Watch: How "oldschool" computer graphics worked back in the eighties

In part one of a series, the limitations of color on eighties-era computers and early game consoles like NES and Commodore 64.

"The Computer Girls," 1967 Cosmopolitan magazine article on women working with technology

Back then, the women themselves were sometimes called “computers.” They used these machines to compute.

The IBM 1620, an affordable “scientific computer” from 1959.

Some users gave it the acronym CADET: "Can't Add, Doesn't Even Try."

“The Queen of Code,” new short documentary on computing pioneer Grace Hopper

My only objection is that it's not a full-length documentary.

Altair 8800 clone

The Altair 8800 computer cost $621 when it was introduced in 1976. The Altair 8800 Clone is also $621, but it comes with 64k of static memory for free (in 1976, 1k of static memory for the Altair 8800 was $139). (Via Andy Baio) Read the rest

Doug Engelbart (RIP): "The Mother of All Demos"

In memory of computing pioneer Douglas Engelbart, who died last night, please watch this 1968 video of his "Mother of All Demos." Thank you Doug for helping augment human intellect.

"The key thing about all the world's big problems is that they have to be dealt with collectively. If we don't get collectively smarter, we're doomed." - Douglas Engelbart (1925- 2013)
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1951 digital computer restored and rebooted

This is the Harwell Dekatron, aka Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computation (WITCH), a 61-year-old machine that was rebooted yesterday to become "the world's oldest original working digital computer."

Farewell, Ceefax: TV teletext service dies; nonsense pages immortalized in "Look Around You"

As Rob noted in an earlier Boing Boing post, the UK television teletext service known as Ceefax ("See Facts") has been terminated. So sad! It began in 1972. I remember staring at the chunky pixelly pages for hours in my hotel room, on my first visit to the UK in the 1990s.

Robert Popper, funnyman and Look Around You co-creator, says:

I thought I’d perk you all up by digging out the Pages from Ceefax, that Peter Serafinowicz and I made for our Look Around You DVD extras. They’re full of nonsense. Hope you enjoy the guitar I did too. Included here is an improvised modern classical piece. I was trying not to laugh while I played…

I remember these fake Ceefax screens well from the Look Around You DVDs. I had no idea Popper played the music, too. Brilliant. More below.

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