Odd book

Sytse van Slooten cclist at sytse.net
Thu May 7 11:56:16 CDT 2020

Thanks for the recoomendation Noel, I’ve ordered a copy. Looking forward to when it arrives!


> On 6 May 2020, at 17:29, Noel Chiappa via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
> So, I've come across an odd book that might interest some here: "Achieving
> Accuray: A Legacy of Computers and Missiles", by Marshall William McMurray.
> The first couple of chapters merely re-tell the story of earliest computers
> (pre-elecronic and electronic), up through the IBM 701, Elliott 401, NCR 304,
> SAGE, CDC 6600, IBM 7090, etc. Competent, but nothing special. Then it
> gets interesting, though.
> Chapter 4 is "Small Magnetic Drum Computers of the 1950s", and it covers a
> bunch of machines I'd never heard of: JAINCOMP B-1 (!), MONROBOT III (!!),
> CADAC 101, 102 (!!!) and on and on.
> Chapter 5 is "Real-Time Control Computers", and it covers a long group of
> machines: ALWAC I, II, III; Univac Athena; Autonetics Verdan D9A-L; Librascope
> C-141 to name but a few. Pure gold, this chapter and the one before - retrieved
> a lot of machines from the memory hole.
> Chapter 6 is "NASA Control Computers", and it covers the usual suspects: IBM
> ASC 15, IBM LVDC, IBM GDC, Librascope Centaur, AGC, IBM 4Pi. Some of these
> are covered elseshere, but it's nice to have them all in one place.
> Chapter 7 is "Late-Model High Speed Supercomputers", with quite a range:
> starting with Cray 1, Sun, SGI, then the various ASCI array multi-processor
> systems at LLNL, etc.
> It then moved over to missiles, and goes through a similar progression,
> starting early, with some details of WWII era stuff (e.g.Hs 293's), then a
> chapter on V-1's amd V-2's and their derivatives.
> More chapters on "Early US Missile Programs", NAA's inertialguidance work and
> its applications up through Polaris, Titans, etc. Then more on later US
> missiles and their guidance systems, such as Minuteman, Trident and MX.
> A lengthy Chapter 13 is "Soviet and Russian Land-Based Missile Systems", which
> doesn't have quite the detail of the US chapters (in which the authot was
> personally involved), but is still novel. Another chapter then finishes with
> Soiet/Russian naval missiles.
> A very unusual and off-beat work.
>  Noel

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