General Electric built a range of computers in the early years of computers: smaller computers for military and aerospace applications; mainframes; and it was also involved in commercial data processing (notably check processing for the Bank of America). GE eventually decided to leave the computer business (probably a smart call; the computer business was not a good fit to its corporate culture), and sold its computer division to Honeywell in 1970.
Work on computers in GE started in the Electronics Laboratory, part of the Electronics Division, in Syracuse, New York. When GE entered the commercial data processing field, Phoenix was chosen as the location for the Computer Department, which (after some complex internal politics in GE) was set up to handle that business. Its Deer Valley plant in Phoenix was built in 1958. GE larger systems hardware (which was descended from the machines built for the Bank of America) was built in Phoenix, starting with the GE-225. Other groups eventually moved to Phoenix too; the 635 group moved to Phoenix in 1964. The GE Large Systems department eventually moved in 1968 (after a retrograde move in 1967, when the 645 group was moved from Phoenix to Syracuse to be closer to MIT).
- George E. Snively, General Electric Enters the Computer Business, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.10, no. 1, pp. 74-78, 1988.
- John A. N. Lee, The Rise and Fall of the General Electric Corporation Computer Department, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 17, no. 4: Winter 1995, pp. 24-45 (this may contain an error; on pg. 37, footnote 29 says "the second [DTSS] system was implemented on the GE 645" - this is probably wrong, a 645 would be extreme overkill; other sources say it was a 635)
- H. R. Oldfield, General Electric Enters the Computer Business — Revisited, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 17, no. 4: Winter 1995, pp. 46-55
- John Couleur, The Core of the Black Canyon Computer Corporation, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 17, no. 4: Winter 1995, pp. 56-60
- John A. N. Lee, George E. Snively, The Rise and Sale of the General Electric Computer Department: A Further Look, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 22, no. 2: April-June 2000, pp. 53-60
- H. R. Oldfield, King of the Seven Dwarfs: General Electric’s Ambiguous Challenge to the Computer Industry, IEEE Press, Los Alamitos, 1996
- General Electric Computer History
- The True Tale of the Computer Department
- Snively's corrections to King of the Seven Dwarfs
- From GECOS to GCOS8: A History of Large Systems in GE, Honeywell, NEC and Bull - Part 1: General Electric
- General Electric Computer Department from the bottom up: 1961 through 1965