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 [ 6 posts ] 
 OT: How it works - The Computer (Ladybird book) 
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 1647
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I'm just rereading this very short book from 1971. I can't believe how good it is!
How It Works... The Computer (1971 Edition) by David Carey

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The completist might want to compare with the 1979 edition. Of course, I have both!

(Ladybird books were initially aimed at children, but they were never condescending, and this particular one was bulk-bought by large companies to educate management about the new thing - computers. There's a fascinating documentary about the company - it was highly unusual, in that a printer decided to become a publisher and arrange its own content. The books are short because of paper shortages, and arguably better for it. They have become somewhat collectible.)


Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:36 pm

Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:11 am
Posts: 114
Location: Norway/Japan
Just read it - agreed, very good. Will read the updated version another day.


Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:02 pm

Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:11 am
Posts: 114
Location: Norway/Japan
Well, I went ahead and read the '79 edition as well. They're not long books. The '79 edition is even better, although some info left over from the first edition would be a bit dated by 1979. Nice, updated illustrations though. I ran into something I don't know what is: Magnetic stripe cards. What are those? I never heard about anything like that back then, or later.


Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:14 pm

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 1647
Hmm, it's not quite the IBM noodle plucker, but maybe something not entirely unlike it?
https://plus.google.com/u/0/10704982391 ... Cy7KD5s9UC


Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:22 pm

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 1647
Ah - some hints about magnetic card storage:
Quote:
Introduced in 1962, the CRAM (Card Random Access Memory) system stored data on 14 x 3.25 inch mylar cards with magnetic recording tracks. Up to 16 units attached to an NCR 315 mainframe offered a capacity of 80 million characters. Other early 1960s systems based on magnetic stripes included the IBM 2321 Data Cell (MARS) and RCA Magnetic Card File (MCF).

- http://www.computerhistory.org/storagee ... -capacity/


Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:34 pm

Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:11 am
Posts: 114
Location: Norway/Japan
That's a technology that seems to have passed under the radar.. I haven't heard it mentioned by any of those guys who were around mainframes and IBM equipment in the sixties. I'll keep my ears open though.


Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:42 pm
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