Although I was master of the IBM 650, there was a bigger, more powerful machine on the horizon: the IBM 704. I moved to Los Angeles to work with 704 programmers who couldn’t care less about my skill at placing instructions in optimal locations on the 650’ s main memory drum. That’s how the plateau stage begins to crumble—with the introduction of some foreign element. My ﬁrst reaction was typical: I tried to reject the foreign element. I argued that drum memory was superior to core memory, that decimal coding was intrinsically superior to binary. I still remember how I felt when they laughed.
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