Today, almost all CPUs perform arithmetic in "bit-parallel" mode. The word size was selected after some deliberation. The machine worked by passing in a single address with almost every instruction, thereby reducing the number of memory accesses. For operations with two operands, adding for instance, the "other" operand was assumed to be the last one loaded.
Whirlwind operated much like a reverse Polish notation calculator in this respect; except there was no operand stack, only an accumulator. The Whirlwind design incorporated a control store driven by a master clock. Each step of the clock selected one or more signal lines in a diode matrix that enabled gates and other circuits on the machine.
A special switch directed signals to different parts of the matrix to implement different instructions. Whirlwind construction started inan effort that employed people. In the third quarter of the computer was advanced enough to solve an equation and display its solution on an oscilloscope,  : After three years the Navy had lost interest. However, during this time the Air Force had become interested in using computers to help the task of ground controlled interception Untitled - Various - Whirlwind Hardcore Part II (VHS), and the Whirlwind was the only machine suitable to the task.
They took up development under Project Claude. Whirlwind weighed 20, pounds 10 short tons; 9. The original machine design called for 2K words of 16 bits each of random-access storage. The only two available memory technologies in that could hold this much data were mercury delay lines and electrostatic storage. A mercury delay line consisted of a long tube filled with mercurya mechanical transducer on one end, and a microphone on the other end, much like a spring reverb unit later used in audio processing.
Pulses were sent into the mercury delay line at one end, and took a certain amount of time to reach the other end. They were detected by the microphone, amplified, reshaped into the correct pulse shape, and sent back into the delay line. Thus, the memory was said to recirculate. Mercury delay lines operated at about the speed of sound, so were very slow in computer terms, even by the standards of the computers of the late s and s.
The speed of sound in mercury was also very dependent on temperature. Since a delay line held a defined number of bits, the frequency of the clock had to change with the temperature of the mercury.
If there were many delay lines and they did not all have the same temperature at all times, the memory data could easily become corrupted.
The Whirlwind designers quickly discarded the delay line as a possible memory—it was both too slow for the envisioned flight simulator, and too unreliable for a reproducible production system, for which Whirlwind was intended to be a functional prototype. The alternative form of memory was known as "electrostatic". This was a cathode ray tube memory, similar in many aspects to an early TV picture tube or oscilloscope tube. An electron gun sent a beam of electrons to the far end of the tube, where they impacted a Untitled - Various - Whirlwind Hardcore Part II (VHS).
The beam would be deflected to land at a particular spot on the screen. The beam could then build up a negative charge at that point, or change a charge that was already there. By measuring the beam current it could be determined whether the spot was originally a zero or a one, and a new value could be stored by the beam.
There were several forms of electrostatic memory tubes in existence in The best known today is the Williams tubedeveloped in England, but there were a number of others that had been developed independently by various research labs.
The Whirlwind engineers considered the Williams tube, but determined that the dynamic nature of the storage and the need for frequent refresh cycles was incompatible with the design goals for Whirlwind I. This was a dual-gun electron tube. One gun produced a sharply-focused beam to read or write individual bits. The other gun was a "flood gun" that sprayed the entire screen with low-energy electrons. As a result of the design, this tube was more of a static RAM that did not require refresh cycles, unlike the Untitled - Various - Whirlwind Hardcore Part II (VHS) RAM Williams tube.
In the end the choice of this tube was unfortunate. The Williams tube was considerably better developed, and despite the need for refresh could easily hold bits per tube, and was quite reliable when operated correctly. The MIT tube was still in development, and while the goal was to hold bits per tube, this goal was never reached, even several years after the plan had called for full-size functional tubes.
Also, the specifications had called for an access time of six microseconds, but the actual access time was around 30 microseconds. Since the basic cycle time of the Whirlwind I processor was determined by the memory access time, the entire processor was slower than designed. Jay Forrester was desperate to find a suitable memory replacement for his computer. Initially the computer only had 32 words of storage, and 27 of these words were read-only registers made of toggle switches. The remaining five registers were flip-flop storage, with each of the five registers being made from more than 30 vacuum tubes.
This "test storage", as it was known, was intended to allow checkout of the processing elements while the main memory was not ready.
Main memory was so late that the first experiments of tracking airplanes with live radar data were done using a program manually set into test storage. Forrester came across an advertisement for a new magnetic material being produced by a company.
Recognizing that this had the potential to be a data storage Untitled - Various - Whirlwind Hardcore Part II (VHS), Forrester obtained a workbench in the corner of the lab, and got several samples of the material to experiment with.
Then for several months he spent as much time in the lab as he did in the office managing the entire project. At the end of those months he had invented the basics of magnetic-core memory and demonstrated that it was likely to be feasible.
His demonstration consisted of a small core plane of 32 cores, each three-eighths of an inch in diameter. Having demonstrated that the concept was practical, it needed only to be reduced to a workable design. In the fall ofForrester enlisted graduate student William N. Papian to test dozens of individual cores, to determine those with the best properties.
Buck would go on to invent the cryotron and content-addressable memory at the lab. After approximately two years of further research and development, they were able to demonstrate a core plane that was made of 32 by 32, or cores, holding bits of data. Thus, they had reached the originally intended storage size of an electrostatic tube, a goal that had not yet been reached by the tubes themselves, only holding bits per tube in the latest design generation. Very quickly a word core memory was fabricated, replacing the electrostatic memory.
The electrostatic memory design and production was summarily canceled, saving a good deal of money to be reallocated to other research areas.
Two additional core memory units were later fabricated, increasing the total memory size available. The design used approximately 5, vacuum tubes. The large number of tubes used in Whirlwind resulted in a problematic failure rate since a single tube failure could cause a system failure.
The standard pentode at the time was the 6AG7, but testing in determined that its expected lifetime in service was too short for this application. Consequently, the 7AD7 was chosen instead, but this also had too high a failure rate in service. An investigation into the cause of the failures found that silicon in the tungsten alloy of the heater filament was causing cathode poisoning ; deposits of barium orthosilicate forming on the cathode reduce or prevent its function of emitting electrons.
The 7AK7 tube with a high-purity tungsten filament was then specially developed for Whirlwind by Sylvania. Cathode poisoning is at its worst when the tube is being run in Untitled - Various - Whirlwind Hardcore Part II (VHS) with the heater on.
Commercial tubes were intended for radio and later, television applications where they are rarely run in this state. Analog applications like these keep the tube in the linear region, whereas digital applications switch the tube between cut-off and full conduction, passing only briefly through the linear region. Further, commercial manufacturers expected their tubes to only be in use for a few hours per day.
Told through the letters and journals of soldiers who were there. During Stalin's reign of terror, Evgenia Ginzburg, a literature professor, was sent to 10 years hard labor in a gulag in Siberia, Untitled - Various - Whirlwind Hardcore Part II (VHS). Having lost everything, and no longer wishing to live, she meets the camp doctor and begins to come back to life. Great to find an unknown movie as good as this. Emily Watson rocks. Very important true story of oppression and gulag life in Stalin's Russia.
There's a real shortage of honest movies about Russian "crimes against humanity" and this one helps correct that problem. The origins of the film are very curious, however. But, the film is done with English actors, is spoken in English, and there is no effort from the actors to attempt a Russian accent in the English dialogue. It's pretty standard in English language films when set in continental Europe to make some effort at the accent of the country a movie is set in.
Admittedly, people who really know Russian probably would find the effort irritating, but since most of us don't, the imitation sort of works. Other than that, this is a "not to be missed movie" that no one ever saw. But, that happens a lot. Some of the best movies never get seen. Go, Batman! Looking for something to watch? Sign In. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends.
Full Cast and Crew. Release Dates. Official Sites. Company Credits. Technical Specs. Plot Summary. Plot Keywords. Parents Guide. External Sites. User Reviews. User Ratings. External Reviews. Metacritic Reviews. Photo Gallery. Trailers and Videos. Crazy Credits. Alternate Versions. Rate This. Director: Marleen Gorris. Writers: Nancy Larson screenplayEugenia Ginzburg autobiography.
Added to Watchlist. Drama to Watch. Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Edit Cast Credited cast: Ian Hart Beylin Pam Ferris Genia's mother Emily Watson Evgenia Ginzburg Ksawery Szlenkier Mazincew Ben Miller Krasny Agata Buzek Lena Monica Dolan Pitkowskaya Pearce Quigley Yelvov Ulrich Tukur Anton Walter Jimmy Yuill
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