Third-Generation Computer Trends.

by Barry W. Boehm


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A review of trends in computing. By 1975, due primarily to large-scale integrated circuitry, we may expect computers 200 times faster, 1000 times smaller, and 500 times cheaper. Total U.S. computer power will increase by a factor of 1000. However, the speed-versus-storage and efficiency-versus-versatility tradeoffs will continue. Computer systems are built and used with very little feedback, so that there is very little systematic building upon experience. When a study is made of just how engineers are using computers, results may be unexpected. One company found its engineers using old designs rather than new because programs were available to analyze them. System engineering techniques are seldom applied to the production of computer software. Such an analysis of RAND's Graphic ROCKET development resulted in POGO, a program that cut graphics control page development time from days to hours. To design computer systems properly, it is necessary to learn more about how men perceive, how they think, and how they create. (Prepared for presentation at the 1968 Joint Engineering Management Conference in Philadelphia.) 13 pp. Ref.

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