John -- (01)
Thanks for that perspective! (02)
John F. Sowa wrote:
> Ali and Phil,
> I checked the references you suggested and followed a few more paths.
> One of them indicated that Vannevar Bush's famous article was actually
> written in 1939. He probably delayed publication because of many other
> activities (among them WW II). Brief summary:
> 1. In 1917, VB earned a PhD in engineering from MIT and Harvard
> 2. In 1922, he cofounded a company with a former college roommate
> to make "S-tube" rectifiers for converting AC to DC in radios.
> The company later changed its name to Raytheon.
> 3. In 1927, he designed an analog computer called the Differential
> Analyzer to solve differential equations with up to 18 variables.
> 4. One of his graduate students at the time was Claude Shannon, who
> developed digital circuit theory as an offshoot of this work.
> 5. He was Dean of Engineering at MIT from 1932 to 1938.
> 6. In 1939, he was appointed chairman of the National Advisory
> Committee for Aeronautics.
> 7. During WW II, he was the director of the Office of Scientific
> Research and Development. One of its efforts that ended in
> a bang was called the Manhattan project.
> 8. After the war, he wrote a proposal for the National Science
> Foundation, which Congress approved in 1947.
> 9. He also got funding for various MIT projects, one of which led
> to the Whirlwind computer, which a student named Ken Olsen
> re-implemented in a transistorized version called the TX-0.
> Ken later founded a company to commercialize it as the PDP-1.
> In short, many people were involved in all these efforts, and they
> all deserve credit. But VB was the kind of person who had a solid
> technical background plus the kind of vision to see the potential
> for revolutionary breakthroughs. Just as important, he also had
> the organizational skills to get things done.
> That's a rare combination of skills. Steve Jobs also had skills
> like that. He also founded a company with a college friend, but
> unlike Ken and VB, Steve dropped out before getting his degree.
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