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.'"
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
If you don’t want to get stuck footing the bill for a hit and run, this dashboard-mounted camera offers up to 2K resolution to make sure you always have a reliable witness, and it’s available in the Boing Boing Store for 30% off it’s usual price.The PapaGo mounts unobtrusively to your windshield to see everything […]
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]