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.'"
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 […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
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From self-driving cars to stock market predicting software to the recommendations you get on Amazon and Netflix, machine learning is at the core of modern technology. You could find yourself building technology that is literally changing the world with the skills you’ll learn in The Complete Machine Learning Bundle. This bundle of 10 courses includes 406 lessons that will teach […]