2010 Workshop: Edwards Keynote Abstract

Friction: Rethinking Speed, Power, and Possibility in the History of Information Infrastructures

Tropes involving computers' "speed" and "power" have dominated discourses about computing from the earliest days of electronic machines. Metaphors of friction may provide a different lens, one that focuses attention on the materiality of information processing. Machines transform energy into work; friction reduces the amount of work they can do with a given input. Information systems transform data (among other things) into information and knowledge. Computational friction opposes this transformation; it expresses the resistance that must always be overcome, the sociotechnical struggle with numbers that always precedes reward.

R|evolution: The First 2,000 Years of Computer History

Dear friends,

CHM is completing construction of its signature 25,000 sq ft, $17 million dollar on the history of computing. Due to open in January 2011, R|evolution will be accessible to the general public and technical audiences alike and will feature over 1,000 artifacts from CHM's world-beating historical collection.

See: http://www.computerhistory.org/exhibits/revolution/ for more information.

SIGCIS 2010 Workshop

SIGCIS 2010 Workshop:

Materiality & Immateriality in the History of Computing

Sunday October 3, 2010, Hotel Murano, Tacoma, Washington

New! Workshop photos available online.

Login Troubles

If you experience difficulty logging into your account, your browser cookies may need refreshing due to recent updates of the SIGCIS website. For more information on how to delete the SIGCIS cookie, please see http://www.aboutcookies.org/Default.aspx?page=2 (the cookie is called sigcis).

SIGCIS Workshop Updates: CFP deadline July 1, Edwards will keynote, other news

Planning work is going well on the SIGCIS 2010 workshop on "Materiality and Immateriality in the History of Computing," to be held in conjunction with the SHOT annual meeting in Tacoma, Washington on October 3. This is our second annual workshop. The first one drew around 50 people.

Full details and the submission forms are online at

Here are some updates:

Bletchley Park WWII archive to go online

Computing in Japan

Compiled by Chigusa Kita

Jump to: Institutions  |  Online Resources


Information Processing Society of Japan's Virtual Computer Museum:

http://museum.ipsj.or.jp/en/index.html (in English)

http://museum.ipsj.or.jp/index.html (Japanese original)

Mahoney Fund

The Fund

SIGCIS established the Mahoney Fund in 2008, following a challenge by Ann Johnson to match her pledged giving in honor of historian of computing Michael S. Mahoney. The fund is the main capital reserve for the SIG, intended to provide a long-term income source and support for special projects. Money held in the fund has been growing proportionately with SHOT’s own endowment, which gave us strong returns to reinvest in 2009 and 2010.

Silicon Engine exhibit at the Computer History Museum in Mt View, CA

by Alan J. Weissberger

On July 1st, the Computer History Museum (CHM) launched the Silicon Engine exhibit, which traces the history of semiconductors that led to the design of the first microprocessor- the Intel 4004. Very impressive artifacts from the CHM collection are displayed in a glass enclosed panel. The artifacts illustrate: early transistors, Jean Hoerni’s first planar transistor (the planar process of semiconductor manufacturing was a key enabler of producing ICs), the genesis of the integrated circuit, the first transistor radio, IBM SLT manufacturing process, a semiconductor based computer circuit board, a 1965 calculator, and other early computing devices. Jack Kilby’s TI engineering notebook pages on the design of the integrated circuit are particularly impressive.

About SIGCIS - History

Chairs of the SIG

Years shown are the SHOT annual meetings on which the terms began.

• 1987: Founding meeting – chair unknown.
• 1988: William Aspray, Charles Babbage Institute
• 1989: David K. Allison, Smithsonian Institution
• 1990-91: Judy O’Neil, Charles Babbage Institute
• 1992: Janet Abbate, University of Pennsylvania
• 1993-2005: Paul Ceruzzi, Smithsonian Institution
• 2005-2014: Thomas Haigh, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
• 2014-Present: Andrew Russell, SUNY Polytechnic Institute

SIGCIS History 1987-2005


Subscribe to SIGCIS RSS