Betty Cuniberti's interesting story on the 150th anniversary of the National Library of Medicine mentions the computer system that provides electronic access to more than 6 million medical articles. In these days of consumer and legislator concern about the questionable quality of some computer software, it's worth pointing out that the basic computer software used in that Library of Medicine system was installed 16 years ago, in 1970, and has been providing rock-steady, high-volume service to users around the world ever since.
The programmers who wrote the complex software for the library's on-line computer system 16 years ago in Santa Monica are Donald A. Blankenship and Robert C. Burket. They are still in Santa Monica, working away at a new generation of information-retrieval and database-management software. Their latest programs haven't had a chance to run for 16 years yet, but I bet they will.
CARLOS A. CUADRA