The Computer Tree
June 14, 2012 11:37 AM   Subscribe

From the Electionic Computers Within the Ordinance Corps. link:

(ILLIAC - Illinois Automatic Computer; ORACLE - Oak Ridge Automatic Computer and Logical Engine; AVIDAC - Argonne Version of the Institute's Digital Automatic Computer; MANIAC - Mathematical Analyzer Numerical Integrator and Computer; JOHNNIAC - John (v. Neumann) Integrator and Automatic Computer; MISTIC - Michigan State Digital Computer; CYCLONE - (an arbitrary name indicating high speed) Iowa State U.)

I like how the one named after the school's sports team is listed as "an arbitrary name".
posted by burnmp3s at 11:55 AM on June 14, 2012

posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:42 PM on June 14, 2012

Oh awesome! Lately I've been getting really into computers of the mainframe age, so I've been collecting photos of them on a tumblr. In the course of this I've found a bunch of high res photos from this particular era on this page which seems to be loading way faster than the Army ftp sites.
posted by modernserf at 1:13 PM on June 14, 2012

...list of fictional computers at Wikipedia

OK, guys, new rule. Do not give your AI a creepy or ambiguous name. Go for "princess peach" or "snicker-doodle".
posted by poe at 2:58 PM on June 14, 2012

This is typical of the Army snubbing the Navy. The Ordinance Corps (Army) was always way behind the Bureau of Ordinance (Navy). During WWII, the Navy widely deployed Gun Fire Control Computers in ships and submarines, and had John Atanasoff working at the Naval Ordinance Lab on a computer project.

Then Mauchly stole Atanasoff's designs for the ABC and used it to create the ENIAC. The Army got the Navy's computer project shut down. Stupid inter-service rivalries. The Computer Tree should start with the ABC, not the ENIAC.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:28 PM on June 14, 2012

i don't know why Ono-Sendai is not on the wikipedia list.

they have listed The Gibson from Hackers but not Ono-Sendai.

this confuses me.

this is also the nerdiest comment i have ever made.
posted by sio42 at 6:40 PM on June 14, 2012

No roots, I see. Trees with shallow roots tend to get blown down.
Interesting diagram, though: thanks!
posted by cenoxo at 5:26 AM on June 15, 2012

i don't know why Ono-Sendai is not on the wikipedia list. they have listed The Gibson from Hackers but not Ono-Sendai.
"The work may be about the computer, or the computer may be an important element of the story."
I'd make the case that it's a list of "protagonist" computers. The Gibson is a plot element of Hackers, while Ono-Sendai is just a Sprawl universe brand name.
posted by zamboni at 10:43 AM on June 15, 2012

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