Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams
Detailed and thoughtful exploration of clockwork and automata as a phenomenon in the 17th Century and their development into machines that could imitate human activity - eventually leading to the famous Mechanical Turk
(eventually exposed as fake) and the truly astounding
" built by John Joseph Merlin. (Definitely not a fake) [more inside]
Using computer systems for doing mathematical proofs
- "With the proliferation of computer-assisted proofs
that are all but impossible to check by hand, Hales thinks computers must become the judge." [more inside]
The Valve Employee Handbook [PDF]
. An oral history of computer gaming, with Sid Meier
(Civillisation I - V
, Railroad Tycoon
) and Ralph Baer
, the Simon platform), from Vice TV's Motherboard
. Also: interviews with classic computer game programmers
: Eugene Jarvis
), Jeff Minter
, Revenge Of The Mutant Camels
) and many more, together with the Giant List of Classic Game Programmers
. (Previously, a decade ago).
- 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.
the 2600 Adventure. (Flash) If you're one of those who requires some eye candy, why not download the Quake 3 Adventure Map
NYT celebrates 40 (or so) years of FORTRAN
The computer language that started it all is remembered in this breezy Times article (reg. req.'d.). [I think it has to do with some recent reunion of original team-members, but any contemporary event to rationalize printing this is buried in the copy.] Do something high-level with your computer today to commemorate. Here's an ibiblio.org
text with more information.
The Story of Mel
- Almost everyone's seen the Story of Mel on USENET or via email... the story of the guy who wrote programs for a particular ancient drum computer by using the characteristics of the drum to handle memory allocation and time delays. In a footnote on the Jargon File, it seems that his last name is known... An interesting footnote to an interesting and probably true story.