[SIGCIS-Members] First information explosion in history

Chuck House housec1839 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 5 13:24:08 PDT 2017


This will be anecdotal instead of ‘researched’, but I was involved intermittently from 1964 through 1991 with HP Böblingen, a few hundred meters from the IBM Sindelfingen plant.  I ran an HP division there from the states.  I also am the several-hour interviewer of Joel Birnbaum, the only Chief Engineer of both IBM and HP in history, for the Computer History Museum, and co-author of The HP Phenomenon.    I did not interview Joel re the German team, but could go back and do so.

 

There was considerable discussion one evening in Böblingen with local HP execs and engineers about the origins of the IBM plant, which as I recall would support your findings.  My guess is that we could find living practitioners who could lend considerable insight if we hurry.

 

Chuck House

 

From: Members <members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org> on behalf of "Ian S. King" <isking at uw.edu>
Date: Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 12:22 PM
To: Richard Vahrenkamp <vahrenkamp2 at gmx.de>
Cc: sigcis <members at sigcis.org>
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] First information explosion in history

 

A few years ago I visited the old IBM facility in Sindelfingen where they had built a very nice museum (since moved to the research facility at Böblingen, where it is far less accessible). I was treated to a presentation about the role of German companies, in particular DEHOMAG, in the foundation of what would become IBM.  By their account, the technological contributions of DEHOMAG were significant - they stopped just short of claiming that IBM was originally more a German company than an American one.  

 

Richard, I will be presenting at the Vintage Computer Festival - Berlin this weekend.  If you happen to be in attendance it would be a pleasure to make your acquaintance.  Regards -- Ian King 

 

On Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 12:43 AM, Richard Vahrenkamp <vahrenkamp2 at gmx.de> wrote:

Dear all,

60 years ago the German sociologist Theo Pirker made the assertion that machinization of information leads to rapid expansion of information volume and to broadening the stream of information. I used this approach in my paper on punch card technology in Germany in the recent issue of the German journal Technikgeschichte. I showed how the introduction of punched cards induced the first information explosion in history. Further I raised some doubts on the current view that the industry in the United States were leading in the application of punched cards based control systems. I showed that in Germany the industry reached the same level of punched cards based control systems as in the United States. On your demand I can provide an English translation of my paper as a working paper 1/2017. 

 

With kind regards

Richard Vahrenkamp
********************************************
Prof. Dr. Richard Vahrenkamp
Logistik Consulting Berlin
Phone 0177- 628 3325
E-Mail: Vahrenkamp2016 at gmx.de
Web: www.vahrenkamp.org
Trendelenburgstr. 16
14057 Berlin
 
*********************************************

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-- 

Ian S. King, MSIS, MSCS, Ph.D. Candidate
The Information School

Dissertation: "Why the Conversation Mattered: Constructing a Sociotechnical Narrative Through a Design Lens

 

Principal Investigator, "Reflections on Early Computing and Social Change", UW IRB #42619

 

Archivist, Voices From the Rwanda Tribunal 

Value Sensitive Design Research Lab


University of Washington

There is an old Vulcan saying: "Only Nixon could go to China." 

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