First-Hand:List of First Hand Histories
Group First Hand Histories
Evolution of the 2-Person Crew Jet Transport Flight Deck, by Delmar M. Fadden, Peter M. Morton, Richard W. Taylor, and Thomas Lindberg - The authors of this article write provide an account of their experiences in conceptualizing and developing the two-person cockpit for commercial airlines.
Solid State Circuits Society First Hand Histories - A collection of first hand histories initially published in the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society newsletter and subsequently magazine, including Dale L. Critchlow, Gene M. Amdahl, Barrie Gilbert, Robert H. Dennard, Mitsumasa Koyanagi, Eric A. Vittoz, Christian Enz, Gordon Bell, Erik H. M. Heijne, Federico Faggin, Marcian E. Hoff, Stanley Mazor, Masatoshi Shima, Joseph A. Fisher, Robert P. Colwell, Ken Smith, Tom Rent, John W. Meredith, Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, Robert Brayton.
50 Year Member First Hand Histories
The 50 Year Member First Hand Histories is a special collection of First Hand Histories submitted by loyal members since the merger of the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) to form IEEE on 1 January 1963.
Recollections of the development of the FoxTrax hockey puck tracking system, by Rick Cavallaro - Cavallaro discusses how the hockey puck tracking system was developed under Fox’s commission when they won the NHL broadcasting rights in 1995. Included is discussion on the use of infra-red technology in the camera tracking system, development of an ‘electronic puck’ by using LEDs in the puck and the process of synchronizing the cameras and the puck.
My Recollections of the Development of the Glowing Hockey Puck, by Stan Honey - Honey recounts his experiences while working at Newscorp and developing the glowing hockey puck for Fox who were eager to make hockey more accessible to television viewers. He describes the various technical approaches and different kinds of technology used in TV cameras to provide a better viewing experience on television.
Single Author First Hand Histories
My Development as an Engineer in the Years Before Atari, by Alan Alcorn - An account of how and why Alcorn decided to become an engineer, covering the period of his life in when he took an RCA home correspondence course in radio and television repair, studied at UC Berkeley and worked at Ampex.
The Development of Pong: Early Days of Atari and the Video Game Industry, by Alan Alcorn - Describes Alcorn's experiences in developing the video game Pong which revolutionized the video game industry.
Video Game and Computer Technology Interaction, by Alan Alcorn - In this article Alcorn discusses how computer and video game development through computer technology required re-orientations from engineers who had to apply their skill set to a new medium.
Applying digital television technology to medical imaging = x-ray dosage reduction and non-invasive angiography, by Stanley Baron - An account detailing the development of noise reduction techniques for television images for creating angiograms which reduced the radiation risks involved with earlier imaging services for fetuses.
Digital Television: The Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting (DTTB) Standard, by Stanley Baron - In this article Baron discusses how the demand for an enhanced, advanced television broadcasting services led the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) to commission a taskforce that was to be engaged in developing digital terrestrial television broadcasting. The DTTB was to offer ‘broadcasters the ability to construct a digital highway into each home that allowed for a range of digital services.’
Inventing the Vidifont: the first electronics graphics machine used in television production, by Stanley Baron - An account of Baron's dealings with the employees at CBS and their collaborative efforts in developing the vidifont.
The Foundation of Digital Television: the origins of the 4:2:2 component digital standard, by Stanley Baron - Baron's recollections in developing a foundational standard for digital television broadcasting.
The Birth of IMS/360, by Uri Berman - Outlines the authors experience in the collaborative project between IBM and Rockwell Space which developed IMS/360 (Information Management System/360) which contained DL/I, a program that had been developed previously by Berman.
Arc Furnace Transformers (and me!), by Thomas Blalock - Traces the history of arc furnaces and provides details of the furnace transformers for Pontiac and Baytown, and details Blalock's experiences and observations on those furnaces.
No Damned Computer Can Tell Me What To Do! The Story of the Naval Tactical Data System, NTDS, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, by David Boslaugh - An incredibly detailed account of the development of the Naval Tactical Data System, the first digitized weapon system in the US Navy. Rich with photographs, interesting anecdotes and personal recollections of the events and technology, Boslaugh covers all .
My Life Over 60 Years in the Development of Our National Energy Systems, by Jack Casazza - Cassaza, who came from a working class family, writes about his schooling, his admission to the engineering program at Cooper Union, his part-time work that sustained his education, his education in the V-7 program at Cornell and Princeton University, enrollment in the Midshipmen program at the Naval Academy following his recruitment in the navy during the WWII. After this period he describes his work at PSE&G, further education at GE electrical and management roles in the IEEE in the post WWII era.
A Co-op Student Before Graduation, by Dean Chapman - This article examines the Co-op Student before Graduation program, its benefits for the prospective engineer and its role as a recruiting tool for GE.
Sidelobe Cancellers and the Like, by Dean Chapman - Details Chapman's work in developing Electronic Counter-countermeasures (ECCM) to shield radar against scrambling electronic countermeasure (ECM) equipment.
The Evolution of the Independent Power System Operator in New York State, by Dean Chapman - A narrative of the evolution of the Independent Power System Operator as an independent entity under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in New York State.
My First Handmade Radio, by Di Chen - A brief description of the first radio built by Chen during the last years of World War II.
Origins of Hewlett Packard 35 (HP-35), by Dave Cochran - In this article Cochran traces his work at Hewlett-Packard from the mid 1960s to the early 1970s. In particular he writes about their work on developing the HP-35, a pocket-sized hand-held calculator.
My Personal History With APS, Part 1, by William Croswell - This article contains a detailed account of Croswell’s education at the Airforce Institute of Technology and his subsequent work on various aircraft projects such as F-102A, Falcon Missile and Bomarc missile. His engagements with these projects were directly linked with his research interests in Radome research and development.
My Personal History With APS, Part 2a, by William Croswell - Here Croswell continues his narrative, describing various rocket projects including Echo I and II, Little Joe, Project Mercury, the Apollo program, experiments with antenna analysis and Brush cathode discharge tubes.
My Personal History With APS, Part 2b, by William Croswell - A short continuation outlining the development of GTD methods of predicting antenna patterns on aircraft scale models, thin wire structures and the Moment Method.
My Personal History, Part 3, by William Croswell - Croswell's final installment, elaborating on his work on microwave radiometer measurements of the Cape Cod Canal, radiometer development on the AAFE Program, scatterometers, and the stepped frequency microwave radiometer at NASA Langley.
Seeing Was Believing, by Thomas Cuthbert - A brief recollection of how Cuthbert's research was shaped by Arthur Collins papers.
Six Decades of Calculations, by Thomas Cuthbert - Provides an account of all ‘kinds of computing devices’ used over 62 years. A naval pilot officer, Cuthbert earned three EE degrees that ‘have enabled design and synthesis of electrical filters and impedance-matching RF networks in frequency ranges from VLF through K band in conjunction with numerical methods and analysis, especially optimization (nonlinear programming), and computer programming in FORTRAN, BASICA, QuickBASIC, Visual BASIC, and C languages.’
The Anti-Submarine Warfare Ship Command and Control System, by Capt. Carl C. Drenkard - A spin off of the history of the Naval Tactical Data System, Captain Drenkard recalls his role in the development of new automated methods for combatting submarines
My Experiences as a Space Engineer: The Pre-launch Years, by Sajjad Durrani - A narrative of Durrani's experiences from his engineering college in Lahore, doctorate in New Mexico, work at GE communications, and work teaching at various universities and colleges in the US, RCA Space Center, Comsat Labs, and Operations Research, Inc. (ORI) and NASA. The article provides a detailed account of his involvement in space projects.
Slide Rule Gives Flight to Tracking Antenna, by G. Fonda-Bonardi - A narrative dealing with Fonda-Bonardi’s work in the Hughes Aircraft Company (HAC) where he was responsible for the design, test, and integration of the RF subsystem for the APG37 airborne fire control radar which was intended for use in the new generation of jet interceptors and fighter airplanes, beginning with the F86.
The First Quartz Wrist Watch, by Armin Frei - The world's first quartz wrist watch had been created by a group of researchers Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH), Neuchâtel. Here Frei explains his views on why the world's first quartz wrist watch was Beta 1 and not Beta 21, which is claimed by the Swiss watch industry. Frei then describes how CEH did not use the Beta 1 model after 1968, differing from non-Swiss manufacturers who saw great success by basing their products on Beta 1.
The First Quartz Wrist Watch Assembling Crew, by Armin Frei - Aside Frei's insights on Beta 1 and Beta 21 mentioned in the previous entry, this article sheds light on certain people who were involved the invention of the first quartz wrist watch but who did not receive recognition.
Events that Influenced My Career, by Gerard H. (Gus) Gaynor - An account of Gaynor's experiences at College, 3M Europe where he worked for more than 25 years and his post-retirement activities in IEEE.
Saving the Transistor Symbol, by Sorab K. Ghandhi - Ghandhi reminisces about early standardization issues pertaining to the symbol used for transistors.
History of GHN, by Richard Gowen - Gowen, past president of the IEEE and Chair of the IEEE History Committee from 2007-2008, served as a guide for the development of the Global History Network and provides an account of the motivations behind the development of the GHN, its objectives, and the processes involved in establishing it.
The First Commercial Computer Application at General Electric, by Burton Grad - Grad details how GE learned the ‘value of using analog computing facilities for scientific calculations and the enhanced use of punch card equipment for all kinds of business applications like accounting, manufacturing control and engineering support’ during the world war II. Its investments in these fields made GE a leading company in computerization.
Development of the Instrument Landing System Glide Path, by Leon Himmel - An account of Himmel's work at the ITT Federal Laboratories developing a glide path for the instrument landing system. Development work on the equi-signal glide path having a constant rate of descent was used by the military, and further commercialized for civilian use. It was commissioned by the CAA/Signal Corps.
Black Magic, by Anthony J. Iacono - An anecdote about solving a problem related to the Fuel Quantity System on the A6E aircraft.
Hotter in the Shade, by Anthony J. Iacono - A brief story about Iacono's work on a particularly hot scenario while performing an EMC Safety of Flight Test.
Bletchley Park, Station X - Memories of a Colossus Operator, by Eleanor Ireland - Ireland recalls her time working as an operator on the Colossus computer, a decrypting machine used by the British in World War II.
Adventures at Wartime Los Alamos, by Lawrence Johnston - Johnson details his experiences in Los Alamos, work on the Fat Man implosion type bomb, and focuses on wartime bomb events such as the Trinity test of the Fat Man bomb and the delivery missions of the bombs to Japan.
The AT&T BELLMAC-32 Microprocessor Development, by Sung Mo (Steve) Kang - In this article Kang contextualizes the emergence of the microprocessor BELLMAC-80 during the division of Bell Laboratories into two separate entities due to federal pressure from 1974-1984.
Origin of Toshiba Computer Software Product Line "COPOS and PODIA" for Power-Generation Plant and its induction into the Software Product Line Hall of Fame at Carnegie Mellon University, by Haruo Kawahara - An account of how the Toshiba computer software product line for power-generation plant control and operation became one of the most successful and one of the earliest large-scale real-time software for industrial plants.
The Title Plant Operating System: A Data Base System of Index Files for Recorded Documents, by Jerry Koory - Koory discusses his experience developing the Title Plant Operating System on the IBM 360 and the financial and time-related challenges involved.
BMEWS – Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, by Stu Levy - Levy explains how the main objective of the BMEWS was to detect an ICBM attack from the Soviet Union and how it would be electronically connected to NORAD.
Adventures on the USS Intrepid, by John Meredith - This article traces the history of the USS Intrepid, its role in World War II, its voyages in southeast Asia from the 1960s-1970s and primarily focuses upon the Meredith's experiences as a crew member.
A Brief Biography of My Life, by Roy Merrill - Merrill provides an account of his life, both professional and personal.
Spanning the Cold War Nuclear Weapons Era: 1956-58 to 1994-2001, by Roy Merrill - An account discussing Merrill's role in the development of nuclear weapons at Sandia Corporation, the ARIES weapons disassembly facility, and a plant prototypic system for immobilizing waste plutonium accumulated from nuclear weapons development.
Starting Up Cetus, the First Biotechnology Company - 1973 to 1982, by Roy Merrill - An account of Merrill's role in starting up Cetus with 20 other employees under Pete Farley, where he began by managing the computing facility supporting the Cetus Mass Screening System.
My Experience in the Army Air Force, 1943 to 1946, by Herman Lunden Miller - Miller discusses his experiences in the Army which started his on a career in physics, including radiation safety, controlled thermonuclear research, the space program, and nuclear power plants.
Over 50 Years in Computing, by Raymond E. Miller - An account of Miller's work in the computing field, beginning in 1950 with engineering courses at IBM.
Banging the Large Drum Slowly, by William Merton Nellis - An account of Nellis' experience in working on a project for the Navy which included recording on large drums as a means of delaying analog signals.
A Historical Cobol Note, by Robert Patrick - This brief account notes how Patrick discovered a debate in the 1930s on producing and standardizing a single language for international commerce, and integrated the constructs of one of the contenders, Basic English, into the Honeywell compiler.
Measurement in Early Software, by Robert Patrick - An account on Patrick's involvement in the the development of software for various early IBM machines (701, 704, 709, 7040, 7090), and the engineering approaches that came along with it.
Operating System Roots, by Robert Patrick - A history of the evolution of various IBM operating systems and Patrick's role in their development.
Evolutionary Events in Core Business Information Systems, by Bruce Peterson - In this article Peterson highlights key events in his computing career which shaped core business information systems, including his work on IBM S/360 computers and Pitchfork Processing.
Philips Telephone Exchanges and Denmark before 1960, by Swenn Poulsen - A detailed account of the origins of Danish Philips telephone exchanges and the author's role in their development.
Philips Telephone Exchanges and Denmark, 1960-1970, by Swenn Poulsen - A continuation of the history of Philips telephone exchanges in Denmark, covering the 1960-1970.
Philips Telephone Exchanges and Denmark 1970-1980, by Swenn Poulsen - The next installment in Poulsen's account, going from 1970 to 1980.
Philips Telephone Exchanges and Denmark 1980-1990, by Swenn Poulsen - Poulsen's next installment, going from 1980 to 1990.
Philips Telephone Exchanges and Denmark 1990 - 1997, by Swenn Poulsen - Poulsen's final account, ending at 1997.
Telstar... and some personal recollections, by Milton Punnett - Punnett's recollections of his role in the Telstar project, the first satellite to relay television signals.
Things I remember about my time with IBM - by Russel Theisen, a recollection about how Theisen suggested using an oscilloscope to solve a particular problem with excessive noise in the transmission of data of an IBM 7030 computer in the North Street Plant of Endicott, NY.
Contributions of Russell E. Theisen - Theisen talks about how in 1964 he suggested and implemented a "cookbook" of substitute transistors, diodes and other parts for replacement and service on IBM machines.
More Contributions of Russell E. Theisen - Theisen discusses him being tasked with building the first IBM Solid Logic Computer, the IBM 360-20, and the problems he encountered with the power system.
Milestones in Consumer Electronics - Memories of a High-Tech PR Pioneer, by Joel Strasser - A recollection of Strasser's landmark work in marketing communications, specifically the development of high-tech public relations.
Beginning of the Silicon Age, by Morris Tanenbaum - This account details the beginnings of the silicon age and chronicles Tanenbaum's involvement with Bell Labs and the development of the transistor under William Shockley.
Serendipity and Superconducting Magnets, by Morris Tanenbaum - Tanenbaum writes about his work developing superconducting magnet technology at the Metallurgical Research Department at Bell Labs.
Cryo CMOS and 40+ layer PC Boards - How Crazy is this?, by Tony Vacca - An account detailing how logic designers and other computer scientists decided to utilize CMOS technology for the ETA Systems Supercomputer.
Ingenious Gender Detector, by V. Vanek - A brief recollection of a piece of gender recognition equipment, developed by RCA in 1964 for the New York World's Fair.
Learning About Computers, Programming, and Computer System Design Circa 1963 - 1981, by Dave Walden - Walden tells how he learned the technology of computing in the days when university computer science departments were still a new idea
The First Continuous Visible Laser, by Alan White - White details his experiences working on the laser from 1958 - 1962. He explains how much of the innovation in this field at Bell Labs was sponsored by Signal Corps’ request after the latter recognized the potential of laser for communications.
A Brief Account of Spell Checking as Developed by Houghton Mifflin Company, by Howard Webber - An account of Webber's role in developing a spellchecker for Houghton Mifflin.
Early PC History - by Alan Weinkrantz, a brief account which discusses the importance of Datapoint in the history of the development of the personal computer.
Novell 1980-1990, by Roger White - A brief account of three stages in Novell's history, first when Novel Data Systems is founded, second from 1983-1989 in which the company witnessed huge success and employed thousands and third in 1990 when there was a management shift and the visionaries left.
Liquid Crystal Display Evolution - Swiss Contributions, by Peter Wild - An account of the Swiss contributions to the development of the LCD
The Loon and the Lark, by Howard Wilson - Wilson discusses his experiences working as an engineer in the army in the 1950s in the electrical modification shop, modifying German V-1 buzzbombs into the army Loon missile, and subsequent development of the LARK missile.