The really powerful yet relatively affordable minicomputers, like the Digital Equipment Corp VAX computer, really came about in the mid 1970s. The much less affordable IBM 360 mainframe had been out about 10 years earlier, but not in broad use...I remember that in 1969 my bank (Wells Fargo) had to make phone calls from branch to branch 30 miles apart, simply to verify that I had enough money in my account to get a $20 cash withdrawal (back when $20 could buy 66 gallons of gas!).
Originally Posted by David Lyga
Not being an optical designer, I would have to guess about when computers became much more prevalent among lens designing companies, and more ownable outside government and defense circles. It seems that short ratio (2:1)zoom lenses became much better about the mid 70's, so I speculate that was the result of more computerization becoming part of the design process, rather than slide rules!
Last edited by wiltw; 11-19-2012 at 04:13 PM. Click to view previous post history.