China Shuns Free Market
It appears that the Chinese believe the economic world will revolve around them because their huge population gives them enormous potential as a market for goods and services (Joining WTO Means Playing By Global Rules, April 5).
The key word here is potential.
China has the population, but it doesn't have consumption, because it's still a Third World country. Its economy nearly doubled in size when it reincorporated the small island territory of Hong Kong with the mainland, but it's loath to adopt the free-market economics that Hong Kong brings with it, in favor of the old communist method of directing from the center. Stephen Wyman
Network Specialist, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas
A Look Back At Mainframes
I programmed for mainframes early in my IT career (Modern Machinery, March 29). I wrote programs for the IBM 704. Its predecessor was the IBM 701, which may have been the first IBM mainframe. The IBM 704 was succeeded by the 709 and the 7040/7090. These were for scientific computing; there was a set of mainframes related to commercial computing, one of which was the IBM 705. The System/360 came later.
In 1965, software development for the System/360 was behind schedule, and numerous unrelated projects in IBM's Programming System Division had to be aborted in order to provide the needed funding. George Sutton
Harrington Park, N.J.
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