1979 interview with Louis 'Synnoetics' Fein


<<FEIN: In 1954 and 1955, I was in southern California installing and operating at the Naval Air Missile Test Center at Point Magu the RADAC, the Raytheon digital automatic computer which I had built as chief engineer at Raytheon Manufacturing Company between 1948 and 1951... came west to install and operate the RADAC, and it was in fact the first computing center on the west coast. I came out in... January 1954.>>

<< the people in the east had developed some modules, computer modules, which we called T packs, which were, as far as I know, also the first components, single components out of which you could build computers; it was sort of a tinker toy notion, and we built the very first I believe - modules. There were only two kinds, one a power supply module, and the other a logic module which could also be used as a memory -- a one
bit circulating memory at one mega cycle rate.>>

<<One of my friends introduced me to Al Bowker who .. was the
Provost at Stanford.. Al was interested in the proposals that IBM was making people of the following type: "We will give you a 650 for free if you will give a course in scientific computing and one in business computing."... so Al Bowker commissioned me to make a study on what might be called "The Role of the University in Computers and Data Processing." >>


<< I had to define a discipline, a supra-discipline; what makes a discipline worthy of study; why I think computer science, for which I needed a name - as a matter of fact I remember talking it over with Al and I don't recall what names I started with - anyway, I ended up with computer science - and in October 1957, I delivered a report to Al..>>

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