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The Incredible Machine (1968)

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Published on Nov 23, 2012

Interesting old film detailing advancements in computer/digital technology, featuring the 'Graphic 1' computer system at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Includes scenes of:
*Digital musical composition
*Electronic circuit design utilising a digital pen
*Digital movie production
*3D simulation of orbiting satellite
*Conversion of pictures to mosaics composed of tiny images
*Digital voice modulation

The Bell Labs 'Graphic 1' computer system consisted of a Digital Equipment Corporation 'PDP-5' computer coupled with input devices such as the 'Type 370' light pen and Teletype Corporation 'Teletype Model 33' keyboard, married to a Digital Equipment Corporation 'Type 340' precision incremental display backed by 36-bit Ampex 'RVQ' buffer memory capable of storing 4096 'words'. The resolution on the monitor was 1024×1024.

This system was designed to transform the graphics-based input into output to be fed into a IBM '7094' (200 Kflop/s). The entire thing was attached to a microfilm-based recorder - the Stromberg Carlson 'SC 4020', which took hours to read and record the data.

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