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M > MIT > Whirlwind


 

This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the MIT Whirlwind computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message! For other purposes like sales messages, hardware & software questions or information requests, please use our main forum.

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Thursday 12th June 2014
John Ackley (United States)

Whirlwind practically filled the three story "Barta" building on Mass Ave.
Basement $ Power supplies
1st Floor staff offices, drum storage system
2nd Floor $ main frame, memory banks, control room
3rd Floor $ CRT input/ouput consoles
Roof $ air handling to remove heat generated by 7,000 vacuum tube etc - about 170 KW

Earlier "computers" in the US were basically glorified desk calculators - Whirlwind I believe was the first binary computer that followed Johnny Von Neumands proposal $ data and programs in the same storage unit - also first computer to connect via phone line to remote devices like systems sites and computers. Other than the "Memory Test Computer" built specifically to test prototype core memory systems, Whirlwind was the first to use magnetic core memory.

In the early 50''s punched paper tape was the primary means on entering program source code.

Whirlwind was followed by the TX-0 and TX-2 computers.


Wednesday 19th March 2014
Ed (UK)
National Museum of Computing

A genuine question (pardon the ignorance), do the EDSAC (1949) or Harwell Dekatron (1951) not class as a real-time computer system? Neither of these were build as a replacement for a mechanical system.


Monday 27th May 2013
Barbara Ulman (CA/USA)

I have a question. I worked at Project Whirlwind as a secretarial helper, and card-puncher for two summers (1953 $ 1954.) When I tell people this, they ask me how big the computer was. I tell them the building filled a city block, but I''d like a more accurate size to tell my friends. ( My dad, Joseph Ulman, wrote or edited the reports of Project Whirlwind.)


Monday 27th May 2013
Barbara Ulman (CA/USA)

I have a question. I worked at Project Whirlwind as a secretarial helper, and card-puncher for two summers (1953 $ 1954.) When I tell people this, they ask me how big the computer was. I tell them the building filled a city block, but I''d like a more accurate size to tell my friends. ( My dad, Joseph Ulman, wrote or edited the reports of Project Whirlwind.)


Monday 27th May 2013
Barbara Ulman (CA/USA)

I have a question. I worked at Project Whirlwind as a secretarial helper, and card-puncher for two summers (1953 $ 1954.) When I tell people this, they ask me how big the computer was. I tell them the building filled a city block, but I''d like a more accurate size to tell my friends. ( My dad, Joseph Ulman, wrote or edited the reports of Project Whirlwind.)


Wednesday 1st June 2011
Herbert Bello (Florida/USA)

I spent many years working on Whirwind computer
was a operator and tech ,I see no mention of the original storage tubes before we put in the core memorys, also you should talk about the 1800 relays the system had.





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