Blog Overview

Recent Blog Posts

“Woodstock of the Web” at 25

“Woodstock of the Web” at 25

2019 is a year of many Web and networking anniversaries, or “netiversaries” to use 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 demo'ed in late 1968, which is a key ancestor of the Web. Another blog article in @CHM remembers Engelbart and his work. 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

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
Math Miracles for Missileers: The Aerospace Industry, Computer Programming, and the Rise of IBM

Math Miracles for Missileers: The Aerospace Industry, Computer Programming, and the Rise of IBM

Robert W. “Bob” Bemer - who worked at Lockheed's Missile Systems Division in Van Nuys and who would become its IBM 650's power user - carefully cut out the article and placed it into a scrapbook. In 2018, through its Access to Historical Records grant from the National Archives' National Publications and Records Commission, CHM digitized and made freely available online roughly 10 percent of Bemer's historical collection, over 3,000 pages. Read More
Blazing a Trail: Venture Capital Pioneers Reflect on the Industry

Blazing a Trail: Venture Capital Pioneers Reflect on the Industry

On March 28, 2019, in an event jointly sponsored by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and the Computer History Museum (CHM), venture capital trailblazers William Draper III, C. Richard Kramlich, and Franklin “Pitch” Johnson discussed the highlights and challenges of their long careers and legendary firms. Read More
If Discrimination, Then Branch: Ann Hardy's Contributions to Computing

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

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!

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

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

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
Venturing Forth: The Exponential Center Launches a Venture Capital Initiative

Venturing Forth: The Exponential Center Launches a Venture Capital Initiative

The Exponential Center at the Computer History Museum is leading an ambitious program to capture and share the untold stories of pioneering venture capitalists and their partnerships with disruptors and innovators that extend from idea to IPO and beyond. The companies they have created have led to new industries and jobs, generated tremendous wealth, and changed the way we live. Read More
Madeleine Moment Connects Moore’s Law Artifacts

Madeleine Moment Connects Moore’s Law Artifacts

While trying to decipher the notes in Gordon’s cryptic scrawl, something familiar about the arrangement of the rectangles triggered my Madeleine Moment. This was the Rosetta Stone to the device types in that 1967 photograph and the first five appeared to match the years of the devices on the plot of Figure 2 from the 1965 article. Read More