source: t29-www/en/computer/tabulating-machine.shtm @ 109

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4<head><!--#set var="title"        value="Punch card tabulator"
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9   --><!--#set var="prev_title"   value="(Electro-) mechanical calculators"
10   --><!--#set var="next"         value="punchcard.shtm"
11   --><!--#set var="next_title"   value="Punch card computing"
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13
14    <!--#include virtual="/en/inc/head.inc.shtm" -->
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16    <meta name="DC.Title" content="Technikum29 - <!--#echo var="title" -->" />
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18    <meta name="t29.SVN" content="$Id$" />
19    <meta name="t29.germanoriginal" content="08.04.2008/v5.7.21" />
20    <meta name="t29.thistranslation" content="01.01.2009/03:08" />
21    <meta name="t29.comment" content="sync from the scratch" />
22    <!-- v5.7.5: Bildübersetzungsteile von Ulmann -->
23    <!--changelog: 18.06.2008/v5.7.22 based on 08.04.2008/v5.7.21: Komplettaenderungen an der Tabelliermaschine, GAMMA 3+10 neu -->
24</head>
25<body>
26<!--#echo encoding="none" var="heading" -->
27<div id="content">
28    <h2><!--#echo var="title" --></h2>
29
30    <p>Tabulating machines were widely used when electronic data processing
31       began in the 1950s. These big machines were called "technical marvels":
32       At a glance at the inner life you can see what special art of
33       ingeneering was performed at that time. This kind of technology appears
34       odd for today's folks.</p>
35
36    <p>The tabulating machine BULL BS-PR was constructed in October 1956, thus it
37       is the oldest pice of EDP in the museum. At these days you could buy it
38       for about 260.000 German marks (about 62.000 US$).
39       Nevertheless even medium-sized businesses had to buy these punch card
40       machines to work economically.</p>
41
42    <p>On high quality tabulating machines the patch panel could be replaced to
43       perform very different tasks. By plugging the cables on the programming field
44       cleverly, even some scientifical caluclations could be solved.
45    <br/>For every new program the software engineer had to plug a new
46       programming field. The only data input medium are punch cards. Therefore
47       we own other machines that are also operational to perform card driven EDP,
48       that is, devices for creation, sorting, mixing, etc. the cards.</p>
49
50    <p>Our tabluating machine is now even capable of calculating and printing bank
51       statements as well as multiplying and dividing.
52    <!-- <LOL> -->
53    <br/>In the year 1959 some BULL engineer asked himself why there was not some
54       algorithm for the tabulating machine somewhere outside to compute square roots.
55       Since he was bored, he knew already dozens of simple algorithms he learned
56       in his study of computer science and he wanted to gouge his friends, he
57       bet them that you could compute square roots of any real number with a
58       tabulating machine. Since his friends have not studied computer science,
59       they bet against it. The engineer made some programming efforts and won
60       the bet. We came across that program, so we are currently trying to get
61       it back running, so we can relive that historical moment. <!-- </LOL> -->
62    </p>
63
64    <p><small>We would like to thank the <a href="www.feb-d.de">F.E.B.
65       (Federation des Equipes Bull) Deutschland e.V.</a> for their assistance
66       of the reperation of the tabulating machine</small></p>
67
68    <div class="box center">
69        <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/bull-bs-pr/bull-tabelliermaschine.jpg" width="620" height="492" alt="Bull PS BR Tabulating Machine" />
70        <p class="bildtext">The <b>Tabulating Machine Bull BS-pr</b>: With closed walls it
71         looks like a strange chunk made of metal, but it comprises impressive
72         electromechanical technology.
73         <br />Multiplying and dividing mechanically needs lots of time. To shorten
74         this amount of time, you could attach the "electronical calculator" BULL
75         GAMMA&nbsp;3. The auxiliary tube calculator was only used for this purpose.
76         Unfortunately it is no more available.</p>
77    </div>
78
79    <!--
80     3 Bilder im Deutschen entfernt nach v5.7.21, zugunsten zwei einzelner.
81   
82    <div class="box left">
83        <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/bull-bs-pr/rechenwerke.jpg" alt="Photography of the ALU" width="357" height="476"/>
84        <p class="bildtext">
85            The picture on the left shows the heart of the Bull BS-PR. In the foreground the card sensing circuitry can be seen. Every card is sensed twice &ndash; the first run determines if it is a program or a data card while the second run (below) reads the actual data. In addition to that this mechanism allows the comparison of successive cards.
86        </p>
87        <div class="clear">&nbsp;</div>
88    </div>
89
90    <div class="box left">
91        <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/bull-bs-pr/relais.jpg" alt="Partial view of the relays" width="400" height="533" />
92        <p class="bildtext">
93          The control and memory of the machine is comprised of about 1500 relays. 10 ALUs work in parallel and are driven and synchronized by the large main motor. Every revolution engages about 300 sliding contacts.
94        </p>
95        <div class="clear">&nbsp;</div>
96    </div>
97
98    <div class="box left">
99        <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/bull-bs-pr/offen.jpg" alt="Vorderansicht der geöffneten Bull-Tabelliermaschine" width="569" height="396" />
100        <p class="bildtext">
101            The picture on the left shows part of the complicated printing unit &ndash; in every step a complete line is printed (like later line printers did).
102         </p>
103         <div class="clear">&nbsp;</div>
104    </div>
105    -->
106   
107    <div class="box left">
108      <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/bull-bs-pr/relais1.jpg"
109           alt="Partial view of the relays" width="312" height="416"/>
110      <p class="bildtext">
111        The control and memory of the machine is comprised of about 1500 relays.
112        <br/>10 ALUs work in parallel and are driven and synchronized by the large main motor.
113        Every revolution engages about 300 sliding contacts. In the upper part of the picture
114        you can see three ALUs. Only one of the ALUs is broken, that is quite astonishing in
115        view of the old age.
116      </p>
117      <div class="clear"></div>
118    </div>
119
120    <div class="box center">
121         <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/rechenwerke.jpg" alt="ALUs of the Bull tabulating machine" width="555" height="329" />
122         <p class="bildtext">
123            We exposed two of the 10 ALUs for an one-of-a-kind photo. The principle of sprocket wheel
124            machines is visible to the naked eye. All calculation work is performed only by mechanical
125            components and read in electronically by touch-sensitive contacts. You can even read out
126            the current arithmetic register contents: They are both <i>144</i>. Carries are also
127            performed purley mechanically. It's hardly imaginable that these machines worked more than
128            12 hours every day without any serious problems.
129         </p>
130    </div>
131   
132    <div class="box center">
133      <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/bull-bs-pr/offen1.jpg"
134           alt="Front view of the BULL BS PR Tabulating Machine" width="555" height="325"/>
135      <p class="bildtext-bildbreite" style="width: 555px;">
136        This picture partly shows the complicated printing unit &ndash; in
137        every step a complete line is printed (like later line printers did).
138        <br/>In the foreground you can see the punchcard feeder. Every punchcard is
139        read in two times. At the first scan the machine detects wheter the card is
140        a controller card or a data card whereas at the second scan the machine reads
141        the content from the card.
142        <br/>Additionally, the machine is capable of comparing the content of two
143        consecutive cards.
144      </p>
145    </div>
146
147
148    <h2><a name="bull3">A first generation tube calculator: BULL GAMMA 3</a></h2>
149    <div class="box left">
150      <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/bull-gamma-3.jpg"
151           alt="The BULL GAMMA 3, closed state" width="156" height="210" />
152      <p class="bildtext">
153        The BULL GAMMA 3 was build since 1952. It could be connected to several
154        punchcard devices, for example to the Tabulating Machine BS, to the
155        card copier PRD and to the ULP puncher.
156        <br/>Our GAMMA 3 installation is fully developed and features seven
157        delay line memory units each with a capacity of 12 decimal digits. To
158        extend the built-in memory, there were special so-called "storage cabinets"
159        that contained additional 24 storage units, each with a capacity
160        of 12 decimal numbers.
161        <br/>Summing up, the calculator features almost 400 electron tubes.
162        Thyratrons were used to connect this fast calculator to the slow
163        punchcard auxillary devices. A thyratron tube is capable of saving
164        temporary digital states.
165      </p>
166      <div class="clear"></div>
167    </div>
168   
169    <div class="box center">
170      <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/bull-gamma-3-offen.jpg"
171           alt="BULL GAMMA 3 Innen" width="690" height="517" />
172      <p class="bildtext">
173        The modules could be folded out, hence the calculator is quite
174        service friendly. Two big fans circulate fresh air thorught the
175        case. On the left you can see a part of the big power supply &ndash;
176        39 fuses keep the electric circuits seperated for additional security.
177
178        <br/>When this calculator is connected to our BULL Tabulating Machine,
179        all the information from the papertape reader brushes are directly
180        transfered to the GAMMA 3. Thus programs and data can be manipulated
181        directly by the GAMMA 3. The output is transfered back to the
182        printing unit from the Tabulating Machine.
183      </p>
184    </div>
185
186
187    <h2><a name="bull10">A second generation calculator: The BULL GAMMA 10</a></h2>
188    <div class="box center">
189      <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/bull-gamma-10.jpg"
190           alt="BULL GAMMA 10" width="640" height="390" />
191      <p class="bildtext">
192        In 1963 BULL General Electric presented the BULL GAMMA 10
193        which was intended for commercial purpose and puchcard
194        computing. The standard equipment contains a CPU with
195        panel, a punchcard reader/puncher unit and a barrel printer.
196        The RAM consists of a 1kb core memory which could be
197        extended up to 4kb capacity. There are 59 different
198        opcodes to program the CPU.
199        <br/>The cycle time from the core memory is 7 micro
200        seconds. The calculator is capable of reading and
201        punching 300 cards per minute. Five punchcards per
202        second, that is an amazing speed &ndash;
203        therefore the punching unit is generously built. The
204        printer can only print up to 300 lines per minute. Compared
205        to our <a href="univac9400.shtm">Univac 9400</a> this
206        is quite slow &ndash; the Univac 9400 is capable of
207        printing more than 1000 lines per minute.
208      </p>
209    </div>
210
211    <div class="box center">
212        <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/bull-gamma-10-offen.jpg" alt="BULL GAMMA 10 without panels" style="float:left;" width="367" height="360" />
213        <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/gamma-10-von-hinten.jpg" alt="BULL GAMMA 10 from the back" style="float:right;" width="268" height="360" />
214        <div class="clear"></div>
215        <p class="bildtext">
216          The chassis is metallic bright and glossy. It is clearly arranged
217          and therefore the machine is quite easy to maintain.
218          <br/>We want to repair this computer, too (see our page
219          <a href="/en/search.shtm">We are looking for...</a>). By now the
220          complete mechanics works again. After tuning the temperature
221          of the heated core memory and switching some defect
222          transistors, we can already execte a program for duplicating
223          punch cards, as well as the first mathematical programs.
224          That's really sensational for such an old computer.
225        </p>
226    </div>
227
228    <div class="box left">
229         <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/modul-gamma10.jpg"
230            alt="Typical GAMMA 10 module" height="345" width="485">
231         <p class="bildtext">
232            This is one of 570 modules from the GAMMA 10 computer.
233            On the base plate the conductor tracks are aligned
234            horizontally while they are aligned vertically on the
235            small boards (flip flops, amplifier, etc.). Almost all
236            transistors are still Germanium transistors.
237         </p>
238    </div>
239
240</div><!-- end of content -->
241<!--#include virtual="/en/inc/menu.inc.shtm" -->
242</body>
243</html>
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