Oral history interview with Calvin N. Mooers and Charlotte D. Mooers

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Oral history interview with Calvin N. Mooers and Charlotte D. Mooers

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Charles Babbage Institute


Oral History


Calvin and Charlotte Mooers discuss their association with information retrieval and programming language research from World War II through the early 1990s. Calvin Mooers describes his work in the Naval Ordnance Laboratory (NOL) computer project and his decision to leave NOL for graduate school at MIT. He discusses his development of Zatocoding, an information retrieval system, after discussions with J. W. Perry in 1948. Mooers recalls the formation of the Zator Company in 1949 and his attempts to patent and market his system. He discusses how his frustration in the field of information retrieval led him to explore other interests and the shift in Zator's focus to research with the addition of Raymond J. Solomonoff in 1957. Mooers discusses the research advantages gained through the organization of the Rockford Research Institute, Inc. He describes Solomonoff's continued research in inductive inference (artificial intelligence), his development and attempts to market the TRAC programming language, and his work with Eugene Stuart Fergusson on ASCII standards. Mooers discusses his involvement with Data Concepts in the late 1970s to use TRAC to develop a software package that printed insurance policies. He recalls the company's dissolution in 1983 although the software, SIMPL!E, had been completed. Mooers describes his redefinition of TRAC into TRAC-2 and attempts to market TRAC-2 following his work with Data Concepts. The Mooers conclude the interview with a brief discussion of his current projects related to TRAC and writing vignettes on the history of computing.


Transcript, 30 pp. Audio file available at http://purl.umn.edu/96202

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Calvin N. Mooers and Charlotte Davis Mooers, OH 254. Oral history interview by Kevin D. Corbitt, 22 June 1993, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. http://purl.umn.edu/107510

Suggested citation

Mooers, Charlotte Davis, 1924-; Mooers, Calvin N., 1919-. (1993). Oral history interview with Calvin N. Mooers and Charlotte D. Mooers. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/107510.

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