McDonald focuses on early computing activities at Remington Rand after discussing his own career: his undergraduate education in electrical engineering and business at the University of Minnesota and his graduate work at Iowa State and the University of Chicago; his years during the Second World War in the Navy; and his employment with Northwest and Braniff airlines before joining Remington Rand's computer operations in 1953. McDonald discusses at length the Remington Rand organization: business strategies, upper level management, marketing, allocation of resources, product development, and the decentralized nature of operations. The differences between commercial and government projects and the tensions between two divisions of the Remington Rand, Eckert-Mauchly and Engineering Research Associates, are also discussed. McDonald mentions the efforts of Charles Green of Sperry, who tried to integrate ERA into the Sperry-Rand organization after the Sperry merger with Remington Rand. He mentions the influence of outside consultants on Remington Rand and IBM, and the influence of ex-IBMers on the Sperry Rand organization. He concludes by contrasting Remington Rand and IBM.
Robert Emmett McDonald, OH 45. Oral history interview by James Baker Ross, 16 December 1982, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. http://purl.umn.edu/107481
Transcript, 54 pp.
McDonald, Robert Emmett.
Oral history interview with Robert Emmett McDonald.
Charles Babbage Institute.
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