28 posts tagged with Computer and History. (View popular tags)
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Programming stories

For your Sunday reading, a couple of stories of ye olden computing days: Why MacPaint's Original Canvas was 416 Pixels Wide and A Great Old Timey Game Programming Hack.
posted by curious nu on Jan 5, 2014 - 29 comments

 

Interview with Eleanor Kolchin

The Face Of A 'Computer' From 1946
posted by infini on Feb 5, 2013 - 5 comments

The TRS-80 Personal Computer

35 years ago today, Tandy Corporation announced the most expensive product yet offered in its chain of Radio Shack stores: the TRS-80 personal computer. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 3, 2012 - 114 comments

Les Horrible Cernettes

The First Photo on the Web: A story of crossdressing, particle physics, humorous science-based novelty songs, and terrible photoshop.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 10, 2012 - 14 comments

"To me, a personal computer should be small, reliable, convenient to use and in expensive."

Steve Wozniak introduces the Apple II
posted by Artw on May 18, 2012 - 30 comments

A series of essays of esteemed boardgame veterans

Tabletop: Analog Game Design - A commons licenced book containing a series of essays about digital and non-digital games from some esteemed boardgame veterans: "Much has been written about the videogame revolution, [...] In a scant thirty some-odd years, we’ve grown from nothing to one of the world’s largest entertainment forms, grossing tens of billions annually [...] Works that discuss the evolution of the game industry from an historical perspective generally talk about the connection between the pre-digital arcade and the earliest digital games; I’ve even heard some claim that “without the arcade, videogames would not exist.” This is, of course, bosh..." [more inside]
posted by Cogentesque on Aug 24, 2011 - 36 comments

How to operate the first digital computer.

Learn how to operate the world's first fully electronic digital computer in this helpful instructional video. No, not ENIAC - the Atanasoff Berry Computer. Here's an operator's manual. More information about the reconstruction.
posted by loquacious on Aug 13, 2010 - 24 comments

Visual Aesthetics in Early Computing

Visual Aesthetics in Early Computing (1950-80) - a little look back at plotters and light pens and flow charts, which I found a bit nostalgic. You can watch Lapis, Permutations and Arabesque on YouTube.
posted by Wolfdog on Apr 9, 2010 - 22 comments

Salvador Allende's Internet

Cybersyn (or Synco, in Spanish) was computer network constructed in 1970 by an English/Chilean team headed by cyberneticist Stafford Beer (his papers). Cybersyn was an electronic nervous system for the Chilean economy, linking together mines, factories and so on, to better manage production and give workers a clear idea of what was in demand and where. The network was destroyed by the army after the 1973 coup. Later that year Stafford Beer drew upon the lessons of Cybersyn to write Fanfare for Effective Freedom, a eulogy for Allende and Cybersyn, and Designing Freedom, a series of six lectures he gave for CBC, outlining his ideas. Besides the first link in this post, the best place to start is this Guardian article from 2003. If you want to go more in-depth, read Eden Medina's Designing Freedom, Regulating a Nation: Socialist Cybernetics in Allende’s Chile. And if nothing else, just take a look at the amazing Cybersyn control room.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 21, 2010 - 32 comments

The Secret Origin of Windows

The Secret Origin of Windows, recollections of the development and release of Windows 1.0 and 2.0 by its project manager Tandy Trower (via)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Mar 10, 2010 - 75 comments

“Better finish it while there’s still an Apple II market out there,”

The development blog for the original Prince of Persia from Jordan Mechner.
posted by loquacious on Nov 22, 2009 - 31 comments

Expandable to 16k!

50 years ago today, IBM announced the 1401 Data Processing System. Originally designed as a spooling system for the larger machines, the 1401 became very popular as a mainframe in its own right, eventually being called 'The Model T of Computers'. By the end of 1961, the number of 1401s installed in the United States alone had reached 2,000 - representing about one fourth of all computers installed by all manufacturers at that time. 15- 20,000 were eventually built. The Computer History Museum in Mountain View is having a 50th anniversary celebration on November 10th. Here's what $125,600 (or $2500/month rent) would get you: [more inside]
posted by MtDewd on Oct 4, 2009 - 52 comments

George Julius' Mechanical Totalisator

Sir George Julius's Automatic Totalisator, first used by the public in New Zealand, and quickly taken up by racetracks throughout Australasia and North America (warning hideous HTML), automates parimutuel betting.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Aug 26, 2009 - 4 comments

"All I got in this world is my balls and my word and I don't break either of 'em for nobody!"

Before the mouse, there was the trackball. Built for DATAR in 1952, DATAR turned out to be a complete failure. The next user interface device that used a ball was the mouse at Xeroc Parc in 1972. Trackballs are a dying breed of interface devices. But sometimes a trackball just seems more natural choice for certain applications - not so obvious for others. Would you sit on one?
posted by bigmusic on Jun 17, 2009 - 65 comments

300 baud of awesome in a wooden box

This is what 300 baud looks like online today.
posted by loquacious on Jun 1, 2009 - 111 comments

The Red Hill Guide to Computer Hardware

The Red Hill Guide is an amazingly detailed and well-written compendium of desktop hardware old and new, with a focus on PC and x86 compatibles. Look for your first CPU, hard drive or mainboard.
posted by loquacious on Jan 6, 2007 - 40 comments

Twenty years of Macintosh

Twenty years of Macintosh - a well done retrospect about the Apple Macintosh presented in a series of posters, annotated with excellent topical links for further reading.
posted by loquacious on Nov 6, 2006 - 32 comments

a logical extension of our desire to connect and relate things

The Information Machine, [YouTube]. This short animated film was written, produced and directed by Charles and Ray Eames for the IBM Pavillion at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair [embedded sound]. Animation by Dolores Cannata. The topic is the computer in the context of human development.
posted by nickyskye on Jul 1, 2006 - 7 comments

ARPAnet

Computer Networks: The Heralds of Resource Sharing (Google video) A fascinating 30 minute documentary about ARPAnet - the precursor to today's Internet. (Can you spot the real ubernerd mover and shaker at BBN? Hint: He wears no tie!) (via: all over the place)
posted by loquacious on Mar 19, 2006 - 30 comments

I'm sorry, Dave, you have been outbid by another user.

It is with great regret that we place our PC Collection up for purchase. We being The Freeman PC Museum, not to be confused with any of these. Move over, leicester codex?
posted by Eothele on Oct 14, 2005 - 14 comments

Look ma, no mouse!

Myron Krueger began his pioneering work in interactive art in 1969. He was one of the first to explore the aesthetics of interactivity with his "responsive environments." While preparing a talk that included a reminiscence of Krueger demoing Videoplace in the 80s, I was surprised he'd not yet merited even a stub in the Wikipedia. While that may eventually motivate me to register and start the page, for now, I will just share some links. [more inside, including videos]
posted by KS on Mar 31, 2005 - 2 comments

Jef Raskin, creator of the Macintosh, has died.

Jeff Raskin, widely considered the father of the Macintosh computer, has died. Visit folklore.org for stories chronicling the birth of the computer Jef named after his favorite varietal (but misspelled in order to avoid confusion). Jef's contributions to the development of simple, intelligible, "humane" computing environments didn't end with the Mac; learn more here and here.
posted by killdevil on Feb 27, 2005 - 20 comments

Is That A Dragon or a Duck?

Adventure - based on the classic text game of the same name - was the first game ever to contain an easter egg. It seems laughably primitive these days, but when it first hit shelves, Adventure was a programming masterpiece. The text version of Adventure (by Willie Crowther and Don Woods) required hundreds of KB and a mainframe computer to operate, so much that Atari brass told Warren Robinett not to even bother with a 2600 version. He did anyway, and the results are near legendary. The 2600 version of Adventure went on to sell over a million copies at $25 a pop. For his effort Robinett recieved absolutely nothing beyond his $22,000/year salary. Play the 2600 Adventure. (Flash) If you're one of those who requires some eye candy, why not download the Quake 3 Adventure Map, instead?
posted by absalom on Jan 7, 2005 - 41 comments

Apple-1 a day, on eBay.

Apple-1 CPU, VG-Mint.
"This computer, as is documented, was bought from Steve Job's parents garage. The checks for the purchase and the original manual are included." More photos here.
[via coudal]
posted by me3dia on Sep 27, 2004 - 16 comments

Shirky: Spectrum as resource

A nice article on some of the engineering and economics aspects of WiFi, and the history of frequency regulation in the USA.
posted by freebird on Aug 16, 2004 - 9 comments

Silicon Valley strikes again

The Computer History Museum is hosting this years Vintage Computer Festival in Mountain View, California. Featuring live demonstatrions of a Xerox Alto as well as an auction for a Commodore 64 prototype, this year promises to be fun for geeks of all ages. (via Wired)
posted by starscream on Oct 7, 2003 - 5 comments

quattro

The IBM 1403 Printer (1964) playing music. This may change your life.
posted by the fire you left me on Feb 4, 2003 - 23 comments

www.computerhistory.org

www.computerhistory.org is the virtual incarnation of computer historian and collector Michael Williams' phat-ass computer museum. My favourite, BTW, is the timeline, searchable by year or topic. What technological milestones occured in the year of your birth?
posted by stuporJIX on Feb 15, 2002 - 8 comments

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