Wireless

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by TCrowe, May 20, 2015.

  1. TCrowe macrumors member

    TCrowe

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2014
    Location:
    Glen Ellen, CA.
    #1
    When I was in the US Navy between 1968 and 1972 I was a Radarman. The ship I was on was a year old and had on board the Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS) which connected all ships in the theater of operations (Gulf of Tonkin) with a wireless view of hundreds of miles of radar imaging that umbrellaed the entire Vietnam region so that all ships had operational awareness of bogies and friendlies in the sky over the combat zone.

    It seems like ancient history but I was working on the new OS X server that I just installed and suddenly realized that I had used a wireless system decades before the computer. Well shut my mouth!, I said. All these years later and I just put 2 and 2 together. Of course the system on our ship was run by 6 Univacs that were the size of todays commercial freezers but the Computer techs also had programmed a baseball game to play on the radar screens. Why don't some of my best friends tell me these things! ( The game was only played in port just so you know that we didn't waste any tax dollars while in combat.)
     
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #2
    Fascinating reminiscence, and thanks for sharing it.

    Now that you mention it, I remember as a very small kid, (on one of those wet summer's days when the rain falls silently but wetly) being taken into the university, and shown what was described as a computer to me. At the time, I recall being informed that 'this was the future'. As you so have rightly said, the thing was the size of several refrigerators, and took up an enormous amount of space against walls. Actually, it puzzled me, as it didn't seem to be able to 'do' anything; I have a vague memory of being told that it was possible to programme it to play 'noughts and crosses'.
     
  3. TCrowe, May 21, 2015
    Last edited: May 21, 2015

    TCrowe thread starter macrumors member

    TCrowe

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2014
    Location:
    Glen Ellen, CA.
    #3
    Some time ago I saw a mechanical computer which had been created in the 40's...? that did all types of computations but had no electrical input what-so-ever. The thing was huge and I think it is in the Smithsonian but not sure about the location. That machine is even more amazing to me than todays computers as it was strictly mechanical and I am out of my element even trying to comprehend how that fella that invented that put all those little details together to create a mechanical thought processor. It boggles my mind to try to comprehend that type of focused mind to do that.

    To which University were you taken? Interesting detail concerning your life.
     

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