A Tour of Processors From WWII Through the '70s

3 Comments

Earlier this week I visited Centaur Technology, the guys who design the processor for VIA Technologies’ chipsets. Centaur CEO and Founder Glenn Henry chatted with me about low-power processors and the future of mobile computers. But he also graciously showed me around a room known as the Computer Museum, where he keeps a collection of computing devices that date all the way back to World War II. I apologize for the abrupt start, but for anyone interested in the history of computers, this is a nice look at machines that existed before many of us were born.

3 Comments

Christopher Guy

I think you may find that TI did in fact beat HP when it came to calculators – and TI were certainly the first to come out with programmable calculators. If I remember correctly, the first was the TI52 which (gasp!) stored 50 programme steps, and then the TI53 took that to 256 (?) programme steps – which could be stored on a short magnetically coated strip about 1.5″ X 0.5″ – and printed out on rolls of paper about 2″ wide. It’s all a long long time ago – early seventies if my memory serves me correctly – happy days! I used various TI calculators for linear projections which helped me manage stock levels.

dan

Very nice piece of history. I wasn’t aware of the range of mechanical calculators, but I guess I knew that Norden Bomb Sights must be calculating something. Fascinating to see all this in one place. … About the Korta, and it’s being the pre-eminent mechanical calculator before the advent of electronic calculators, I think it would have been HP and not TI that could lay claim to being the premier electronic calculator of that time. HP-35 showed up in late 1971 or early 1972.

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