Sure enough, surplus sections of the SAGE system were seen in "Lost In Space",
"The Time Tunnel", "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.", "Get Smart" and many other
shows. Here is a site with screenshots of them:
The AN/FSQ-7 on TV and in
When SABRE first came online in 1960, it ran on an IBM 7090 computer, which
was in essence a transistorized version of SAGE's massive vacuum tube-based
AN/FSQ-7. A 7090 can be seen in the fictional Burpelson Air Force Base
of "Dr. Strangelove".
IBM 7090s. Upper left: Peter Sellers as Group Captain
Mandrake getting some bad news in the Burpelson Air Force Base computer room;
Upper right: Strategic Air Command (photo courtesy of
Everyone); Above: SABRE's twin 7090s in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. pre-Tulsa
(photo from "Programming Real-Time Systems" by
James Martin, 1965). A former
colleague, Chuck Anderson, told me that the fellow seen at the console in
this publicity photo was Mike O'Flaherty.
One of the architects of SAGE was the colorful and brilliant mathematician,
John von Neumann.
A consultant to the RAND Corporation with an aggressive stance on the nascent
Cold War and confined to a wheelchair later in life, he may have been one
of director Stanley Kubrick's models for the character of Dr. Strangelove,
along with Herman Kahn, Wernher von Braun, and Edward Teller.
Other Kubrick/7090 connections: the song "Daisy, Daisy" was programmed as
for the 7090 in 1961. This robotic performance was the inspiration for HAL
9000's rendition in "2001: A Space Odyssey".
I might also note that "HAL 9000" sounds like an advanced version of "IBM
7090", even to the detail that the letters H-A-L are just ahead of the
letters I-B-M in alphabetical order. However, that detail was explicitly
disavowed as a coincidence by "2001" co-writer Arthur C. Clarke.
SABRE's Strangelovian Tulsa underground bunker (called "the hole" by employees)
was designed with a several-feet-thick shielded and reinforced concrete shell
like its predecessor SAGE installations. The secure 3-acre complex could
survive on its own air, water and power supplies for some time.
I worked down there for several years myself. Getting to my desk every day
always reminded me of the down-the-rabbit-hole opening of "Get Smart" (an