Re: Apple Computer 30th Birthday

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Lisa, we _need_ a good article on

>> disk drives for our archives in the history section. Would you >> mind preparing one I could keep on file here? PAT] > Yes, I'm trying to put something together in time for the annivesary. > I don't know if IBM is doing anything or not. > In short: > In the early 1950s Tom Watson Jr, now president of IBM, wanted to > attract promising college grads from the west coast, but they weren't > interested in coming east. So he established a new IBM library in San > Diego. Previously IBM facilities was mostly in the NY state area > based on train travel. Watson Jr was very much into aviation, being a > WW II air corp pilot. > IBM recognized it needed a random access memory instead of just tape. > The mag drum of the time was too small. They developed the disk > drive. They had to invent a very flat surface, even dispersal of mag > coating, a disk arm mechanism, a disk read write head, a way to ensure > the thing would fall down on the platter yet stay close enough to > read/write; and a way to randomize records. > It was announced as a product in Sept 1956. For such a momentus > product, the business and trade press of the day were largely silent, > just a minor few lines mentioned IBM announced some new products. > The earliest disk drive held only 5 meg--5 million characters. Then > they got it up to 50. The disk was HUGE and part of a bigger machine. > It was very expensive. > It some years to get the cost down and space up, and then disks was > available in other products. But for many years tape was the way to > go. Even the early PCs had provision to connect a tape drive > (actually an ordinary audio cassette recorder) for lowcost storage, > but soon disks got so cheap it wasn't needed and tape was too slow. > The IBM history web page, on their site, has more information. did a nice history of the San Jose facility. And yes they wanted the Cal Tech and Sanford grads who had NO interest in NY. :)

(Extra credit: We've heard about Burroughs, Univac, and CDC. What > happened to the remaining two companies of the BUNCH: NCR and > Honeywell?)

NCR was bought by AT&T?

You skipped GE and Sperry.

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