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Programming the D17B Computer

C. H. Beck
Tulane University

The logical power of general-purpose computers is uniquely common to all such machines, but speed of execution, memory size, cost, reliability, and ease of communication (convenience to the user) differ widely. size and weight limitations, a high degree of reliability and strength, plus program requirements dictated a small, slow, serial memory for the D17B. However, many minicomputers have less than half the memory of the D17B.1,2 Requirements for real-time operation imply the need for the D17B to sequentially perform its assigned tasks fast enough so that all tasks are accomplished during a given period of time and yet slow enough to ensure accurate noise-free computation.3

In addition to the usual capabilities common to small general-purpose computers, it can be seen in Figure 1 that the D17B has analog, pulse-type, and serial output systems. Parallel or multiprocessing such as the simultaneous execution of two identical single-precision add, subtract, or multiply instructions is another unusual operation capability.


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