why did businesses switch to mainframe computers from punch card accounting machines?
computers were faster
didn't want to fall behind (in order to look modern)
IBM's first mainframes were popular because of a better printer
but it was all batch processing

Project Wirlwind developed something much more revolutionary--real time data processing and control
started with the idea, got funding for a pilot trainer
had to invent all their own components, and much faster and more reliable components than anyone else was developing
key invention--magnetic core memory
mission shifted from pilot trainer to air defense early warning system
pioneered getting info from computer via a screen instead of a printer

airline reservation systems needed real time computers
they didn't have an existing automated system so the new technology came in easily