Computer History Museum Event Summary: "The Idea Factory" - Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation-Jon Gertner

Introduction

On March 28, 2012, author Jon Gertner was interviewed at the Computer History Museum (CHM) by KQED's Dave Iverson about his new book, "The Idea Factory...," which chronicles the history of AT&T Bell Labs. Mr. Gertner told this author he had spent three solid years researching and gathering information for the book.

25 Years of IBM’s OS/2: The Strange Days and Surprising Afterlife of a Legendary Operating System

IBM OS/2 Logo

Lots of recent coverage about the 25th anniversary of OS/2, including this from Time Techland: "Big Blue's next-generation operating system was supposed to change everything. It didn't. But it's also never quite gone away." I can still vividly remember installing and playing around with OS/2 Warp. Read more: http://techland.time.com/2012/04/02/25-years-of-ibms-os2-the-birth-death-and-afterlife-of-a-legendary-operating-system/#ixzz1r4teUZcI

Invention of Email: A Response to the Washington Post Ombudsman

Over the weekend the Washington Post delivered its response to a storm of protest over last week’s story claiming that the Smithsonian had “honored” V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai as the “inventor of email.” This came in the form of the “Reader Meter” column written by Patrick B. Pexton’ the Post’s Ombudsman. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/omblog/post/reader-meter-who-really-invented-e-mail/2012/02/24/gIQAHZugYR_blog.html.

Starring the Computer

Image from Starring the Computer

"Starring the Computer is a website dedicated to the use of computers in film and television. Each appearance is catalogued and rated on its importance (ie. how important it is to the plot), realism (how close its appearance and capabilities are to the real thing) and visibility (how good a look does one get of it). Fictional computers don't count (unless they are built out of bits of real computer), so no HAL9000 - sorry."

Who Invented E-mail?

Image of At Symbol

Our esteemed chair, Tom Haigh, noticed a rather shocking set of stories in the mainstream press today that claimed that a man previously unknown to the computer history community was, in fact, the inventor of e-mail:

Obituaries in the History of Computing, 2011

The Board of Digital Equipment (Ken Thompson is at center)

Last year, around this time, I submitted a blog post summarizing the obituaries of a number of major figures in the history of computing who died in 2010. Given the worldwide headlines in response to the death of Steve Jobs two months ago, I think it makes sense to turn that post into a yearly tradition, reminding us of the less-recognized contributors to the history of computing who we have lost.   I was, in fact, rather stunned at the number of names turned up by a simple search for stories containing "obituary" and "computer"  in the last twelve months in the New York Times.  The computing of the 1960s and 70s is now rapidly passing out of the realm contemporary and oral history.Here's what I turned up:

Thanks to all for another successful SIGCIS workshop

Tom Misa's Keynote on Cyberinfrastructures 2011
Tom Haigh's Intro 2011 (Sexy Bill Gates slide courtesy of Marie Hicks)
Dissertations in Progress Session 2011
Closing Plenary 2011
Cleveland Public Art 2011

This year's workshop has now come and gone successfully and thanks are in order for all of the speakers and attendees who made it a success. Tom Misa has offered slides from his keynote talk to be posted here.

SHOT 2011 Syllabi Session

SIGCIS Workshop 2011 Logo

After today's syllabus session at SHOT it seems like an ideal time to remind folks that we have a great repository of syllabi in the history of computing, information, and technology here on the site. Go to www.sigcis.org/syllabi or navigate down to "syllabi" in the bar on the left hand side.

Backstage at the Creation of the iPod

iPod

Apropos of my post a while back on the hidden engineers behind Steve Jobs' recent triumph, video-game historian Benj Edwards has posted an article on MacWorld that provides a nice synthetic account of the origins of the iPod.  Edwards covers a number of the major figures responsible for the design and development of the iPod.  Tony Fadell (formerly of the General Mag

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