September 27, 2004 to October 1, 2004
Interlaken, Switzerland
Europe/Zurich timezone

50 years of Computing at CERN

Sep 27, 2004, 9:30 AM
Kongress-Saal (Interlaken, Switzerland)


Interlaken, Switzerland

oral presentation Plenary Sessions Plenary


David Williams


"Where are your Wares" Computing in the broadest sense has a long history, and Babbage (1791-1871), Hollerith (1860-1929) Zuse (1910-1995), many other early pioneers, and the wartime code breakers, all made important breakthroughs. CERN was founded as the first valve-based digital computers were coming onto the market. I will consider 50 years of Computing at CERN from the following viewpoints:- Where did we come from? What happened? Who was involved? Which wares (hardware, software, netware, peopleware and now middleware) were important? Where did computers (not) end up in a physics lab? What has been the impact of computing on particle physics? What about the impact of particle physics computing on other sciences? And the impact of our computing outside the scientific realm? I hope to conclude by looking at where we are going, and by reflecting on why computing is likely to remain challenging for a long time yet. The topic is so vast that my remarks are likely to be either prejudiced or trivial, or both.

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