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Blog Archive for the ‘Computing’ Category

The woman that programmed the first computer

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on June 17th, 02010

“Long Shorts” – short films that exemplify long-term thinking.  Please submit yours in the comments section…

Information Pioneers: Ada Lovelace from Information Pioneers on Vimeo.

This is a nice intro to Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer who wrote programs for Babbage’s mechanical computer. While this computer is similar to the binary mechanical computer. . .   Read More

Mechanical Computing Videos

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on February 20th, 02010

Patrick Tufts sent in these absolute gems.  Historical training videos for mechanical computers from the US Navy which used them as fire control computers.  It is so easy to forget where modern computers got their start.  We assume they are all gray boxes with monitors attached, but back in the good old days they were. . .   Read More

The computer of 02010

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on July 24th, 02009

Found while reading Charles Stross’ web diary is this wonderful link from 02000 Forbes Magazine on where computers would be in ten years… now just a few months away.  Some gems:

Within 10 years, in fact, silicon will fall to the computer scientist’s triple curse: “It’s bulky, it’s slow, and it. . .   Read More

Sewers, Start-ups, and Thinking Long-term

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on July 19th, 02009

Lawrence Wilkinson posted a nice piece about infrastructure, software, and thinking long-term, where he pulls from a few sources including Pete Warden and Matt Mullenweg:

What’s true of sewers and software is true of most infrastructure:  finding the balance between lean expediency and investment in future capacity is a real trick.  Quoting his. . .   Read More

45-Year-Old Modem Used To Surf the Web

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on June 5th, 02009

In a nod to Kevin Kelly’s Immortal Technologies hypothesis that no technology actually ever goes extinct, we have this tidbit.  Slash Dot reports that a hacker named Phreakmonkey got his hands on a circa 1964 Livermore Data Systems “Model A” Acoustic Coupler Modem and managed to actually surf the web on it… albeit very. . .   Read More

Computers, Clocks, Astronomy and The Making of the Modern World

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on March 29th, 02009

Long Now member and close friend Susan Shea sent me this astoundingly good episode of James Burke’s “Connections”show from 01978 (It is in 5 parts).  It is the best tracing of computing technology through time and culture I have ever seen, and shows the lineage of ancient clocks to modern computers (if a. . .   Read More

Antikythera Video

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on December 12th, 02008

Stewart Brand sent in this New Scientist update on the Antikythera Device reconstruciton that includes video. . .   Read More

Antikythera Update

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on July 30th, 02008

At Long Now we have been paying attention to the Antikythera Mechanism happennings for many years, as we love to see two millennia old clocks get dug out of the deep and understood by modern technology.
The Antikythera Mechanism, sometimes called the first analog computer, was recovered more than a century ago in the wreckage. . .   Read More

Mother of all Demos

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on June 4th, 02008

JD Leahy pointed out that Boing Boing has posted about the Mother Of All Demos, and it occurred to me that it was worth noting here as well. One of the lesser known facts about this demo was that it was our own Stewart Brand who filmed this demo back in 01968. The number of. . .   Read More

Babbage Difference Engine No.2

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on May 8th, 02008

Our good friends from The Science Museum in London (which houses our first clock prototype) have recently completed and shipped over their historic construction of Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine No.2 to the Computer History Museum here in California. There is a great video of it working and an explanation at (also. . .   Read More