Hacking a 1959 Basketball Game

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 25, 2010 in Tech

The above film titled The Electronic Coach was produced in 1959 by IBM to show off their IBM 650. My favorite part of the film is when the coach pulls out reams of paper in the middle of the game to figure out who to send out next on to the basketball court. Although while the technology looks awkward it’s important to keep in mind that the IBM 650 was one of the first mass computers ever made with over 2,000 shipping between 1954 and 1962. Read more…

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The Mainframe that Revolutionized Software Project Management

Posted by Michael Pinto on Feb 24, 2009 in Tech

Introduced in 1964 the IBM System/360 was THE most popular computer of that era when such devices were the exclusive domain of big business and government. Each computer supported floating-point calculations and ran with up to 8 megs of memory! Sadly there are very few of these gems still in existence today — in fact the Smithsonian owns a 360 but sadly it isn’t even on display.

But the real story behind this computer is the project manager — who was Fred Brooks. As fate would have it in addition to the hardware Brooks also had to manage the development of the operating system for the 360 which was System/360. Luckily for all of us the project was a disaster going over budget and over time. However Brooks turned lemons into lemonade by writing the book The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering
which was first published in 1975: Read more…

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