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UNIVAC vs IBM (Anup C. Patel)
The MITRE Corporation
(computer, true, smirk)

This story was recently told by Dr. Carl Hammer, a pioneer in the 
computing field.  I may have mis-quoted the dates, but here it is anyway.

During the late 1950's and early 1960's Sperry-Rand and IBM were the two 
of the larger digital computer manufacturers.  At the time, the Nielson 
Co. (the poll-takers), was using IBM tabulating machines to do their 
forecasting.  The company was approached by Sperry in an attempt to sell a 
UNIVAC computer. 

Thomas Watson Sr., president of IBM heard about this and asked Nielson Sr. 
to drop by his office in New York.  (The Nielson Co. was based in the 
outskirt of Chicago I believe.  This shows the power IBM had at that 
time.)  The UNIVAC had started using magnetic tape as primary storage, 
while the tabulating machines used punched cards.

In convincing Nielson Sr. to stay with IBM, Watson Sr. used the following 
argument.  Calculating poll results required sorting and resorting of 
punched cards.  Watson Sr., with all his marketing savvy, told Nielson Sr. 
that in order to do the same thing on a magnetic tape system, someone 
would have to cut the tape to the same size as the cards, sort the pieces, 
and tape them all back together!!!

By the way, Nielson Sr. bought the story and canceled Sperry's order.

I.B.M. = I Believe in Marketing

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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