Thursday, February 26, 2009

Winning the cold war

Gosper tells the story of one of the old minicomputers in the computer history museum, built during the cold war. The Soviets were trying to keep up technologically, and managed to acquire this particular model through devious and circuitous routes. They proceeded to reverse engineer it and build thousands of duplicates on their own, making it the dominant computer of its kind in the USSR.

The US government discovered this and thoroughly chastized the manufacturer for allowing this technological breach.

However, Gosper asserts that the architecture and instruction set were such a loss that the machine set the soviets back further than if they had designed their own machine from scratch, and that the manufacturer instead should have been given a medal for thier indirect assistance to the western world.

1 comment:

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