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Computing at the University of British Columbia

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Hardware

posted May 6, 2016, 2:43 PM by Jeff Ogden   [ updated May 6, 2016, 2:57 PM ]

ALWAC III-E, 1957 to 1961

UBC installed the ALWAC III-E, invented by Axel Wenner-Gren, for the then-price of $80,000. It was in operation until 1961, and was replaced by an IBM 1620.

Excerpt from BRL Report - 1961;

Construction (Arithmetic unit only):
Vacuum-tubes: 132
Diodes: 5,000
Arithmetic mode: Serial
Timing: Synchronous
Operation: Sequential

Two commands at once are picked off the drum and unless the first command of the pair is an executed jump instruction, a second access to the drum is not required. as the next command is held ready for immediate use in a static register.

PROGRAMMING AND NUMERICAL SYSTEM
Internal number system: Binary
Binary digits per word: 32 + sign Binary
Digits/instruction: 16
Instructions per word: 2, 3 or 4
Instructions decoded: 101 Basic (Many are micro programmable)
Arithmetic system: Fixed point. Commands normally consider numbers to be integral
Instruction type: One address. Optimum sequencing is built in
Number range: 64 bits

Negative numbers are indicated by sign. Decimal input and output are built-in with a single command capable of taking in up to 8 digits. Several systems are available both for floating point or fined point operations. Neumonic interpretive routines as well as symbolic compilers are in use. There are four registers, viz, a main accumulator 32 bits + sign + recoverable overflow bit, a secondaryaccumulator 32 bits + sign, an auxiliary register 32 bits + sign, and a 16 bit B-Box Index register. The first two registers are combined for double precision operations. Also, complete shiftabilityapplies to main accumulator as Knell as double length accumulator. Auxiliary register is used in multiplication, division, for special floating point assistance commands and risking operations.

ARITHMETIC UNIT
Incl Stor Access Exclud. Stor Access
Microsec Microsec
Add 1,000 1,000
Mult 17,000 17,000
Div 17,000 17,000

Tuesday, January 1, 1957 to Sunday, January 1, 1961


IBM 1620, 1961

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_1620


IBM 7040 machine at the Computing Centre, 1964

The IBM 7040 machine at the Computing Centre. Its predecessor at UBC was the IBM 1620 (obtained in 1961).
Source: Report of the President, 1963 - 1964

Tuesday, July 14, 1964














               Photo Credit digitalcollections.library.ubc.ca                             Photo Credit digitalcollections.library.ubc.ca
 

    
              Photo Credit digitalcollections.library.ubc.ca


IBM 370/168, machine room, keypunch room and card reader at the Computing Centre in 1973

Keypunch room and card reader at the Computing Centre in 1973, used for computing at UBC, including CS.

Sunday, March 18, 1973

Photo Credit digitalcollections.library.ubc.ca

Photo Credit digitalcollections.library.ubc.ca

Photo Credit digitalcollections.library.ubc.ca


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