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.'"
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
A leaked Comcast memo discloses that the company’s consumer data caps have nothing to do with network congestion, contrary to its public claims. The internet service provider has often complained (such as when lobbying against net neutrality) that it must impose limits on service to prevent network congestion. The argument suggests that these measures are […]
Plastic is so 2013. You don’t want to buy something only to throw it away or lose it and barely care. You like nice things and want to hang onto them. The Plazmatic lighter here is a high quality, high tech alternative to the typical cheap, plastic lighter you get at the old gas station. […]
Real engineers build things. Super cool engineers build things with their hands and fingers, like our engineering forefathers did. No idea where to even begin to do that? This step by step Arduino course is now 92% off and is going to get you up and running, from zero to hero, in no time. So […]
How do Google and YouTube really work? It turns out, Python kind of runs things around those parts. And with this bootcamp, you’ll get whipped into shape and ready to start programming yourself. Whether you’re a Python pro and just want to sharpen your skills, or a total tech newbie with little or no coding […]