More Than A Stretch!
Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Heterosexual, First, Slow, School,
Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Introduction - The "Bits and Bytes" universe was introduced by Asa Strong with his "Bits, Bytes and Life" (BB&L) story, and much of this story takes place at the same government agency in the same time frame. There is more emphasis on computer hardware design. It is also the story of two young engineers. Steve works for the agency, and Sandy works for IBM. Most of the story takes place in Washington (at the agency) or Poughkeepsie N. Y. (at IBM).
This is a story in the "Bits and Bytes" universe introduced by Asa Strong with his "Bits, Bytes and Life" (BB&L) story. It takes place in the same time frame, and a good bit of the story is centered on the agency that figures in that story. For an overview of what computing was like at that time, see the introduction to BB&L.
This story would not have been possible without the help of my editors - Asa Strong <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Wexwiz <email@example.com>.
The next few paragraphs go into a fair amount of technical details about the IBM 7030; please don't worry if it just seems like technobabble to you.
Unlike BB&L, there is more emphasis on the hardware - specifically the definition and development of a specialized extension to the IBM 7030. The 7030 was generally known as "Stretch" in recognition of an internal series of "Stretch memos" in which many possible approaches of achieving a "performance of 100 to 200 times the 704" (a vacuum tube machine). The actual design ended up missing this target significantly; IBM was forced to cut the price from $13.5 million to $7.78 million, and did not market it to any customers beyond those who had been in negotiations. A total of eight machines were built.
One of these machines went to NSA. Because they also got a specialized attached processor, that system was renumbered as the IBM 7950 (known as Harvest). For many years, very little information was publicly available about this system (not surprising, considering the customer!) but by now some has emerged.
Because of the missed performance goal (although the 7030 was still the world's most powerful supercomputer from when it was finally introduced in 1961 until 1964) and IBM's need to cut the price by almost 50%, the program manager spent time in the "penalty box". In later years, many of the concepts developed for Stretch found their way into the System/360 product line and Stretch finally became respectable.
These concepts included:
+ Memory Error Detection and Correction
+ Memory Interleaving
+ Memory Protection
+ Immediate operands
+ Instruction prefetch
+ Operand prefetch
+ Speculative Execution
+ Write buffer
+ Result forwarding
This story takes many liberties with the actual development of Harvest (in the story, I call it "Reaper") and the schedule; in particular the specifications for Harvest appeared in 1957 and it was delivered in 1962. I have brutally compressed this time interval. I do realize that the resulting schedule is totally unrealistic (and plead author's license). My apologies to the many hardworking IBM engineers who had enough trouble meeting the real schedules.
It is also the story of two young engineers. Steve works for the agency, and Sandy works for IBM. Most of the story takes place either in Washington (at the agency) or Poughkeepsie N. Y. (at IBM).
DISCLAIMER: I never worked on or near Stretch, and never even saw one. All of of the technical information above is readily available on the web; type "IBM 7030" into a search engine. If you can find, a copy of the book by Werner Buchholz, editor. Planning A Computer System, McGraw-Hill, 1962 might be interesting.
All characters in this story are fictitious and any resemblance to real people is totally a coincidence. Many places are real; some were invented for this story.