[SIGCIS-Members] IBM 610

Ceruzzi, Paul CeruzziP at si.edu
Thu Mar 3 09:21:31 PST 2016

The 1620 had very few logic circuits; it looked up sums in a table instead. It’s nickname was “CADET”: “can’t add; doesn’t even try!” There is a 1620 preserved at the American Computer Museum in Bozeman, Montana. A few years ago, Ted Hoff was given an award by the museum. As he walked by the 1620, he remarked that had used one, and that the machine’s creative use of memory in place of logic convinced him that it would be possible to create a processor on a sliver of silicon—what became the Intel 4004.

Paul Ceruzzi
ceruzzip at si.edu<mailto:ceruzzip at si.edu>

From: Members [mailto:members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] On Behalf Of Murray Turoff
Sent: Thursday, March 3, 2016 12:06 PM
To: Mounier Kuhn <mounier at msh-paris.fr>
Cc: members <members at sigcis.org>
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] IBM 610

Ahhh!   I worked on the IBM 1620 for IBM in san jose for a year 1960-1961.
It was a "personal computer" about the size of a desk.   It had a continuous memory
and you could set up the word length you wanted.  Memory was based upon our standard
digital system to the base 10.   At that point in time there was only three machines at
the San Jose plant and a group of us were working on applications.   I wrote a guide to
machine level programming and debugging and worked with others on a Fortran System as well
a numerical control application package.  It was a fun machine to work with.

At the San Jose plant a lot of sales people were brought in to be educated in new but not yet
released products.   They always sang IBM songs to start the meeting.  I think somehwere i have
burried an IBM song book.   They were extremely loyal as some them were with IBM in 1929 and
it was only IBM and ATT that did not fire any professional during that recession.  Many had nothing much
to do so they started a song writing contest which resulted in the song book.   I have never checked
if the song book is online anywhere.

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