The Best of Creative Computing Volume 1 (published 1976)

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Creative Computing Compendium (HP Educational Programs Clearinghouse, Freedom of Information Act amended, Space Shuttle Simulator on Univac 1100/46, World Problems and Human Potential, 1974-1975 ACM Student Paper Winners)

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HP Educational Programs Clearinghouse:

Have you ever felt that it would be so convenient if you could run French
lessons or metric conversion exercises or a career information system on your
computer? Information about the existence of such materials is not readily
available; therefore, Hewlett Packard is launching the HP Clearinghouse for
Application of Computers to Education.

The purpose of the project is to establish and maintain a list of educational
applications, books, and other
computer-related documents that will run on HP computer systems (both 2000 and
3000 series). Initially, the
Clearinghouse will only deal with information concerning such materials; the
materials would still be available from the current service agency. Catalog
listings will be generated at periodic intervals and distributed for a small

If you have materials that you would like included in the Clearinghouse, please
contact: Harold J. Peters, HP
Clearinghouse, Education Marketing, Hewlett-Packard, 1000 Wolfe Road, Cupertino,
Ca. 95014.

Freedom of Information Act:

Because concern in the United States has been stewing over the amount of
information that our government collects about its citizens, concern has also
been mounting over how to release this information to the public. Despite a
presidential veto, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has recently been
amended in order to provide more clearly defined situations in which the
government may or may not withhold

The FOIA became effective on July 4, 1967 and was designed to force government
agencies to be more liberal
in releasing information by establishing nine 'exemption areas” as the only
situations in which information could be withheld. Anyone requesting information
from the government could take his case to court.

A recent House Subcommittee study showed that courts are generally reluctant to
ask for disclosure of information such as files compiled for law enforcement or
information in the interest of
'the national defense or foreign policy". Although these are two exemption
areas, the congress did not intend for these situations to mean the automatic
withholding of information. In 1974, amendments were passed over the
presidential veto to prevent this sort of automatic delay in disclosure of

President Ford did not feel that courts should be 'forced to make what amounts
to the initial classification
decision in sensitive and complex areas where they have no particular
expertise." He also mentioned in his letter to Congress that confidentiality
would be hard to maintain if government documents had to be closely examined
before decisions could be made on their disclosure.

Computers, and society's increased use of numbers as identifiers have made it
easier to gather and file information on citizens. The 1974 amendments to the
FOIA have at least made this information more accessible to those it concerns.

Space Shuttle Simulator

The first shuttle mission space flight is scheduled for March, 1979, but
preparation for the flight begins years in advance and is an extensive and
complex process. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration recently
purchased a large scale Sperry Univac 1100/46 computer system to be used in the
training of flight crews and ground personnel in all phases of the Space Shuttle

The computer complex will be a major part of the Shuttle Mission Simulator
(SMS), and it will include simulation of the orbiter vehicle, main engines,
solid rocket motors, external tanks, support equipment, and other activities
required to fulfill the mission's objectives.

The main purpose.of the complex will he to interact independently or
simultaneously with the simulator fixed
base and motion base crew stations as well as a full network simulation, all on
a real-time basis. Since the computer system has multi-processing capabilities,
it will also operate in remote batch, batch and demand situations. Training
operations are scheduled to begin in March, 1978.

World Problems and Human Potential:

Everyday, society is faced with discussion, debate, and concern about the
world's problems. Everyone, it seems, is trying to solve a different problem,
and not much attention is given to the relationships between
problems. Therefore, the Union of International Associations began a data
collection exercise using a network of 2500 international governmental and
non-governmental organizations.Information was gathered on problems
that these organizations felt concerned or was relevant to them, and it was
compiled in the Yearbook of World
Problems and Human Potential.

The project was produced from text held on the magnetic tape files of UIA's
computer. Each world problem has a
four-digit number in ascending numerical sequence which serves as a reference
for the computer, filing, indexing, and cross-references. The system now
contains 2560 world problems, but it can
hold 3700. Each problem is also given a textual description and
cross-references/indexes. This large amount of
interrelated information is displayed through maps which are plotted by a
computer. These maps enable people to plot their position in the social system
just as they would check their position on a road map.

Because the collection of such an enormous and indefinite amount of information
is such a difficult task, the
aim of the project has been to establish a framework for processing data rather
than to provide a definitive end product, Hopefully, this process will make it
possible to improve methods of gathering large amounts of information from
diverse sources and make the result work for man toward a definite purpose.

For more information, write Anthony J. N. Judge, Asst. Secy-General, Union of
International Assns., Rue aux Laines 1, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.

ACM Student Paper Winners:

A committee consisting of graduate students at Massachusetts Institute of
Technology chose Guy L. Steele, Jr. of Harvard University as the winner of the
fourth annual George E. Forsy the Student Paper Competition for 1974-75,
sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery. For his
paper,'Multiprocessing Compactifying Garbage Collection,” Mr. Steele won $200
cash, a three year subscription to the ACM serial of his choice, and a trip to
Minneapolis/St. Paul to receive his award at the 1975 ACM Annual Conference.

John L. Bentley of Stanford University and R. Mark Claudson, a high school
student in Richland, Washington,tied for second place. Mr. Bentley's paper
discussed “Multi-Dimensional Binary search Trees  Used for Associative
Searching,” and Mr. Claudson wrote about 'The Digital Simulation of River
Plankton Population Dynamics.”

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