In October 1947, the directors of J. Lyons & Co
(think - teashops, nippies, bakeries, ice-creams, steakhouses, hotels, Wimpy Bars and Dunkin' Donuts), decided to take an active role in promoting the commercial development of computers.
In 1951 the LEO I
computer was operational and ran the world's first regular routine office computer job.
posted by tellurian
on Oct 1, 2007 -
Meet Rick and Steve
: The Happiest Gay Couple In All The World. The animated series follows a gay couple, Rick and Steve, and other couples from their (fictional) town, West Lahunga Beach. Rick (voiced by Will Matthews
from MTV's "Punk'd") is Steve's stay-at-home partner. He is a genius but very insecure. Steve (voiced by Peter Paige
, best known as Emmet Honeycutt from "Queer As Folk") is a real estate broker and devotee of the gym. Margaret Cho
lends her voice to the character Condie Ling. The computer generated animated series began airing on Logo
on July 10, 2007, and is based on the 1999 short films of the same name from creator Quenton Allan Brocka
. Let the comedic stereotyping begin! In animation form, anyway. (Episodes 1-5 available in three parts each from the first link.) Not quite safe for work. Or the easily offended.
posted by gummi
on Aug 25, 2007 -
"How I Became A Programmer"
veers between linear biography and brain dump. The piece meanders through its theme, stopping along the way to flirt with word origins, family politics, the senior prom, Japan, airlines and military recruitment. Reading it, I felt trapped inside inside an extremely quirky -- yet recognizable (in a too-close-for-comfort way) -- mind. About half the time I yearned to tell him that he needs an editor; the other half, I was grateful that he didn't have one. Mostly, I'm amazed he HAD a date to the senior prom!
posted by grumblebee
on Aug 18, 2007 -
In 1937-38, computer pioneer George Philbrick worked for the Foxboro Co. as an analyst. He had the radical idea of building an electronic analog computer to simulate the behaviour of hydraulic industrial equipment, so Foxboro customers could experiment with control systems without needing a pipe wrench. One of the world's first analog computers was ignominiously ferried around the U.S. in the back seat of Philbrick's car. Ironically, Philbrick didn't give his "Automatic Process Analyzer" a properly techy, pretentious nickname. He dubbed his one-eyed monster Polyphemus.
posted by metasonix
on Aug 11, 2007 -
It has always been difficult to look up any information on the pioneers of computing. Even today, in the Internet age, one has trouble finding much about early computers--even on the ultimate computer network.
Consider the late George A. Philbrick. He was one of the titanic figures in electronic computing in the 1950s--mainly because of the company he founded, which was a major manufacturer (and pioneer) of the operational amplifier
, at a time when an "op-amp" was made of vacuum tubes. Op-amps were used to build analog computers
, which were widely used to simulate physical processes in the days when digital computers were either non-existent, or too slow and costly, for many kinds of simulation and process-control work. Op-amps, in chip form, are still widely used in electronics. Yet, despite his unquestioned status as a major pioneer of electronics, there was almost nothing on the Internet about Philbrick or his company.
Until 2005--when Joe Sousa decided to put up a website dedicated to Philbrick's legacy. Behold The Philbrick Archive.
posted by metasonix
on Aug 4, 2007 -
Computer Hope The location for free online computer support and computer related information. Computer Hope has been designed to assist all types of computer users with any of their computer related questions as well as a great location to learn more about your computer and its hardware and software.
posted by konolia
on May 13, 2007 -
"In 1964, a computer - the IBM 1401 Data Processing System - arrived in Iceland, one of the very first computers to be imported into the country… The chief maintenance engineer for this machine was Jóhann Gunnarsson, my father. A keen musician, he learned of an obscure method of making music on this computer - a purpose for which this business machine was not at all designed… When the IBM 1401 was taken out of service in 1971, it wasn't simply thrown away like an old refrigerator, but was given a little farewell ceremony, almost a funeral, when its melodies were played for one last time. This "performance" was documented on tape along with recordings of the sound of the machine in operation."
The whole story with samples, pictures and video at Jóhann Jóhannsson's
posted by tellurian
on Feb 26, 2007 -
The Let's Play archive.
Ever wanted to play a particular video game, but never got around to it? Let's Play features extensive walkthroughs of classic games like Silent Hill and Flashback complete with screenshots, videos, and commentary. Other games such as Darkseed and The Immortal are coming soon.
posted by clockworkjoe
on Feb 2, 2007 -
The Colemak keyboard layout.
Colemak is a new alternative to the QWERTY and Dvorak layouts. Designed for efficient and ergonomic touch typing in English, Colemak places the 10 most frequent letters of English (A,R,S,T,D,H,N,E,I,O) on the home row. Z,X,C are preserved in their QWERTY positions for easy copy and paste operations. It gets rid of the Caps Lock and replaces it with Backspace so you no longer need to move your hand off the home position to correct errors. Available for Windows/Mac/Linux/Unix it works with all standard keyboards, including laptops. [via: Projects], [Previously]
posted by Mitheral
on Jan 8, 2007 -
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 -
Pr0n at Work = Addiction?
Spawning from such cases as a recent lawsuit with IBM over employee termination due to online sex chatting at work, recent debate over whether Internet abuse is a legitimate addiction
, akin to alcoholism, is heating up. Attorneys say recognition by a court—whether in this or some future litigation—that Internet abuse is an uncontrollable addiction, and not just a bad habit, could redefine the condition as a psychological impairment worthy of protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
. Businesses would be required to allow medical leave and provide counseling. The condition could even make it into the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association's DSM
, making it a full-blown neurosis. It wouldn't be a complete surprise, with a recent Stanford study showing that 14% of people state it would be "hard to stay away" from the net for a few days in a row.
posted by PreacherTom
on Dec 14, 2006 -
- The Toronto PET User's Group. Founded in 1979 and still holding monthly meetings. For all your "PET
posted by GuyZero
on Dec 13, 2006 -
Grandma's Little Helper
Tired of bluehairs clogging up the left lane doing 20? Apparently, there are companies who feel the same way. Aware Car has developed a computer system that tracks other cars
and compensates for the losses in reflex that accompany aging. This is only one example of the new industry of providing technology to the elderly, who will reach record numbers in the next 20 years as the Baby Boomers continue to age
. Pictures show GPS tracking for wheelchairs, "caller ID on steroids", and the new driving system in action.
posted by PreacherTom
on Dec 5, 2006 -
The downside of being a nerd with your desktop set to a super-hi resolution is that you can rarely find cool wallpapers to use. This massive collection
(in a wide variety of resolutions) should help.
posted by jonson
on Aug 25, 2006 -
It's all one's and zero's eh?
The complex patterns of the natural world often turn out to be governed by relatively simple mathematical relationships. A seashell grows at a rate proportional to its size, resulting in a delicate spiral. The gossamer network of galaxies results from the simple interplay between cosmic expansion and the force of gravity over a wide range of scales. As our catalogue of natural phenomena has grown more complete, more and more scientists have begun to look for interesting patterns in human society.
posted by Unregistered User
on Jun 10, 2006 -
Super Columbine Massacre RPG!
A computer role playing game based on the Columbine massacre and the event leading up to it in which the player plays the part of the killers. Think it's in poor taste? A Columbine survivor paralyzed from the chest down disagrees
posted by juv3nal
on May 6, 2006 -
Does copyright extend to the bit encoding sequences used in P2P applications?
A case is made for the myriad paths bit encoding can take in the formation of MP3 files, the argument being therefore that said bit encoding sequences used in the formation of MP3 files are exempt from copyright law. Furthermore an application is offered to demonstrate the point.
But isn't bit encoding just another 'language' like French, German, Spanish and therefore a copyrightable adjunct to the authors/copyright owners work? (Even if there are myriad dialects.)
posted by Muirwylde
on Mar 27, 2006 -
"To tell the truth ... I'm sorta surprised they haven't caught me yet,"
The Washington Post ran an interesting interview with a botmaster, a young man who made serveral thousands of dollars a month installing XXX spyware on machines that he controlled. He installed the software on the machines of people he did not know by hacking into them remotely. The lenghty article included a partial photo of the botmaster along with vauge descriptions of the small midwestern town where the man lives, and was published with the understanding that the man's identity would be kept secret.
Someone should have told that to the person that manages photos at the Washington Post. An estute reader over at Slashdot was able to locate some extra information stored in the picture's metadata
including the photographer and the location the picture was taken, Roland, Oklahoma, a town of less than 3000 people. Whoops.
posted by daHIFI
on Feb 21, 2006 -
On January 19, 1986, the first PC virus — Brain
— was detected. It was virtually harmless, and the Pakistani creators claim that
it was only intended to protect their copyrights. (They did, after all, include their own address and phone number in the machine code.) In the past 20 years, though, both creating viruses
and destroying them
have become billion-dollar industries.
posted by Plutor
on Jan 19, 2006 -
Google and Wal-Mart to launch the Google Computer
[GoogleFilter] - Rumor-merchants around the industry are abuzz with speculation that Google is about to launch a no-frills, $200 networked computer via (ahem) Wal-Mart. They will also announce Google Cubes, media and home automation control devices. Will this be a watershed event or an infamous folly? Film at 11.
posted by LondonYank
on Jan 3, 2006 -