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AN/FSQ-7: the computer that shaped the Cold War by Bernd Ulmann

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7 Drum system

As pioneered in Whirlwind, the AN/FSQ-7 relied on magnetic drums to decouple the operations of the central computer system itself and the variety of asynchronously operating input /output equipment. In addition to this, magnetic drums were used as swap space for programs from core memory –another first of this remarkable machine. Figure 7.1 shows the front view of a frame holding six magnetic drums in the lower half, while the upper half is occupied by the necessary read/write-amplifiers and associated circuitry. All in all twelve magnetic drums were used in an AN/FSQ-7 installation:

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Figure 7.1: Front view of the drum section (courtesy ...

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