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Manufacturer EAI (Electronic Associates Inc.) Identification,ID 580 Date of first manufacture - Number produced - Estimated price or cost - location in museum - donor Foxborough
Contents of this page:
- Special Features
- Historical Notes
- This Artifact
- Interesting Web Sites
- Other information
EAI 580 Analog/Hybrid Computing System;
This is a solid-state (transistor) analog computer. It allowed the user to rapidly construct and modify analog electronic computing circuits. It did this by providing a baseline set of components and functions-- which could be readily interconnected--in a single enclosure. Almost any mathematical function could be simulated on this machine and analog computers were in wide use in several key industries (e.g. oil refining) until the early 1980s.
Interesting Web Sites
An e-mail from Daniel V. WilsonI have a suggestion for your list of links on analog computers. There is a nice online analog computer museum at http://dcoward.best.vwh.net/analog. I found it while looking on the web to see if my first employer, Electronic Associates Inc. of West Long Branch, NJ was still in business. In their heyday in the early 60's they had quite a selection of analog computers (see the pictures on the above web site). I worked there from 1977 to 1981 on power plant simulators. They were still making hybrid computers while I was there but the market was about gone. The company no longer seems to exist.
A story I was told while working at EAI: In the early part of the minicomputer era, engineers there developed a design for a general purpose minicomputer and built a prototype. People in the manufacturing section of the company said that it couldn't be made profitably. The engineers were then allowed to cart the prototype out the door AS JUNK. They went across the street (literally!) and successfully founded Interdata to manufacture and sell the EAI-designed machine. Interdata was ultimately bought by Perkin-Elmer.
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Updated May 30, 2003