 pages a minute. the ibm 1401 came just after ibm made a planned order for the company, saying there will be solid space and 1958. getting away from electromechanical devices which had a high rate of failure, some of the other burden somewhere in data processing at the time. group,designed by a finally in poughkeepsie, new york, also beverly, just outside of paris, and designs there.
designs, the european and new york state one. the 1401, they were roughly the same time. there is a perfect white storm gathering, one with the card reader design, the design behind fasternter, four times than any printer at that time, and the processing unit breaking through and going to transitions. what we see here are four transistors on the card. it was a breakthrough in the 1958 time frame.
the price point came down for period, so wee could put this into a business computer. find one that does payroll, accounts receivable, general accounting, things that support the business side of a company, not necessarily the product development side. it has that. another piece of equipment that came at the same time was storage, black dots you may be able to see here represent ones it as far as the 14 no one is concerned. it is a bit of memory, and they are roughly 140 characters or 140 bytes. perfect. hand.lding a tweet in my
it's an interesting breakthrough we went through. unit retainsessing roughly 3000 of the current transistor cards. there are 3000 of them in this .nit it has the control information for patching devices to it, so ,he printer, the card reader all comes through the 1401 processing unit. , all comes through thethe minimu1 was 1400 characters of memory. can you imagine a system with 1400 positions? write a linkage in windows with less than 1700 positions are more. 2000.mory was
4000 within this unit. it's the box right behind where standing which has additional 4, 8, or 12000 positions of memory. back in a day when i was programming this, 16 k was 16,000, not 16,384 bytes of memory that we standing which hs think of in binary. it's a different environment. the system we are dealing with is very simplistic. i can look and see what's in your lifee going to do a reset the computer, and one of the things that was another breakthrough as far as the 1401 is concerned was for storinghere
data. i could take one reel of tape, such as what we see here, and fg data. store 72,000 boxes of punch cards as we see here. this was where i would get started. this hole is roughly 2,000 cards in this box. it's storing --usually you see with new cards, or if you were transporting it, i might do it there. 2,000 cards, one box. 72,000 store roughly boxes of cards on one real of tape. tape, i'm going to hit start, and we see the tape running. it -- with a with vacuum column.
is designed tomn minimize the weight of the tape. if i get all the way down to the there --see down interesting capability there. one of the things we see with the 1401 system is there is no display. there's no operating system. i don't have the burden of windows or mac os to slow things down. it's designed to contain everything. the first card is called a bootstrap card. today we bootstrap our pc's and go from there.
the next two cards have clear storage cards. the 1401 has core memory, and cores don't reset if i shut the machine off. i can shut down the 1401, power it back up, and the program that was running is still there. capability. one of the other things we are dealing with is, how do i connect things together? i have a usb cable in my hand greatthe usb cable was not there in the 1401 time frame. this is yesterday's usb cable. each of these terms represent 1/2 of 1 bit of data coming across. from the pins and wires you see, they are all part of the system. we have to have a way to store
those cables as they are going around. frome five cables from a the card reader to the processing unit. them under the floor. the black cables you see there are power cords. the gray ones are data records to get information back-and-forth. it's much different. here was one bit of a time on each of those cables we saw. it's a different environment .rom what we had one of the things that was unique about the 1401, it was announced in 1959. guess at the number of machines that would be sold was in the 2000 to 3000 machine
range. the salesman in the field who had customers who were just waiting for this to be announced. in the first month, ibm sales force managed to sell 3000 of them. the overall life of it, roughly 3000. taken a population study of all the computers in the world in 1965, roughly 1 out of 2 of these would be a 1400 machine. it was a marvelous success as far as ibm was concerned, that the lead-in for assistance 360, and was just a brand-new architecture from ibm's perspective. the 1401 lindon with emulators in the 360 processes. for all i know, there may be simulators running today with
1401 programs running on ibm's mainframe, on 360 architecture machines. >> are cities tour staff recently traveled to san jose, itsfornia to learn about rich history. learn more about san jose and other stops on our tour at c-span.org/citiestour. watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> sunday night on "q&a," a wall about investigator talks his front-page story, "the rise and fall of a case three renegade," about the career and downfall of a former lobbyist for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. >> i heard rumors about this guy's lifestyle for a wild, so i wanted to wait and see if anything else became public about this guy.
a year later i started looking into his life and his campaign donations and spending and what made him want to wash and stop drug lobbyists. -- watch and stop drug lobbyists. >> next on history tv, historian and economist mark levinson discusses his book, "and extorted and are a time, the end of the return of the ordinary economy." he delves into the wide raging methods used by governments around the world to boost stagnant economies. >> good afternoon and welcome to the wilson center and this seminar. i direct the public policy program here at the center. it is my privilege and pleasure