Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#126} Thomas C. Mulholand Recently Passed.

To All LM - NB Readers,
Recently, I e-Mailed Tom Mulholand to ask if he could help us with Blog Post #124 regarding Librascope's disc memory history. Then, yesterday, I received the following e-mail from Steve, Tom's son-in-law, informing me of his passing last December. Tom was 87.

My name is Steve Goodkin and I am Tom's son-in-law. I am sorry to have to tell you that Tom passed away in Las Vegas on December 15th. His wife, Corky, has moved up to Oregon to be near her daughter, Linda.

A search of all our on-line Librazettes found Tom mentioned in several issues. A brief summary follows.
  • May, 1972 - Elected “Trip Chairman” of the Librascope Ski Club.
  • July, 1974 - Blood Donor List.
  • November, 1975 - Appointed Program Manager of Computer Products. Formerly a Senior Quality Control Engineer at Librascope, Tom came to Librascope five years ago (1970) from Ocean Technology where he was QA Manager. He received a BSEE from the American Television Institute of Technology in Chicago.
  • November, 1976 - Ski Club President.
  • July, 1977 - Re-elected Ski Club President.
  • March, 1979 - Ski Club Treasurer;
  • April, 1980 - 10 Year Libravet Award.
  • March and July, 1990 - 20 Year Libravet Award (Operations).

Saturday, July 11, 2015

#125) L-2010 Included In New Small Computer History Book

In February, I received a request for information about the Librascope L-2010 Portable General Purpose Digital Computer from Evan Koblentz, a computer historian and technology journalist based at the InfoAge Science Center, in New Jersey. Evan was writing a book about the history of "portable" computing and needed more information about the L-2010, a 1962 desktop computer with one of the first flying head disc memories.  He first learned of the L-2010 on our Librascope Memories website.

Key members of the L-2010 development team, including Roy Bartlome, Grey Stone, and Marty Rudolf all kindly provided Evan with the "behind the scenes" information he needed for his new book. The illustrated 100 page book is titled "Abacus to smartphone: The evolution of mobile computers", and is available on both his website (click here), and Amazon. The print version is $19.99, and an electronic (PDF) version is $8.00.

This unique history book includes a good variety of innovative computer companies and their products that older engineers will remember, plus a few they probably never heard of. Most will conclude the book provides a good balance between completeness and brevity, which makes it an interesting fast read.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

#124) Your Help Requested - Librascope Disc Memory History?

Nearly 60 years ago, Librascope and IBM were pioneers in the development of rotating disc memories that eventually led to the ubiquitous Terabyte disc memories used in personal computers today. Unfortunately, Librascope's contributions were not well documented, and we need your help. If you, or someone you know of, is familiar with Librascope's rotating disk memory development history during the late 1950's and early 1960's, please read on.

Last month I received an inquiry about Librascope's early rotating disc memories from Tom Gardner, a consultant associated with the Computer History Museum in the San Francisco Bay area. He also maintains a detailed website (click here) where, amongst other things, he documents the timeline for the history of disc memory development since 1956. However, Librascope's important contributions are not yet included, and Tom wishes to correct that.

From 1956 to 1967, the timeline only mentions IBM's contributions. However, from early 1960's advertisements in the trade magazines, we know that Librascope, along with IBM, was one of the first disc memory pioneers. Several of these early ('50's and '60's) advertisements are published on the Librascope Memories website. Click here and scroll through the various ads, and you will find many of them.

Tom has several specific questions, but he is especially interested in the Librascope L100 and L200 Disc Memory Series, which was advertised in the July, 1963 issue of Datamation. He also believes that a minor variation of this series was used in the ill-fated Librascope L-2010 Portable General-Purpose Digital Computer in 1962. If you, or someone you know of, can possibly help Tom, please contact him at: , and please copy me at: