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The IBM System R is a new database built as a research project. System R introduced SQL which was the work of Chamberlain and Bryce. SQL offers two main advantages over older read–write APIs such as ISAM or VSAM. Firstly, it introduced the concept of accessing many records with one single command. Secondly, it eliminates …

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The Intel C8080A microprocessor was released circa April 1974. The CPU replaces the earlier Intel 8008 processor, Once CP/M was ready, the 8080 became a successful platform for business machines. As the 1970s unfolded large numbers of machines were designed and built. The C8080A is largely 8-bit however it does add some 16-bit instructions not available …

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During the mid to late 1960s, many early video games were programmed on mainframe computers. Developed prior to the rise of the commercial video game industry in the early 1970s, these early mainframe games were generally written by students or employees at large corporations. Games were written in Assembler as the high level languages available …

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Gotcha was released on October 11, 1973 by Atari who also developed the game. Gotcha is a maze puzzle game. The game is designed for 2 players, one attempts to catch the other to score a point. The maze is composed of a repeating pattern of elements set in multiple columns on the screen. The …

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Context-Free grammar is an idea that applies to formal languages such the ones used to program a computer. char* digit = “0123456789”; char* letter = “ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ”; Most programming languages are defined by formal descriptions, so it is obvious that the most basic elements of letters and numbers are needed. Early programming languages were not yet …

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Indexed Sequential Access Method (ISAM) was developed at a time when computer memory was a scarce resource. Accordingly IBM designed the system to use a minimum amount of memory.  The IBM System/360 had as little as 8KB of RAM while the top model had 64KB of RAM. The IBM System/370 is more powerful with additional memory. Tape …

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Networking got its start back in the 1950s with RADAR systems and mainframe systems. Ethernet came from Robert Metcalf’s PhD dissertation in 1973. Eventually this was standardized by the IEEE as 802.3 working group. In the early days mainframe machines used coaxial cables to wire up a group of machines into a local area network, …

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Pong was released on November 29, 1972 by Atari who also developed the game. Pong is a coin-op cabinet simulation game. Pong is a game for 2 players. Each player operates a “paddle” via an analog knob. The object is to bounce the “ball” back and forth. The ball bounce had multiple angles to make the …

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The NE555 is a simple integrated circuit that can be used to make an oscillator, timer, pulse generator and delay. The versatility of the NE555 makes it very popular with hobbyists and manufacturers alike. The NE555 can run on a 5V supply or a 12V supply depending on the application. The NE556 is a dual …

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small magellanic cloud

The enigma of the universe is as much philosophy as it is science. 150 billion years ago, there was emptiness without form; timeless without direction. THE BIG BANG Then from the void an unimaginable explosion of energy was release, filling the realm with blindly bright light. The cosmic background radiation remains as a reminder of …

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