Stories of the Development of Large Scale Scientific Computing


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

An Oral and Pictorial History


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Page 1: Interviews of people who were part of the development of computing at LLNL

Page 2: Contributions from some not directly interviewed

Page 3: People we'd like to interview

You are on Page 4

Page 5: Fun stuff from the Glory Days at LLNL

Page 6: Other Web Sites That May Be Of Interest

Page 4: Significant Hardware and Software Work

Some Charts and Tables of Interest

A Timeline of Computer Acquisitions

A Plot of Computer Performance over Time

This table lists the types of computers which began operation in the U.S. through 1953.

During March 1951, serial #1 of the first large computer developed for commerce, the Remington Rand UNIVAC-1,
was delivered to the U.S. Bureau Of The Census. Aggressive marketing of computers dates from this time.

  1. 1940   *Bell Labs MODEL-l, "Complex Calculator."
  2. 1943   *Bell Labs MODEL-2, "Relay Interpolator."
  3. 1944   *Harvard MARK-l, "Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator."
  4. 1944   *Bell Labs MODEL-3, "Bal1istic Computer."
  5. 1945   ENIAC, "Electronic Numerica1 Integrator And Computer."
  6. 1945   *Bell Labs MODEL-4, "Error Detector."
  7. 1946   *Bell Labs MODEL-5.
  8. 1948   *Harvard MARK-2, "Aiken Relay Calculator."
  9. 1948   IBM 604, "Electronic Calculating Punch."
  10. 1949   BINAC, "Binary Automatic Computer."
  11. 1949   IBM CPC, "Card-Programmed Electronic Calculator."
  12. 1950   *Bell Labs MODEL-6.
  13. 1950   NEPA, "Fairchild Nuclear Energy For Propulsion Of Aircraft Computer."
  1. 1950   EDVAC, "Electronic Discrete Variable Computer."
  2. 1950   SEAC, "Standards Eastern Automatic Computer."
  3. 1951   *Harvard MARK-3.
  4. 1951   ERA 1101, "Engineering Research Associates Computer."
  5. 1951   *ONR, "Office Of Naval Research Relay Computer.
  6. 1951   WHIRLWIND, "MIT Digital Computer Laboratory Computer."
  7. 1951   BLC, "Burroughs Laboratory Computer."
  8. 1951   UNIVAC-l, "Remington Rand Universal Automatic Computer."
  9. 1952   The University of California Radiation Laboratory formed (Later became LLNL).
  10. 1953   IBM 701, LLNL's first scientific system is delivered (see table below).
* Electromechanical computer.

Changing Specifications of Early LLNL Computing Systems

Specs of Livermore's First 36 Major Computer Systems

Clock Rate (Hz)

Cycle Times (nanoseconds)

Instruction Issues per Cycle

Peak System Rates (MegaFlops/sec.)


Computing at the Livermore Lab
Narrated by John Fletcher, 1983

Atoms Old and New

Computers and Computer Systems

Software Systems and Projects