|27 Aug 2011||#1|
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General state of computer usage" Part 2
See my first post "General state of computer usage"
To my surprise the response to my rant was overwhelming, Thanx!
I said my first Computer was a Trash 80 from Radio Shack. I meant that it was my first personal computer for home use.
When President Kennedy said "We will go to the moon in this decade(1960s)"
It started the computer revolution. Luckily, I was in the very important fringe of it. I was in the industry that had to create the incredibly accurate “Machines tools” that made the parts for the missiles.
The Machine Tools at the time struggled to make parts that held to a tolerance of .0001 of an inch. The missile industry had to have parts that were made to a tolerance of .00001 of an inch! Impossible!
The only machine tools that could hold a tolerance of just .0001 were "Jig Boring" machine from Switzerland. These had to be operated “Manually” by highly skilled & highly paid humans, reading a “Blueprint”.
There was no way could the US get to the moon under these conditions. There had to be a better way! That one 0 in the tolerance made the difference in hitting the moon or not.
Electronic controlled Machine Tools & Computers were in the future.
The specifications for a Machine Tool to make parts for the Missile Program Called for a dimensional tolerance of +- .00001 inch in a 1 meter cube. (Notice the mixed measurements. It would later havoc.)
The Machine Tool industry responded! I was personally involved in designing some of the first space age Machine Tools.
The first problem was the machine itself. It had to have .00001 accurate movements in all 3 axis of movement, X, Y, Z (in & out, left & right, up & down) It had to be friction free! Metal to metal sliding parts could not provide this. The Automotive Industry had "Ball Screws" for the steering mechanisms. The "Ballscrew" industry provided the extra precision Ballscrews. These were not good enough & were compensated for in the "Software". A term not yet invented.
Pads called "Roller Slides" were invented & used on all three axis of motion. The part that was to be machined was mounted on the work table on the XY axis & the Z axis on a vertical Roller Slide. We now had a Machine Tool that was almost "Stiction". ( a word created to describe the force required to move an object from at rest, to movement. See Wikipedia)
Great! Now how do we replace the manual operator that can not possibly mnually operate the Machine Tool to tolerance of .00001!
The answer, “Hydraulics & Electronics".
See next post of "General state of computer usage 3"
Bored Yet? Part 3, finally we get to the “Computer Part”
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