For some time, my young colleague Dr. Burton Swanson, Professor of Information Systems in the Anderson School, has urged me (Sprowls) to write the history of computers in the School, especially the early days in the 1950s and 1960s. After assessing what I remember, what materials I have kept in my own files, and what resources are publicly available in various other places, I decided to proceed.
The history is divided into three different periods of time: the early years up until about 1966, the middle years from 1967 to 1980, and the later years from 1980 to the present.
During the early years I first used the SWAC computer that was constructed and managed by the Numerical Analysis Project at UCLA as the basis for a course in the School and then was involved with the IBM grant that established the Western Data Processing Center with which I was associated in different roles during its ten year life.
During the middle years, I was only an active user of the Campus Computing Network (CNN). Jason Frand (Associate Dean and Director of Anderson Information Systems) joined the School in 1979 and assumed management of the School's computing activity in the CCN environment in the later years of this middle period.
During the later years I had little or nothing to do with bringing the Hewlett Packard machines or the Apples or the IBM PCs into the School. Moreover, I retired in 1990. So, I leave it to others (perhaps Frand) to document this period
I have asked others who lived through these years to supply me with some of their memories and permission to include them.
I ask others who read this history, and who have their own remembrances, to send them to me. If you remember things that I have left out (perhaps because I did not know about them), or you differ with me in how I remember something (perhaps because our interpretations of the same thing differ), please send them to me with permission to add them to the history. I view Computing at the School as a living document that continually grows. It will become richer for your contribution.
See the heading "Contributing to" for more information about how to contribute to this history.
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