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Computers at sea

First Computer at Sea

In 1961, WHOI scientist emeritus Carl Bowin was tasked with putting the first computer on a WHOI research ship. He initially rented computers because it was too expensive to buy them. "We paid monthly fees for an IBM maintenance guy to go to sea with us," he said. "It was very costly. Also the research vessel Chain did not have air conditioning at the time. We had to build a special room within the main lab which was air-conditioned for the computers.” The computer room soon became a popular hangout, especially on cruises in the tropics.

(Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Archives)


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