Hawkins discusses the computer projects he worked on at Harvard University as a technician. In 1940 he joined the Mark I project, a collaboration between Harvard and IBM. When the Mark I was placed in operation in 1943, Hawkins assumed a leading role in its maintenance. He describes the method for locating problems with the Mark I relays and identifies improvements made in the relay contacts enabling the machine to be run more reliably. He mentions project director Howard Aiken's dissatisfaction with the off-the-shelf components, counters, relays, card keys, and card punches, supplied by IBM. Hawkins also discusses the personality of Howard Aiken and his expectations of his staff.
Robert L. Hawkins, OH 64. Oral history interview by William Aspray, 20 February 1984, Barnstable, Massachusetts. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. http://purl.umn.edu/107348
Transcript, 20 pp.
Hawkins, Robert L..
Oral history interview with Robert Hawkins.
Charles Babbage Institute.
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