Video Title: Computer Chronicles: Computers and the Pentagon - Part One (1986)
Description: "The world's biggest computer user is the U.S. government and the military in particular. This program reviews the military uses of computer technology. Shot on location at various research centers around the country. Featured are the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Advanced Decision Systems in Mountain View, California. Demonstrations include the Pilot's Assistant and the Battlefield Commander's Assistant. Also flight and battle simulators from Singer Link."
Date of Video: 1986
Color. Sound. Length (min:sec): 28:00.
Copyright Info: KCSM-TV (San Mateo, CA) & WITF-TV (Harrisburg, PA)

Creative Commons license: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs

Interesting Clips:
  • 2:00 role of military funding in computer research
  • 4:09 1950's footage about the Air Force's SAGE [Semi-Automatic Ground Environment] computer system
  • 4:55 1946 footage of ENIAC, the first general purpose electronic computer
  • 10:50 Visit to CMU Robotic Institute where Raj Reddy (Director of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University) explains the challenge of developing autonomous mobile robots. Demo of Terregator.
  • 17:44 Visit to Advanced Decision Systems where Brian McCune (V.P., Advanced Decision Systems) explains the challenges of building tactical expert systems that use artificial intelligence to aid decision making. Pilot's Assistant and Battlefield Commander's Assistant are demonstrated.
  • 22:30 Random Access: industry news including a report about a new IBM speech recognition system, and a computer system used by libraries in England, plus Paul Schindler's software review of XyWrite.
Location of Original:


  • 64Kb MPEG4 (dialup)
  • 256Kb MPEG4 (broadband)
  • HiRes MPEG4

Play / Download

  • 64Kb MPEG4 (33 MB)
  • 256Kb MPEG4 (73 MB)
  • HiRes MPEG4 (226 MB)
  • MPEG1 (306 MB)
  • MPEG2 (1.1 GB)

Computer Chronicles: Computers & the Pentagon - Part Two (1986)

Additional episodes of Computer Chronicles are available from the Internet Archive

Contributor: Jon Glick
Collections: OtherInstitutions


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