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

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14 Failure or Success?

As impressive as SAGE with its marvelous duplex AN/FSQ-7 and AN/FSQ-8 computers was, there was always harsh criticism from various sides: Some claimed that SAGE was a waste of taxpayer’s money with all of its “gold plated” equipment, while others called it a complete failure, incapable of performing the air defense task. Still others marvel at the technologies developed for SAGE and think of it as a good investment in the future of a whole industry. The following sections will shed some light on both sides of the coin.

14.1 A failure?

In some respect, SAGE was outdated even after its commissioning in 1958 as the main threat of air defense had already shifted from long range bombers equipped with thermonuclear weapons ...

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