LGP 30 Computer

Major collection: Science & Technology
Object type: computer
Maker: Royal McBee Corporation
Materials: metal; wire
Nomenclature: data processing tools and equipment - electronic devices
Classification: tools and equipment

The following is a quote from Professor Lorenz, 1979, for the "From Counting to Cognition" exhibit in the Compton Gallery: "The Statistical Forecasting Project in the Meteorology Department was established in the early 1950s to study the feasability of empirical weather prediction procedures. Besides processing considerable amounts of real weather data, we found that some of our theoretical ideas could best be tested by means of artificial data, generated by solving simple nonlinear differential equations numerically. To facilitate this work the project acquired in 1958, for its exclusive use, a Royal-McBee LGP-30 digital computer. For the following 15 years this was used for most of our computations. The LGP-30 has an internal memory of 4096 31-bit words. It has a single accumulator. Its language contains 16 single-address instructions. It is slow by modern standards; a multiplication requires 16 milliseconds. Nearly all of our programs were written in machine language. It was on this computer that the first systematic investigation of aperiodic solutions of simple systems of ordinary differential equations was performed, and the first "strange attractor" was discovered."


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