“If the brave captains are Colaninno and Tronchetti Provera then I prefer the state holdings. So a liberal in economics, like me, I am to say three cheers for the state holdings .” So is expressed Carlo De Benedetti by Giovanni Minoli Mix24 on Radio 24 on the history of Olivetti.
Last night Rai Uno – public television channel – has launched a TV movie on Adriano Olivetti to remind one of Italy‘s most famous entrepreneurs , both for its willingness to improve their own businesses but also for his vision of a country more respectful the needs of citizens . “I invented the Omnitel – De Benedetti continues to Radio 24 – the only computer company in the world that entered the telecommunications and it was not something obvious.
Then, when the Omnitel – Vodafone today – was later sold by Colannino to Mannesmann, which then in turn was bought by Vodafone, I should mention that the Olivetti was the most liquid company in Italy. So much so that Colaninno allowed himself to do – and I have objected to him in writing – the Opa who signed the end of the Telecom Telecom . ” – Continued De Benedetti to Mix24 of Minoli : ” zero Industrial strategies . Colaninno used the cash to begin the destruction of Olivetti and Telecom that then was achieved with great intensity and inability by Tronchetti . E De Benedetti concludes at Radio 24 ” Hooray state holdings !”
ADRIANO OLIVETTI, ENRICO CUCCIA e VITTORIO VALLETTA
“The sale of the electronics division of Olivetti to the Americans, took place for the first, for the objective financial inability Olivetti that was too small and would never have had the strength to do it alone, and second, the Americans. Valletta was that Cuccia asked to condition the help of the Americans who Olivetti needed, especially after the death of Hadrian and the quarrels of the family, and the Americans imposed to sell Olivetti at General Electric. Cuccia and Valletta were terminal American interests in Italy. Valletta for the Americans was the contact person for their representation, so … let’s call it. “
“MARIO TCHOU, INVENTOR OF COMPUTER ELEA FOR OLIVETTI WAS KILLED BY U.S. INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES“
“The engineer Mario Tchou was the head of the laboratory of Olivetti in Pisa dedicated to computers, and Tchou was the father of Elea, the first and largest computer in the world, born even before of IBM computers . Mario Tchou Died in a tragic accident on the Milan-Turin but in Olivetti was the belief that he was killed by U.S. intelligence agencies. “This is the memory of Carlo De Benedetti in Mix24 by Giovanni Minoli on Radio 24, the history of Olivetti and of the tragic death of the engineer Mario Tchou who invented , much before IBM, the largest computer in the world, named Elea .
A portrait of Mario Tchou
On November 9, 2011, fell on the 50th Anniversary of the death of Mario Tchou, whose professional history intersects with the Olivetti and his heyday with the development of the project Elea. To recall the figure of Mario Tchou and the challenge computing Italian, November 23, 2011 in Milan, at the headquarters of FAST, have gathered some of his closest collaborators.
Mario Tchou was born in Rome in 1924, the son of a Chinese diplomat at the Vatican. Growing up in the capital, he obtained a classical education at the high school “Tasso” in ’42. He then enrolled in the course of Industrial Engineering (electrical section) and in ’45, after winning a scholarship, he moved to Washington where he graduated in ’47. He then moved to New York where he specialized at the Brooklyn Polytechnic with a thesis entitled “Ultrasonic Diffraction”  . At the age of 28 he was awarded a professorship in Electrical Engineering from the prestigious Columbia University in New York, where he also directed the research laboratories.
Meanwhile, the brothers Adriano Olivetti and Dino were convinced of the need to invest in projects of electronics. It was made up as a laboratory in Connecticut, directed by Michele Canepa (collaborator Mauro Picone), but did not give the expected results. Adriano Olivetti then decided to contact the promising young engineer Tchou, who met in New York in 1954. Adriano Olivetti was thrilled by the encounter because the engineer, to whom immediately recognized a strong curiosity and leadership skills, he was one of the few scholars and connoisseurs of modern computers. Mario Tchou accepted the proposal of the Olivetti run labs for the study and design of an Italian computer of scientific interest, but especially commercial, and in ’55 he returned to Italy, more precisely in Barbacina, village at the gates of Pisa, where they were fate laboratories funded by the University of Pisa and Olivetti.In 1954, the provinces and the municipalities of Pisa, Livorno and Lucca had allocated 150 million dollars for the construction of a synchrotron but, at the suggestion of Enrico Fermi, the amount was later hijacked the project Electronic Calculator Pisa (CEP). With the arrival of Tchou project was born in Pisa Elea (computer-Auto).
innovation is the idea behind the industrial method of Tchou. In the laboratory of Barbacina picked the best brains that had to comply with a mandatory feature: being young. In an interview with journal “Paese Sera” motivated the approach by saying that “new things are made only with the youth.
Only the young would toss in with enthusiasm, and work together in harmony without personalisms, and without barriers arising from a mindset customary “  .
As noted during the meeting FAST Giuseppe Calogero, a former staff director of the project Elea Tchou played thousands of interviews and selections, and in particular met hundreds of young graduates who would become the first Italian programmers. t was a professional skill non-existent in those days, which made the adventure even more fascinating information. To confirm this is the testimony of John Palermo in September 1959, just graduated at the Technical Institute of Milan, Feltrinelli (in the first class of Electronics), claimed an interview with Mario Tchou own. Palermo recalled that the meeting was very pleasant and not at all conventional, with Tchou more interested in making him understand his ideas and projects rather than probe the school knowledge he acquired.
The theoretical project on which to base the research was the famous von Neumann machine, but – as he told Filippazzi Franco, one of the “youth group of Barbacina” – immediately posed problems: the first was to describe the logical framework (task of the new programmers), the second was the realization by means of electronic circuits and consequently the choice of which technology to apply. After just two years of study and work, in the spring of 1957, the team realized the zero machine called Elea 9001: a prototype thermoionic valves, free wires and a part in germanium transistors .
Mario Tchou, however, was convinced of the need to switch from the signal amplification by system signal amplification by thermoionic valves (whose operation is similar to that of a light bulb, but with more metallic elements arranged in a grid), already applied in some computers abroad , which required high temperatures, large energies and large spaces to that through the use of transistors. Another problem concerned the machine’s memory. Again, there were many technologies as possible, but still unknown in detail. Tchou had the merit of choosing the magnetic cores, ferrite rings that is crossed by four wires crossed. Thus was born the Elea 9002, faster than the previous prototype that used silicon transistors for the management of the tape drive, which remains the most reliable and manageable compared to the valves .
At this point, Mario Tchou, and Roberto Olivetti, son of Hadrian, decided to transfer the laboratory in a location logistically more suitable for industrial production. So Adriano Olivetti in 1958 settled in the Laboratory Elea Borgolombardo, not far from Milan and not in the historical site of Ivrea, which remained the capital instead of the electromechanical sector. The same year he was completing the Elea 9003, which was the first commercial computer in the world totally transistor. The logic of the machine was equipped with parallel processing capabilities and was able to perform up to three programs simultaneously. In addition, the design (designed by architect Ettore Sottsass) was innovative, elegant and functional with compact modules on a human scale so as to make maintenance easier. For the construction of the computers were necessary over 300,000 transistors and diodes for each computer, and this convinced Adriano Olivetti to achieve a foundry, referred to as Company General Semiconductor, in cooperation with the company Telettra. The SGS will become in the future that still STMicroelectronics is a leading company in the world in the production of electronic components  .
Lucio Borriello, an engineer who worked all’Elea since the beginning, said that the idea of marketing the computer was one of the prerogatives of the project and therefore, in addition to studies on the hardware of the machine, also focused on the supports needed. Elea 9003 was equipped with input devices such as a reader of punch cards, paper tape reader, a keyboard and output tools such as a drill cards, magnetic tapes, printers and modems for data transmission.
On November 8, 1959 in Milan, in the presence of President John Gronkowski, took place the inauguration of Elea 9003  , produced and marketed in about 40 copies, the first of which installed the Marzotto Valdagno (VI) and the second to the bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena. This specimen is preserved and still in use ITIS “Enrico Fermi” Bibbiena (AR).
On February 27, 1960 Adriano Olivetti dies of a sudden illness while is traveling to Switzerland and the family, which is divided into five branches, clash in managing the company. Just one year later, November 9, 1961, Mario Tchou dies in a car accident on the way to Ivrea to discuss the design of a new electronic calculator with transistor based on a new software. His death marked the end of the project Elea and, with the transfer of laboratory Borgolombardo at General Electric, also of this pioneering adventure entirely Italian of the story about the birth of computer.
 Franco Filippazzi, Elea: history of an industrial challenge, PRISTEM / History no. 12-13, 50 years of Information Technology in Italy, Centro PRISTEM-Bocconi University, Milano, 2006
 Franco Filippazzi The Olivetti computers in the years 1950-1960, University of Udine, May 21, 2008
 Joseph Rao, Mario Tchou and Olivetti Elea 9003, PRISTEM / History no. 12-13, 50 years of Information Technology in Italy, Centro PRISTEM-Bocconi University, Milano, 2006
 Joseph Rao, happened 50 years ago …, matematica.unibocconi.it (Center PRISTEM-Bocconi University), 2009