Computer or Lite Brite? -- Burroughs E101

Continuing the discussion from Saving “Antique” Computers:
One of the computers mentioned in the letter posted above is the Burroughs E101. I wasn’t familiar with it so I had to look it up. The first thing I thought of was the “Lite Brite” toy from long ago. The second thing I thought of was a scene from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” where students are drawing patterns in the mark sense test sheets.
Oh! You are probably wondering what I’m talking about. Here:
http://www.ruddcanaday.com/burroughs-e101/

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Since we had another recent discussion on the LGP-30, a comparison is easily made. Both share about the same part count (the E101 employs 160 vacuum tubes and 1,500 diodes, while the LGP-30 uses even a bit less of those, 113 vaccum tubes and 1,450 diodes) and a drum and were released about the same time, but – what a difference: 20 additions/sec on the E101 vs 400 on the LGP-30, 100 words vs 4K, and pegs vs software!

It marks quite an interesting point in history, when — apparently — there hadn’t been a clear idea of what the industry was shifting to in the near future, at the time this machine had been conceived. (It might be interesting, when this had been exactly. It could have started in the 1940s, being carefully developed over the course of a few years, or the machine could have been rushed to production quite the same.)

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Nice find! Worth clicking through to the 1954 discussion document (IEEE, but no paywall):
http://www.computer.org/csdl/proceedings/afips/1954/5045/00/50450050.pdf

Seems to be a bit like a programmable calculator: 10x the performance of a calculator for 3x the cost. Slower than a small computer but much cheaper. (I too bought a programmable calculator before I bought a computer!)

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Loosely related, I found this Burroughs ad (in Missiles and Rockets, Vol 5; May - Aug 1959, https://archive.org/stream/missilesrockets5195unse#page/n115/mode/2up) showing the lineup, including the E101:

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