The Best of Creative Computing Volume 1 (published 1976)

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Profile of an Industry (from the 1974 booklet More About Computers published by IBM)

graphic of page

Profile of an Industry

Though its origins go back several centuries,
the digital computer is primarily a product
of technological innovation during the last
two decades. Its use has grown exponentially because the information problems it
helps to solve have grown that way. Few
people, twenty years ago, could foresee either
the need for such a powerful problem-solving tool or that the computer could
satisfy the need.

In 1950, only a handful of computers
were in use helping scientists and mathematician speed routine calculations.
people thought that was all the machine was
good for. But in 1951, the Bureau of the
Census received its first electronic digital
Computer – a UNIVAC I. Computer usage,
related services and the number of companies
that provide computers and supporting
services have been multiplying ever since.

It is now estimated that well over 100,000
computers are in use worldwide.

How did it happen so fast? Why so many
computers so soon?

For thousands of organizations, for hundreds of thousands and perhaps even
millions of individuals, the problem has been
the management of information. Information has proliferated. And we all need
help to sort out information, store it,
process it, analyze it and locate it fast.

[image] Above, computer operator is a career opportunity
created by the computer industry. This is a good
place for high school graduates to enter the field.

[image] Below and facing page, computer technology
continues to improve, year by year. Internal
operating speeds of large systems are now measured in billionths of a second.

Reprinted from the booklet More About Computers with permission of IBM.
Copyright 1974 International Business Machines Corp.


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