A series of columns by Robert X. Cringely about the decline and impending demise of IBM
posted by JeffL
on Feb 9, 2014 -
: Aston Martin DB9
, Space Shuttle
: Art Plotter
, big! burny! mighty!
, DVD drive
, with lasers!
, old scanner
, Pedro & Sybil
, sand plotter
posted by scruss
on Jan 27, 2014 -
"Gentlemen: I have a story that may be of interest to you. It is not widely known who invented the circuitry concept for the automatic sequential performance of musical pitches - now well known as a sequencer. I, however, do know who the inventor was - for it was I who first conceived and built the sequencer.
" This is the opening to an undated, unaddressed letter, found in Raymond Scott's personal papers (yes, the same fellow whose kooky soundtracks scored everything
from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies to Ren & Stimpy, The Simpson
, and Animaniacs
). You can read the rest of Scott's letter
, along with Bob Moog's recollections of visiting Raymond's electronics laboratory in the mid-1950s. Or you could jump ahead to the mid-1960s, when Jim Henson was in his late 20s to early 30s, and he was working on a variety of odd projects after a successful run with Sam and Friends, but before he it it big with Sesame Street. It was at this point that he teamed up with Scott on a few short, experimental films
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Sep 12, 2013 -
IBM is currently putting together
database and barcode tracking to allow farmers and grocers in China to track your porkchop, from the pig to the plate. Using supply chain tracking (similar to what is done already in other industries), the goal is to limit and hopefully prevent disease outbreaks by tracking the health of the animal, including which other animals it has come into contact with. So the next time you sit down for some nice ham, you might be able to scan the barcode (or RFID tag) to see whom else on your block shares your own porcine six degrees of separation. [more inside]
posted by Old'n'Busted
on Dec 19, 2011 -
is proud to announce a product you
may have a personal interest in. It's a tool that could soon be on your desk, in your home or in your child's schoolroom. It can make a surprising difference in the way you work, learn or otherwise approach the complexities (and some of the the simple pleasures) of living." [more inside]
posted by Ahab
on Aug 12, 2011 -
"The story begins unambiguously. A group of IBMers, working on a secret project to build a personal computer, flew to Seattle in August, 1980, to see if [Bill] Gates could supply them with an operating system. He couldn't -- and referred them to [Gary] Kildall [of Digital Research Inc.] When they showed up at DRI's offices the next day ... the company's business manager ... refused to sign their nondisclosure agreement.... [IBM] did get together with Kildall ... a short time later, but they couldn't reach an agreement. At around the same time, [IBM] saw Gates again. [IBM] and Gates both knew of the operating system [Tim] Paterson had built at Seattle Computer Co.... "Gates said: 'Do you want to get [QDOS], or do you want me to?' [IBM] said: 'By all means, you get it."' Gates bought Paterson's program, called QDOS, for $50,000, renamed it DOS, improved it, and licensed it to IBM for a low per-copy royalty fee."
Tim Paterson, the man who created DOS, the operating system that dominated the computer industry between 1981 and 2000, has an occasional blog
that provides a fascinating history of the microcomputer industry: Is DOS a Rip-Off of CP/M?
; The Contributions of CP/M
; Design of DOS
; The First DOS Machine
; IBM PC Design Antics
; and All Those Floppy Disk Formats…
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear
on Jul 9, 2011 -
They Were There
is a 30 min video from IBM, who is turning 100 this year. "told by first-hand witnesses—current and retired employees and clients—who were there when IBM helped to change the way world works.
posted by finite
on Jan 22, 2011 -
was one of the great graphic designers of modern times, designing among other things, logos for Westinghouse, ABC, IBM and UPS. The website has galleries
of book design
, and much more (open images in new tab or window to see the full-sized image, some books have image galleries, look for a "see inside" button). You can also read his thoughts on design
, watch interviews and videos about him
, and follow the many links to interesting online Randiana
posted by Kattullus
on Aug 9, 2010 -
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 -
As it builds a presence
and invests in virtual worlds
, IBM is hoping to avoid potentially embarrassing incidents by establishing official guidelines
for its more than 5,000 employees who inhabit "Second Life
," Entropia Universe
" and other virtual worlds. "IBM, whose 20th century employees were parodied as corporate cogs in matching navy suits, doesn't have an avatar dress code. But guidelines suggest being 'especially sensitive to the appropriateness of your avatar or persona's appearance when you are meeting with IBM clients or conducting IBM business.'" Other directives: "Don't discuss intellectual property with unauthorized people." "Don't discriminate or harass" and by all means, "Be a good 3D Netizen."
posted by ericb
on Jul 26, 2007 -
"The church of global free trade, which rules American politics with infallible pretensions, may have finally met its Martin Luther."
A thorough summary in The Nation of the brilliant but ignored Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests
by Ralph Gomory
, former IBM Senior Vice President for Science and winner of the National Medal of Science. His heresy? Arguing, with supporting technical and economic data, that multinational corporations and their home countries have divergent interests in shipping skilled labor and advanced technologies overseas, and that this "divergence" is a net negative for the American economy and the American public. Globalization, he argues, has its losers, the United States paramount among them.
posted by Pastabagel
on Apr 20, 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 -