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Questions tagged [computers]

Questions regarding the history of devices that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically through programming.

12
votes
1answer
281 views

Was Donald Knuth the first person to typeset a book using a computer?

I came across this article, which recommends a few books. Below is a quite from the article from the part about Digital Typography by Donald Knuth: For another, the book is, well, charming. Donald'...
5
votes
0answers
48 views

Given the direct involvement of tech companies has there been any strikes over tech companies’ participation in surveillance culture?

Google employees have staged a mass strike over sexual harassment. This obviously fits into a tradition of labour disputes and is a conflict over contemporary mores. However, the article does ...
5
votes
2answers
287 views

What is this “d-mac” device?

The only current page I found for this device is this Chinese one, which didn't clarify anything. It looks like she's digitizing a blueprint.
4
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2answers
165 views

What is the origin of the term “Developer” in the context of software? [closed]

The term "software developer" is a popular term for those who create software. The processes of writing software is often called "software development". What is the origin of that term? How did the ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Origin of 'diff' tool [closed]

I can't seem to find any evidence that would place the origin of diff tool to the year 1972 (as stated on wikipedia). So where is any initial research paper on it, first release, source code?
-4
votes
3answers
180 views

Microsoft, #1 Word Processor, and #1 Spread Sheet Program. How did they ascend? [closed]

Microsoft has the #1 Word Processor(Word), the #1 spread sheet program(excel) for nearly 30 years. These programs became #1 in their niches prior to being bundled together in Microsoft Office. ...
12
votes
2answers
758 views

What was the other 99% that PARC didn't show to Apple?

I was reading this article and found this part: The irony was that when they left we still had shown the like only 1% of what PARC was doing but it was enough that they got really excited and ...
2
votes
4answers
780 views

Why was Apple not able to compete with Microsoft in the home PC market?

Most of desktop market belongs to Microsoft, which is surprising to an Apple user. What went wrong, what factors were against Apple, what decisions were made that prevented it from conquering the ...
7
votes
2answers
357 views

Computer business in 1969

Mad Men, season 7, episode 4, describes the computer business in 1969 as follows. IBM would lease computers to businesses, but would do so only for short leases, and would replace them with newer ...
1
vote
2answers
278 views

Reasons for transfer of leadership in computing from Britain to US after WWII

Great advances were made in field of computing until end of WWII. Many of them happened in Britain. However, by about 1960 it can be safely said that US became home of computer science. Why didn't ...
3
votes
1answer
168 views

Other possible inventors of the Transistor?

From Wikipedia's Article on the History of the Transistor: The Bell Labs work on the transistor emerged from war-time efforts to produce extremely pure germanium "crystal" mixer diodes, used in ...
7
votes
0answers
176 views

What was the first time the '@' at sign was used to address an user? [closed]

The first app I know to use "@" to address people is Twitter and then it caught on. I know that "@" was used in Usenet as a replacement for the word "at", but not to refer to specific users to my ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

What computer was used in 1958 for handwriting recognition by Dimond?

I've just seen that the article Dimond, T. L. "Devices for Reading Handwritten Characters". Papers and Discussions. Presented at the December 9-13, 1957, Eastern Joint Computer Conference: ...
1
vote
1answer
282 views

what city was unix invented in? [closed]

Unix operating system (and the C language) was developed at Bell Labs by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie in 1970. What city did they invent it in?
6
votes
2answers
219 views

When did the <input> tag come about, and in what web browser? [closed]

I realize that the <isindex> tag came first, but which browser was the first to support the <input> tag and when?
2
votes
1answer
230 views

Harvard Architecture: How did Harvard Mark I separate data and instruction?

How did Harvard Mark I separate data and instruction? I have read the article in Wikipedia but I didn't understand how data and instruction was separated using a punched paper tape. It said "The ...
8
votes
1answer
282 views

Which floating-point representation did Konrad Zuse's Z1 use?

Wikipedia notes: "The Z1 was a 22-bit floating point value adder and subtracter". But the specific format used is nowhere to be seen.