The IBM 650 Magnetic Drum Data Processing Machine Off site Link was introduced by IBM Endicott, New York, in 1953. This was the first mass-produced computer. Almost 2000 systems were introduced between 1953 and 1962. Being so closely connected with UNIVAC at the time,
IBM was hesitant to refer to the device as a computer. The 650 read information from magnetic tapes and punch cards when it was first introduced in 1954. The new level of dependability that the IBM 650 Magnetic Drum Data Processing Machine introduced to the developing field of electronic computing. For instance, anytime a random processing fault happened,
The 650 could automatically rerun parts of the processing by restarting the program at several breaking points and then continue processing if the error did not recur. The primary method, which required the operator to instruct the machine to repeat the process, was significantly improved.
When the 650 was first launched, IBM claimed it would be “an essential component in acquainting business and industry with the stored program ideas.” That’s exactly what it achieved. The 650’s design goal was to create a compact, dependable device with the flexibility of a stored-program computer that could function in a punched card environment.
IBM, along with the rest of the market, was looking for a machine with the following capabilities: arithmetic, data storage, instruction processing, and adequate read-write speeds. The idea of a magnetic drum was considered the solution to the issues with speed and storage.
Magnetized patches on the surface of a four-inch-diameter, 16-inch-long drum that revolved 12,500 times per minute were used to store data and instructions. 20,000 digits at 2,000 different “addresses” may be stored in the drum memory.
HISTORY OF IBM 650
The IBM 650 is an obsolete but historically significant computer. It was developed in 1953 and represented the first large-scale commercial use of transistors, allowing for faster and cheaper computation.
HOW DOES IBM 650 WORK?
The IBM 650 was revolutionary for its time and is considered to be the first true general-purpose computer. It could take input from punched cards or a magnetic tape, run programs that were stored on disks, store data using drum memory, and run FORTRAN code.
FEATURES OF IBM 650
- It was one of the first computers capable of being programmed in a high-level language.
- It was also the first commercially successful scientific computer, even though it was underpowered by today’s standards.
- These computers had 16 kilobytes of memory which is where the term kilo comes from when we talk about computing power.
- They could take input from cards and magnetic tape.
- They were one of the fastest devices that existed at that time. Even though the computer was slow by modern standards, it was considered to be very fast for its time.
The release of the IBM 650 in 1958 created a giant leap for computing as it was now possible to carry out many more tasks than before. But now, modern computers are much faster and cheaper because they don’t require all the expensive hardware that an IBM 650 needs.