The computer used was JohnNiac
of the Institute for Advanced Study.
As its subtitle suggests, RAND and the Information Evolution contains project essays and a handful of light-hearted vignettes labeled as "lore, snippets, and snapshots." Preceding those portions are chapters covering infrastructural topics: the genesis and growth of RAND and its Computer Sciences Department, with particular attention to key individuals; acquisition of early computing equipment, from the Reeves Electronic Analog Computer in the late 1940s to the JOHNNIAC
digital computer in the early 1950s; and expansion over time of RAND's computing facilities at the corporation's campus in Santa Monica, California.
You were born in the early days of modern computing, on hot, bulky hardware with names few now remember, like JOHNNIAC
; in strange and wonderful software called list structures, with stacks you could "push down" and "pop up," bearing arcane acronyms like IPL and FLPL.
At the elite think tank RAND, the IAS computer was affectionately named the JOHNNIAC
The Selectron was the electrostatic tube used in the memory of the JOHNNIAC
, built at the Rand Corporation.
It ran on the JOHNNIAC
computer, created by John von Neumann.
Men like John McPherson and Wallace Eckert and Cuthbert Hurd and the undersigned were turning out the computers of the 1940s and early 1950s--yes, computers were people in those years--while Aiken was cranking out Bessel functions for the Navy and the academics were waiting for their MANIACs and JOHNNIACs
and ORDVACs to operate.