Articles in Curatorial Insight(80)

Silicon Chips Take Man to the Moon

Silicon Chips Take Man to the Moon

David Laws Jul 17, 2019
This is the story of these people, deeply involved in “work to put him there,” and how a decision to employ this unproven technology, criticized at the time as reckless, helped to launch the integrated circuit as an essential building block of today's digital world. Read More
“Woodstock of the Web” at 25

“Woodstock of the Web” at 25

Marc Weber May 24, 2019
2019 is a year of many web and networking anniversaries, or “netiversaries” to continue using an awful word. This year marks the 50th anniversary of general purpose computer networks. That first connection was over the ARPANET, between Douglas Engelbart’s laboratory at SRI and another node at UCLA. Such networks were built as transport for online systems like Engelbart’s oNLine System, famously demoed in late 1968, which is a key ancestor of the web. Read More
It's a Good Year for Asparagus: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Celebrates 50 Years As an Independent Computer Chip Supplier

It's a Good Year for Asparagus: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Celebrates 50 Years As an Independent Computer Chip Supplier

David Laws May 01, 2019
On May 1, 2019, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary as an important supplier of advanced semiconductor devices. AMD's survival as the only Silicon Valley computer chip manufacturer other than Intel to reach its golden anniversary as an independent company is an extraordinary achievement for an underdog considered least likely to succeed by industry pundits in the 1970s. Read More
If Discrimination, Then Branch: Ann Hardy's Contributions to Computing

If Discrimination, Then Branch: Ann Hardy's Contributions to Computing

David Brock Mar 25, 2019
In the realm of software, a “branch” is a computer instruction that causes a shift from the default pattern of activity to a different sequence of actions, a different way of moving ahead if you will. For Ann Hardy, a pioneer in timesharing software and business, her contributions to computing were achieved through repeated, creative branching in the face of sexist discrimination. Read More
Happy 30th to the World Wide Web!

Happy 30th to the World Wide Web!

Marc Weber Mar 12, 2019
Thirty years ago this month, physicist turned programmer Tim Berners-Lee first proposed what became the World Wide Web. A few months later he resubmitted the proposal with his colleague Robert Cailliau. Today the web is living up to its ambitious name, serving over four billion people with more to come. Read More
A Conversation with Artist & Musician Mark Mothersbaugh

A Conversation with Artist & Musician Mark Mothersbaugh

Chris Garcia Mar 11, 2019
DEVO has reunited a few times, but Mothersbaugh has kept working on his solo projects, including scoring films by Wes Anderson, like The Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom, as well as major blockbusters like The Lego Movie and Thor: Ragnorok. Even now, when he might compose a half-dozen scores in a year while still occasionally touring with DEVO, he is also creating unique art works, like his orchestrions, on exhibit in the CHM Learning Lab. Read More
Meeting Whirlwind’s Joe Thompson

Meeting Whirlwind’s Joe Thompson

David Brock Feb 20, 2019
The photograph was dated 1950, a date when a now unimaginably small number of humans had ever beheld a computer, no less touched one, and when unabashed racism and discrimination was endemic on the American scene. Who was the young African-American man who nevertheless sat at the controls of this storied machine? What was his name? What was his story? Read More
Jingle Bits: Auditory Maintenance, Whirlwind Holiday Songs & the Dawn of Computer Music

Jingle Bits: Auditory Maintenance, Whirlwind Holiday Songs & the Dawn of Computer Music

CHM Editorial Team Dec 16, 2018
Sixty-seven years to the day after the television debut of Whirlwind’s “Jingle Bells,” we offer you this restoration of the program from the original punched paper tape at CHM, recovering an overlooked early piece of the rise of computer music from the auditory maintenance of early electronic digital computers. Read More
Portraits of Silicon Valley Tech Pioneers: The Legacy of Hal Hohbach

Portraits of Silicon Valley Tech Pioneers: The Legacy of Hal Hohbach

David Laws Dec 05, 2018
Hal Hohbach spent more than 40 years working as a patent attorney, developer, and investor, including serving on the board of Sutter Hill Ventures. His admiration for the persistence and contributions of inventors culminated in his commissioning of a modern-day version of Christian Schussele’s 1862 composite portrait of American Men of Progress, scientists and inventors who “had altered the course of contemporary civilization.” Read More
An Inflection Point in the History of Multimedia: Video Ethnographies of Visual Almanac and News Navigator

An Inflection Point in the History of Multimedia: Video Ethnographies of Visual Almanac and News Navigator

Hansen Hsu Oct 18, 2018
CHM's Software History Center has been conducting “video ethnographies” to record and preserve the experience of running historical software. Over the course of 2018, the center has conducted two video ethnographies surrounding a key moment at the end of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the birth of multimedia. Watch and learn from experts as they discuss and demonstrate the Visual Almanac and News Navigator. Read More
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