Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Computer Software in the 1960s.

Today I went with my wife to a number of thrift/junk/antiques stores and looked around for cool stuff.

My favorite find was a like-new copy of COMPUTER SOFTWARE: PROGRAMMING SYSTEMS FOR DIGITAL COMPUTERS, by Ivan Flores, copyright 1965.

Now this book is by no means rare--I think you could get it for almost nothing on many used book sites. Still--what a strange book to look at.

Computers in the early sixties were quite different than today's computers. For the heck of it I did some research on a typical computer during the early sixties.

The IBM 1401 was one of the first mass-produced computers to have no vacuum tubes--just the more modern transistors! It was the size of a large book case. It had a memory of 4 kilobytes. It cost, brace yourself, over one hundred thousand dollars.

Still, it would have been fun to try to make it play games.

Maybe I'll use this as the textbook this year for my Intro to Programming classes. :-)

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