Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
16

No, Knuth was not the first person to typeset a book "with a computer". The TEX project was started in 1978 by Don­ald E. Knuth, while re­vis­ing the sec­ond vol­ume of his Art of Com­puter Pro­gram­ming. When he got the galleys back, he saw that the pub­lisher had switched to a new dig­i­tal type­set­ting sys­tem and was shocked at the poor qual­ity. ...


13

Even Steve Jobs himself mentioned that they had a whole lot of other stuff going on at PARC, but he got so excited about the GUI that he ignored everything else. I had three or four people (at Apple) who kept bugging that I get my rear over to Xerox PARC and see what they are doing. And, so I finally did. I went over there. And they were very kind. ...


12

It wasn't just Apple. Commodore and Atari both had technically superior machines available for much of the early history of the PC platform, and both also got destroyed in the market. The best answer I've ever seen to this question came from Eric Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar*. The basic gist of the argument is that when it comes to a competition ...


10

That is the D-Mac Cartographic Digitiser, seen here in the 1968 Design journal (Issue 234): It seems the D-Mac Cartographic Digitiser was developed from an earlier device called the D-Mac Pencil Follower, shown here in the 1968 Design journal: Both devices appear to be early types of graphics tablet.


9

The Age of Austerity; from the end of the war in 1945-1951, the British Empire went through a period of depression, a loss of huge amounts of wealth. It is most probable that the British didn't have the funding needed to maintain their standing in computer science. The U.S. didn't have the same financial limitations as the British after WWII, largely because ...


9

IBM started offering the "lease" option in the late 1960s, when leasing became popular in other industries. It seemed like a way to segment the market, but in so doing, IBM opened a window into their business that weakened what had up to that time been a quasi monopoly. There are quite a few examples of firms that bought IBM computers for re-leasing to ...


9

The <input> tag is a part of HTML forms, which first appeared in the Mosaic browser in April 1993. It was standardized in HTML2 in November 1995.


8

There is version he rebuilt himself on display at the German Museum of Technology. According to mrob.com, he used a base-2 system with 24 bits of data (I'm not sure why the discrepency with those who claim 22. Perhaps its an inadvertent paste from the Z3 line?) with 7 bits for the exponent and 16 for the mantissa (and presumably one bit for sign), which ...


8

The Rise of the IBM PC was very quick. The Apple II had done well and blazed a path but many as a hobby computer more than a business machine, and it was tagged as cute rather than practical. IBM had huge brand clout in Business an businesses looked at the IBM offering favourably just because it came from IBM. The Apple II had an open architecture but had ...


7

The Unix Heritage Society shows that while diff's man page appeared in V6 (1975), its source code appeared in V5 (1974). The algorithm is described there as being "due to Harold Stone".


7

On the About GNU page of the GNU project, Richard Stallman himself states that the operating sysytem in use when he joined the MIT Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab in 1971 was the Incompatible Timesharing System (ITS): When I started working at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab in 1971, I became part of a software-sharing community that had existed for ...


5

I was a design engineer with Dobbie McInnes ending up as Chief Engineer for Digitising Systems at Ferranti Infographics, so I can comment on these pictures. The centre picture is of a mid 1960s CF digitiser, using the Pencil Follower table developed by Dr Boyle under contract to the Canadian Geographical Information System project. The control cabinet on the ...


5

Here are more items from: "Alan Kay's tribute to Ted Nelson at "Intertwingled" Fest":


5

Unix was developed at the Murray Hill, New Jersey laboratory of Bell Labs. See article in The Economist for June 10, 2004.


4

Actually, I'm reading a book, "Turing's Cathedral" that discusses the development of computers. From my reading of the book it appears that the principal developments in computing, with respect to actually engineering a device that could implement computing principles, and bringing a product to market, occurred in the United States. The research in the ...


4

Dimond did not use any computer, he was a researcher/theorist. His paper simply describes a technique that could be applicable for dedicated circuits typical of the time. He was not anticipating the use of general computers to solve the problem. He was expecting the logic to be implemented in a hardwired device, specifically built to recognize standardized ...


3

Microsoft went for the users, at home. Not companies. That too, of course. But conquering the home market was the priority. Their strategy was that once people start working with MS Office products at home, they would ask for it in the company. This really worked. Word Perfect missed the step from DOS to Win 3. Lotus 1,2,3 was the default spreadsheet for ...


3

Microsoft basically took advantage of the growth: it bundled Word and Excel into as many new PCs as it could. In the early days of the PC, growth was so phenomenal that more new PCs were sometimes sold in a year than in the history of computers. In such a context, if you bundle your software with every PC sold (in exchange for, say, Windows), you'll have ...


3

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "developer" (in any context) dates back as far back as 1772: A late excellent developer of the human heart... Letters Several Eminent Persons Deceased There have been a lot of other things and people called "developers" since then. In particular, it has been used to describe "[a] person, organization,...


3

The word "develop" has applied to projects longer than we've had computers. Merriam-Webster has the definition "to create or produce especially by deliberate effort over time". Computer programs require this kind of work, so the word fit. Google Ngrams shows a huge spike in the use of the term "research and development" around WWII. I'm having trouble ...


2

Take a look at this book: C. G. Bell, J. Grason, A. Newell, DESIGNING COMPUTERS AND DIGITAL SYSTEMS USING PDP-16 REGISTER TRANSFER MODULES, Digital Press, September 1972 I quote the penultimate paragraph of the acknowledgements, in part: We have particularly enjoyed the experimentation with the art of textbook production, by using our own computing ...


2

From your same link. The Mark I read its instructions from a 24-channel punched paper tape. It executed the current instruction and then read in the next one. A separate tape could contain numbers for input, but the tape formats were not interchangeable. Instructions could not be executed from the storage registers. A different tape is used for data. ...


2

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were genius businessmen, but Steve Jobs made two missteps, the Apple III and the Lisa, and was fired for it just as his newest effort, the Macintosh, was exploding in popularity. Gates, on the other hand, as a software impresario, let other people take risks with hardware. He let IBM design the hardware, and then supported the ...


1

IBM was arguably one of the greatest companies in America as they introduced the PC. They had decades of continuous earnings growth. They were what every American business strove to become. They went decades without firing any employees. When they went into the PC market they used cheap off the shelf components including CPU, Architecture, and Operating ...


1

From following the references at Wikipedia, I found The Lost History of the Transistor. Which led me to How Europe Missed The Transistor, which, seems to suggest that France or Germany could have been the first creators of the transistor... Two physicists from the German radar program, Herbert Mataré and Heinrich Welker ... German Efforts: Everything ...


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