Warren Baelen sez: "I was [at the Computer History Museum] the other night for a memorial to Ken Iverson who recently passed away. He was the designer/inventor of several languages including APL and J. Ken was a great mathematician and computer pioneer and they had a nice tribute to him. But before the memorial I got to take the walking tour.
What I thought BB readers may want to know about is this "viewable storage" tour. It features some computers that you would expect to see at a computer history museum, including an Apple I signed by Wozniak, a piece of the Eniac, but it also has some other really cool things such as a complete Johniac, an IBM 7030 "Strech", a few Cray machines. One computer that stood out in my mind was an IBM radar analysis computer -- features included: *light pen/gun, *circular radar console, *built-in phone (rotary of course), *cigarette lighter and ashtray.
Yes, a cigarette lighter and ashtray -- because watching radar of Russian bombers must have been really boring. I enclosed a picture of the computer with ashtray (which appears on the left hand side -- rotary phone on right). Apparently this machine was obsolete when it was deployed because the USSR switched to using ICBMs and this machine was built for tracking bombers in the Artic circle -- however it wasn't declassified until the 1980s because the Russians didn't know what its capabilities were. As my father put it, 'sometimes a blinking light is just a blinking light.'"
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]