Honeywell H200 in Billion Dollar Brain (1967)

The Honeywell stands in as the titular billion dollar brain.

Importance: *****
The computer directs all the activities of the FFF.

Realism: **
The billion dollar brain displays capabilities that were simply not possible in the late 1960s.

Visibility: *****
The images in the film are the best photographic record I can find of this machine.

Comments:

Name

Comment


Year of feature (shown above)


Andrew L. Ayers

"The billion dollar brain displays capabilities that were simply not possible in the late 1960s." Hmm - I have never seen the movie, but I am curious as to what these "capabilities" were...?
2009-10-01 08:18


Bill Laing

"If my memory is correct, the actor actually pressed the correct buttons on the control panel to boot the card deck in. The picture here shows him entering 40 octal, then he pressed the bootstrap button." Your memory is better than mine then. I spent several years testing and repairing this range of computers circa 1970 at Honeywell's Newhouse plant in Scotland and you make just have pushed my recall button.
2017-07-26 14:02


Bill Laing

"If my memory is correct, the actor actually pressed the correct buttons on the control panel to boot the card deck in. The picture here shows him entering 40 octal, then he pressed the bootstrap button." Your memory is better than mine then. I spent several years testing and repairing this range of computers circa 1970 at Honeywell's Newhouse plant in Scotland and you make just have pushed my recall button.
2010-07-13 13:25


Peter

If my memory is correct, the actor actually pressed the correct buttons on the control panel to boot the card deck in. The picture here shows him entering 40 octal, then he pressed the bootstrap button.
2010-06-08 09:38


Peter Grange

If I recall correctly from seeing the film many years ago, the actor actually presses the correct buttons on the operator panel to bootload the card deck.
2017-07-26 14:02


Alan Jardine

Wasn't 41 the octal code for the card reader, 40 being for the tape system (which the guy is clearly setting up)? Also, the card punch / verifier is actually an IBM machine (model 026)? Further, the second row of buttons on the H200 control panel actually said "ADDRESS", not "HONEYWELL". Alan (at Honeywell Newhouse from 1965 - 1974).
2017-07-26 14:07


Alan Jardine

Wasn't 41 the octal code for the card reader, 40 being for the tape system (which the guy is clearly setting up)? Also, the card punch / verifier is actually an IBM machine (model 026)? Further, the second row of buttons on the H200 control panel actually said "ADDRESS", not "HONEYWELL". Alan (at Honeywell Newhouse from 1965 - 1974).
2017-07-26 14:07


Rob S

I am currently working on building a working replica of the Honeywell 200 and this film is a valuable source of colour images of one. I think I actually saw the film when it was released, at which time I was working as a Honeywell 200 programmer. Karl Malden actually entered octal 41, the standard channel number for the card reader, not 40 before he bootstrapped the machine. He clearly had to learn exactly which buttons to press as the machine wasn't capable of acting itself. I've no idea why he pressed the Enter button last though because that wouldn't have done anything. I don't think the machine was meant to be the titular brain as suggested as the Honeywell 200 was designed to be used as a front end device to a much more powerful computer in reality and that is how I see it being used in the film. I think the brain itself remained unidentified. Honeywell themselves had more powerful computers than the 200 at that time but the 200 was definitely photogenic and that's why it featured so prominently.
2013-02-15 19:02