Cover: Personal computers for science in the 1980s

Personal computers for science in the 1980s

Published 1978

by Robert C. Gammill

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Examines issues regarding projected use of personal computers (PC) for scientific research. The paper describes PC advantages over present shared scientific computational facilities, assessing problems imposed by intercomputer communications, and examines present and near-future hardware and software capabilities and constraints in light of tight cost limits on personal computers. The author concludes that availability of PCs could lead to significantly increased capabilities for many research scientists, and reduce their dependence on organizational affiliations, geographic location, and funding agencies. However, achievement of this goal involves technical and economic problems: secondary storage, display, operating system design, device reliability, and intercomputer communications. The important problem for the 1980s seems to be secondary memory. The critical long-term problem area is economical intercomputer communications.

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