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]
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]
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.
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)
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?