[TUHS] core

Clem cole clemc at ccc.com
Sat Jun 16 13:06:50 AEST 2018

Greg-   Sorry if my words read and came to be interpreted to imply 1955 was the date of the invention.  I only wanted clarify that Wang had the idea of magnetic (core) memory before Forrester.  1955 is the date of patent grant as you mentioned.  My primary point was to be careful about giving all the credit to Forrester.  It took both as I understand the history.  Again I was not part of that fight 😉

It seemed the courts have said what I mentioned - it was Wang’s original idea and I just wanted the history stayed more clearly.   That said, obviously Forrester improved on it (made it practical).  And  IBM needed licenses for both btw build their products.  

FWIW: I’ve been on a couple corporate patent committees. I called him on the comment because I knew that we use core history sometimes as an example when we try to teach young inventors how develop a proper invention disclosure (and how I was taught about some of these issues).  What Forrester did I have seen used as an example of an improvement and differentiation from a previous idea.  That said, Wang had the fundamental patent and Forrester needed to rely on Wang’s idea to “reduce to practice” his own.  As I said, IBM needed to license both in the end to make a product.  

What we try to teach is how something is new (novel in patent-speak) and to make sure they disclose what there ideas are built upon.   And as importantly, are you truly novel and if you are - can you build on that previous idea without a license. 

This is actually pretty important to get right and is not just an academic exercise.  For instance, a few years ago I was granted a fundamental computer synchronization patent for use in building supercomputers out of smaller computers (ie clusters).  When we wrote the stuff for disclosure we had to show how what was the same, what was built upon, and what made it new/different.  Computer synchronization is an old idea but what we did was quite new (and frankly would not have been considered in the 60s as those designers did have some of issues in scale we have today). But because we were able to show both the base and how it was novel, the application went right through in both the USA and Internationally. 

So back to my point, Forrester came up with the idea and practical scheme to use Wang’s concept of the magnetic memory in an array, which as I understand it, was what made Wang’s idea practical.  Just as my scheme did not invent synchronization, but tradition 1960 style schemes are impractical with today’s technology. 

Sent from my PDP-7 Running UNIX V0 expect things to be almost but not quite. 

> On Jun 15, 2018, at 9:08 PM, Greg 'groggy' Lehey <grog at lemis.com> wrote:
>> On Friday, 15 June 2018 at 10:21:44 -0400, Clem Cole wrote:
>> On Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 7:19 AM, A. P. Garcia <a.phillip.garcia at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> jay forrester first described an invention called core memory in a lab
>>> notebook 69 years ago today.
>> ???Be careful -- Forrester named it and put it into an array and build a
>> random access memory with it, but An Wang invented and patented basic
>> technology we now call 'core' in 1955  2,708,722
>> <https://patents.google.com/patent/US2708722A/en>  (calling it `dynamic
>> memory')???.
> Tha patent may date from 1955, but by that time it was already in use.
> Whirlwind I used it in 1949, and the IBM 704 (1954) used it for main
> memory.  There are some interesting photos at
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic-core_memory.
> Greg
> --
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