Articles from 2014(23)

Yesterday’s Tomorrows: The Origins of The Tablet

Yesterday’s Tomorrows: The Origins of The Tablet

By 1987, the PC revolution was well entrenched and underway. Desktop PCs were standard hardware for home enthusiasts, businesses, government agencies, and computer labs tucked away in college campuses. However, some prognosticators were also fast at work forecasting the future of a new generation of computing devices – and traditional PCs were not what they had in mind. Read More
Road Trip: CHM Enigma Machine Goes to Hollywood

Road Trip: CHM Enigma Machine Goes to Hollywood

My Mission: TIME Magazine calls, they want our Enigma machine for a photo shoot in Hollywood featuring The Imitation Game star Benedict Cumberbatch. The movie is based on Andrew Hodges’ book, Alan Turing: The Enigma. Read More
It’s About Time: The Computer on Your Wrist

It’s About Time: The Computer on Your Wrist

Ubiquitous, wearable computers have been a dream since at least the 1930s. The recent announcement of the AppleWatch has renewed interest in computerized wristwatches and revived the idea of a wrist-worn computer that is cool. Read More
Xerox Alto Source Code

Xerox Alto Source Code

Depending on your age, your first computer might have been an Apple II, a Radio Shack TRS-80, an IBM PC, an Apple Macintosh, or another of the early personal computers. If you missed these early machines the first time around, perhaps you have seen them in the Personal Computer section of the Revolution exhibit at the Computer History Museum. Read More
Early Digital Research CP/M Source Code

Early Digital Research CP/M Source Code

By the time personal computers based on microprocessors began to emerge in the mid-1970s, programmers had been writing operating systems for about twenty years. Big mainframe computers had operating systems that were huge and complicated, created from hundreds of thousands of lines of code. But other operating systems, designed to fit in the small memory of minicomputers, were tiny. That was the kind that the PCs could use. Read More
Computer History Museum: Celebrating 35 Years!

Computer History Museum: Celebrating 35 Years!

It seems appropriate, every so often, for a history museum to think about its own history. On September 24, 2014, we celebrate the 35th anniversary of our “grandfather”: the Digital Computer Museum that began in Marlboro Massachusetts in 1979. Read More
Who Invented the IC?

Who Invented the IC?

Christie’s auction sale notice of the only known phase-shift oscillator circuit built by Nobel Prize winner Jack Kilby in private hands proclaimed him as the inventor “of the integrated circuit on a single chip.” While he played an important role in the development of the IC, Kilby’s 1958 prototype was but one of many attempts to build such a device that had been underway for several years. Read More
The Cryotron: Extremely Rare Superconducting Digital Circuits Come to CHM

The Cryotron: Extremely Rare Superconducting Digital Circuits Come to CHM

In the early 1950s, a young, enthusiastic and creative electrical engineer named Dudley Buck left the National Security Agency (NSA) for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Buck had worked on some of the first electronic digital computers at the NSA, and in Massachusetts joined the large program to develop Whirlwind, a powerful, real-time digital computer. In addition, Buck began work toward a PhD. In his research Buck explored a variety of possible switches for use in digital computers as rivals to vacuum tubes and the new transistors. He looked at various magnetic and ferroelectric possibilities before becoming seized with the idea of creating a superconducting switch. Such a switch had the potential to be both tremendously fast and wonderfully low power. Read More
Lost and Found: Andy Warhol’s Amiga Artworks

Lost and Found: Andy Warhol’s Amiga Artworks

Scattered on floppy disks and hard drives around the world, there may be millions of works of art created on now-archaic computer systems. Read More
Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley, 1985–2000

Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley, 1985–2000

Doug Menuez  Jul 07, 2014 Guest Blog
For fifteen years I documented the efforts of a secretive tribe of engineers, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley as they created technology that would change our culture, our behavior, and challenge what it means to be human. Read More
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