Making Electrons Count (part 8 of 11)

301 By this time, a detailed statement of my problem has been made, and the numerical procedure established.
302 Note
303 Note At the initial consultation with a staff advisor assigned to help me, we do a flow diagram indicating the logical sequence of events in the computation. All possibilities had to be anticipated and provided for. The magnetic drum could be used to supplement the high-speed magnetic core storage, while the camera and oscilloscope would permit printing at the rate of two hundred characters per second. But many other difficulties had yet to be ironed out before the problem could be completely programmed.
304 Note I attended a regular two-week laboratory course, which taught me how to code my problem--that is, how to translate it into computer language. This group of students includes outside users of Whirlwind and new laboratory personnel.
305 This moment seemed long in coming, but now I have just about completed coding my program. A desk calculator comes in handy in obtaining initial solutions, which I shall compare with some of the preliminary solutions obtained from Whirlwind.
306 Luckily, my consultant notices and corrects several logical programming errors. I express my confidence that the program is now ready to run. On the basis of his experience with other programmers, my consultant feels that my confidence is unfounded.

Credits and Notice:

The MIT Museum has kindly granted permission for me to reproduce these extracts from the 1953 film on MIT Project Whirlwind,"Making Electrons Count." The permission is governed by an agreement between Daniel P. B. Smith and the MIT Museum, and covers publication at this Web site only. Individuals may view this material at this Web site, Any other use requires permission from the MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139-4307.

The original film credits contain no date or copyright notice and reads, in full:

The Digital Computer Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Presents "Making Electrons Count: Solving a Problem on M.I.T.'s Electronic Digital Computer 'Whirlwind I.' Sponsored by: Office of Naval Research. Physicist played by Dean N. Arden. Script by Edwin S. Kopley. Photographed and Directed by Lloyd G. Sanford.

--Daniel P. B. Smith,