Making Electrons Count (part 11 of 11)

325 Perhaps the error can be found quickly with the help of the staff member who is waiting his turn on Whirlwind.
326 Note If he can find it, I'll have a hand modification made and run my tapes again in a few minutes. Meanwhile the operator will make runs of other programs, for a digital computer does not require change in its physical makeup in order to solve widely diverse problems. Changing from one program to another requires nothing more than reading in a fresh program tape.
327 So that's where the trouble is! Wait for me, fellows--I'll be back in a minute!
328 Note The night typist is making a hand modification to rectify my mistake. I sure hope this is it! Let's see if I corrected the error.
329 I'm as nervous as an actor on opening night!

330a, b

The results look right! When will the pictures be ready? Good. Then I can check them this afternoon.
331 [Narrator's voice] Our programmer now calls for the results of the run made last night. He seems pleased with the solution to his problem.
333 The results of Whirlwind's computation on this problem are very well received by the staff at the Retina Foundation.
334 Note Whirlwind was able to do in a few hours lens design computations which would have taken several man-years if done manually.
335 Note We have told you the story of one problem recently solved on one digital computer. Multiply this by hundreds of problems being handled routinely by a hundred such computers and you have an idea of the current importance of the digital computer as a new tool to help scale some of the HITHERTO INSURMOUNTABLE PEAKS WHICH SPAN THE DOMAIN OF MAN'S ACTIVITIES!

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,