Up for Auction: Memory from the First Computer in Space

Brent Hilpert hilpert at cs.ubc.ca
Wed Oct 28 23:48:46 CDT 2015

On 2015-Oct-28, at 6:35 PM, Jon Elson wrote:
> On 10/28/2015 06:32 PM, Brent Hilpert wrote:
>> Not a proof in entirety of the claim, but from a ref and looking at the closeup pics from the auction website, it is an unusual form of core memory where the cores have two holes through them, like a blocky figure 8, apparently an aspect of a technique to achieve non-destructive readout. This is quite unusual and would go some ways to showing a provenance to the Gemini project.
> That scheme is also known as BiAx.  The docs with my Honeywell Alert machine described the same thing.
> As far as I can tell, the EMM core memory unit that came with it is NOT BiAx, however.
> Jon

Very interesting to hear of another scheme, but it's not clear whether it applies to the Gemini auction memory.
The BiAX scheme shows cores with the holes (apertures as they're called in the business) perpendicular to each other.
In contrast, the Gemini auction cores have two apertures with the same orientation (a figure 8).
This abstract
describes BiAX in distinction to "other multi-aperture" techniques, so the Gemini auction memory is not necessarily BiAX.
From what I've seen described, the perpendicular aperture orientation was fundamental to the BiAX scheme.

Another topic: what is a Honeywell Alert machine? Searches are just bringing up some current-day "Honeywell Instant Alert" messaging system.

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