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The 1940s saw the birth of modern computing. With the advent of programming concepts and advances in vacuum tube technology, computers moved from mainly mechanical to electronic devices. However, even at this early stage of development, the seeds of major operational problems were becoming apparent.
In 1946, the first generally recognized computer, ENIAC, was developed. ENIAC could perform 5000 addition, 357 multiplication, or 38 division calculations a second. It covered 1800 square feet, and weighed 30 tons. ENIAC was considered a technological marvel for its use of vacuum tubes and its ground breaking performance. However, changing the programming took weeks, and maintenance was costly.
Two years later, several modifications were made to the ENIAC to simplify programming, increase performance, and ease maintenance. These modifications included converter code for serial operations and switches to control code selection. Of course, to use the new modifications, software, hardware, and maintenance procedures also had to be modified.
In 1949, the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation introduced the BINAC computer, which revolutionized the infant computing field with the introduction of magnetic tape media for data storage. BINAC represented a quantum leap for the fledgling computer industry, setting a pace for progress that continues to this day. However, in that space of three years, we had already discovered the first and most enduring headaches for IT professionals: upgrades and migrations.
This chapter describes some of the most common goals, motivators (drivers), benefits, and problems of any migration project. It contains the following sections:
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