The Holmdel Computer Center – AT&T archives

There’s some interesting artwork on the timeshare computer…reminds me of the “nose art” on military aircraft. In my archival research I’ve come across a few instances of pinup-type material,¬†especially ASCII art printouts.

The video below is from 1973, slightly after the timeframe of my research, but certainly interesting.

The Holmdel Computer Center, Part 1 — AT&T Archives

The year was 1973, and the computer operating system UNIX, invented at Bell Labs by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, had just morphed into its third iteration or improvement, and had just been rewritten in the C programming language.
This film, made as an orientation for the computer center at the Bell Labs Holmdel location, is a rare glimpse into the operations and procedures of an early 1970s research-oriented computing center. And as the 1973 Holmdel Computer Center only had IBM computers, it wasn’t running a UNIX installation: the system was only ported to IBM computers in the years to come. In 1973, UNIX as a system was limited to installations on DEC computers, and there were UNIX installations at other locations of Bell Laboratories such as Indian Hill, Whippany, and, of course, Murray Hill (where UNIX and C were developed).
Computers in the Bell System weren’t just relegated to computer science or the development of computer language. They were employed for all kinds of complex engineering calculations, telecommunications applications, and, very occasionally, for making art and music.