Artist Jeff Thompson received a Rhizome commission in 2012 for his project Computers on Law & Order, for which he watched every episode of the long-running television series and took screenshots of all the computers. Thompson will present an illustrated lecture based on the project this Saturday, Feb 1 at 4pm at the Museum of the Moving Image, followed by a discussion with Law & Order graphic designer Kevin Raper. In this article, he shares some of his findings.
A few months ago there was a list of links to classic video game emulators posted. Very recently, I'm pleased to report, those links all came true. The Internet Archive bespoke upon aforementioned consoles, computers, and mileposts on our way to the tech utopia of today, (seriously, where's my flying car?) and they asked us to do something: Imagine every computer that ever existed, literally, in your browser. And it was so. I have absolutely no affiliation with jscott, btw. Thought I should disclose that.
David Bradley is an engineer, one of the 12 strategists who worked around the clock to hammer out a plan for hardware, software, manufacturing setup and sales strategy for the first IBM PC from 1980-1981. At that time, Bradley and others were tired of wasting time rebooting the system without powering it down. So, one day he had something like "write keyboard shortcut to reboot system" on list of things to do, and Control-Alt-Delete was created. Years later, he said "I may have invented it, but I think Bill made it famous." (YouTube) [more inside]
Reports abound that Douglas Engelbart most famous for creating the computer mouse and for demoing much of what we take for granted in desktop computing in 1968's Mother of All Demos (YT), died last night at age 88. [more inside]
DEC - I mean Digital - I mean Compaq - er, CMGI - no, Overture; rather - Yahoo ... will shut down AltaVista for good next week.
Possibly the World's First Computer Art? An Atlantic article discusses how in the late 1950s, an anonymous IBM employee made a lady from the pages of Esquire come to life on the screen of a Situation Display Console of a AN/FSQ-7 computer that was part of the SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) project.
Are you a Dummy, naive and gullible? If so, there are thousands of books for the likes of you. Go elsewhere, and drink in the lies called "computer basics".
"If you're clever and sophisticated, you may enjoy my new YouTube series, Computers for Cynics." Ted Nelson talks about The Myth of Technology, The Nightmare of Files and Directories, how It All Went Wrong at Xerox PARC, The Database Mess, The Dance of Apple and Microsoft, Hyperhistory, The Real Story of the World Wide Web, and CLOSURE: Pay Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain.
A detailed history, explanation, and defense of the chorded keyboard.
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.
On a snowy Valentine's Day weekend in Michigan Sid Meier creates a game in 48 hours called Escape from Zombie Hotel! He's there to judge a 48 hour game design contest at his alma mater, University of Michigan but decides to also work on a game alongside the student teams. He also talks about his career, focusing on his early days. This is the third installment of motherboard.tv's Oral History of Gaming series. The first profiles Ralph Baer, the inventor of the first home gaming console, and the second is about Eric Zimmerman, designer of Sissyfight. Sadly, the awesome-looking Escape from Zombie Hotel has note been released, but the oher games designed during the contest are available here. [via Rock Paper Shotgun]
Mefi's own Jason Scott (jscott) wants to raise $25,000 using waxy's Kickstarter to work full-time on computer history. He made BBS documentary (previously), founded the Archive Team, and owns textfiles.com (previously) and, yes, sockington. So far, 237 people have pledged $20,340. On Nov. 4, Jason did a 5-hours, non-stop Scottathon. Apparently, fundraising ain't easy. [more inside]
Windows Startup Sounds - 1.0 to 98 to ME to Vista watch. A piano composition incorporating the sound effects heard in Windows. A different Windows remix (All YT). To get embarrassed at a public library, press here. To disable, press here. Previously-posted I’m sure: Windows noises & Icon Wars.
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.
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.
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)
A history of the GUI from the 1930s through the 90s. Also see Vannevar Bush's visionary 1945 essay As we May Think, which helped to set the wheels in motion. (Check out the Ars Technica discussion for good related links and commentary.) (via The Sideshow)
When Multimedia Was Black and White is a wonderful trip down memory lane, back when posters, music, games, and print layouts were done in crude black and white. Be sure to click on the little disk icons to see all the screenshots from old 80s apps.
The Computer Photography of Arthur Lavine. Got a reel-to-reel fetish? Does the phrase "hand assembled ferrite core memory" make you swoon? Take a look at some old-school nerds at work for Chase Manhattan, back in the days when computers were big and expensive, and a Macintosh was a raincoat. It's an exhibit at San Diego's Computer Museum of America, which is chock full of goodies. Check out the slide show exhibit too.
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?