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By Charles P. Bourne

Each box of historical past has a uncomplicated desire for a close chronology of what occurred: who did what while. within the absence of this type of source, fanciful debts flourish. This publication presents a wealthy narrative of the early improvement of on-line details retrieval platforms and companies, from 1963 to 1976--a interval vital to a person who makes use of a seek engine, on-line catalog, or huge database. Drawing on own adventure, vast learn, and interviews with some of the key individuals, the booklet describes the members, tasks, and associations of the interval. It additionally corrects many universal error and misconceptions and gives milestones for lots of of the numerous advancements in on-line platforms and expertise.

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Additional info for A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976

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We could not find any evidence that SATIRE actually operated in an online mode. Roach described SATIRE at an IBM IR workshop in San Jose, California, in March 1963. He was identified as head of SDC Information Services in Paramus, New Jersey. Workshop participants included several IBM representatives active in computerized information processing. A class picture of this interesting and influential group Chapter 2 shows several other developers who later demonstrated their systems (Bourne at SRI in September 1963, Summit at Lockheed in 1964–1965, and Freeman at AIP in 1965).

It is an on-line system that attempts to parse a sentence, submit the result to a human, and only after the human accepts or corrects the analysis adds the newly computed word classes to its dictionary. This system, in conjunction with the on-line operating capability offered by the ARPA/SDC time-sharing system, for the first time allows a protosynthex to bypass (and eventually to solve) the problems raised by ambiguous syntactic analyses. This hints at an online aspect to the parsing program, but perhaps only as a research tool for building the language analysis tools, not for retrieving relevant text, which would have been a more complex retrieval process than Boolean term matching.

However, its total “fast access” storage capacity was far less than would be considered adequate in today’s personal computers. The Q-32 resources were available to SRI at limited intervals on a time-shared basis. SDC’s TSS-0 time-sharing system, which had just become operational in June 1963 with a capacity to handle thirty-four simultaneous users, imposed restrictions on the SRI software, such as limiting the total amount of core memory to 16,383 words out of the 65,000 words possible, providing limited drum memory; and limiting the number of tape transports to one in an online mode.

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