I was doing some research and came across this i thought id put it up on here!
The IBM 610 Auto-Point Computer was designed in the portholed attic of Watson Lab at Columbia University by John Lentz between 1948 and 1954 as the Personal Automatic Computer (PAC) and announced by IBM as the 610 Auto-Point in 1957¹. The IBM 610 was the first personal computer, in the sense that it was the first computer intended for use by one person (e.g. in an office) and controlled from a keyboard². The large cabinet contains a magnetic drum, the arithmetic control circuitry, a control panel, and separate paper-tape readers and punches for program and data (according to one former user, Russ Jensen, "The machine was programmed by a punched paper tape which duplicated itself in order to perform extra passes through the code". The IBM electric typewriter printed the output at 18 characters per second; the other device was the operator's keyboard for control and data entry, which incorporated a small cathode ray tube (two inches, 32×10 pixels) that could display the contents of any register . A "register" is any of 84 drum locations (31 digits plus sign). The control panel provides additional programming control (e.g. for creating subroutines, typically for trigonometric or other mathematical functions). Price: $55,000.00 (or rental at $1150/month, $460 academic). 180 units were produced.
The photos in this section are from John Lentz's article on the 610 (Reference 1 below);This figure shows the computer opened up to reveal its insides. The cabinet at left contains the electronic arithmetic unit with its magnetic drum storage unit and electromechanical controls, with paper tape input/output on top. On the desk is an electric typewriter for printed output and a "manual control keyboard which provides a cathod-ray tube display in coded form of the content of any desired machine register" (center figure). The complete system weighs 750 pounds and and draws less than 20 amps from a single 120-volt circuit. The control panel (bottom figure) can be used to program commonly used functions such as sine or cosine, so they don't have to be read repeatedly from the control tape.
Hey there! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.
When you create an account, you can participate in the discussions and share your thoughts. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and make new friends.