Pros and cons of BESM-6


I read that computer research in the Soviet Union lagged behind the US because in them 1950s some politburo member got wind of a popular essay published by Norbert Weiner of MIT that proclaimed that the ultimate goal of AI was the replacement of human workers and the reduction of human toil. The party member interpreted this as anti-worker, and it became very difficult for Soviet scientists to get approval for computer purchases or research projects for several decades.

oops had this in draft but hadn’t posted it: Lots of details in there, including: having to use floating point for address calculations; needing to run hour-long programs on a machine with MTBF of 15mins.