David Boslaugh is the originator of a series of topic articles on the history of the Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS), the first digital computer based weapon system to go aboard U.S. Navy ships. NTDS was conceived in 1955 and finished at-sea evaluation in 1962, when it was approved for service use. The first computers used in the Naval Tactical Data System were essentially transistorized versions of secret Navy codebreaking computers.
Boslaugh went on active navy duty in 1955 and for most of his 30-year navy career was a naval engineering duty officer specializing in computer systems engineering. From 1962 to 1967 he was assigned as an assistant project officer in the NTDS project office in the Bureau of Ships. Most of his subsequent duty assignments involved application of digital computers to navy weapon systems, and his final navy assignment was as director of the Navy Tactical Embedded Computer Program Office at Naval Material Command Headquarters. In this assignment he was in charge of developing standard navy tactical computers, operator displays, signal processors, and peripheral equipment for use by all project offices in the navy developing digital systems in surface ships, submarines, and aircraft. He was also responsible for developing navy standard support software, programming languages, and standard tactical computer programming practices.
He is author of the book When Computers Went to Sea, the Digitization of the United States Navy.