I knew both John Cocke and Gene Amdahl very well when I was at IBM on the Strecth and ACS projects. This is a story about them. I was not in attendance but it fits both of their profiles and I have heard compatible versions of the story from some that were there.

Gene was giving an internal talk on computer implementations techniques and mentioned the obvious ‘theoretical’ limit of executing one instruction per clock cycle. John was there and the limit was a new notion to him, and later a challenge. Subsequently John credited Gene for the inspiration of what came to be known as ‘superscalar’ processors. The ACS was to have been a superscalar machine. John and Gene both contributed to that project.