Welcome to Advent of Computing, the show that talks about the shocking, intriguing, and all too often relevant history of computing. A lot of little things we take for granted today have rich stories behind their creation, in each episode we will learn how older tech has lead to our modern world.
Episode 104 - Sketchpad
2 dni temu
1:13:39We're finally taking a look at Sketchpad. This program was completed in 1963 as Ivan Sutherland's Ph.D. research. On the surface it looks like a very fancy drawing program. Under the hood it's hiding some impressive new programming techniques. Selected Sources: http://worrydream.com/refs/Sutherland-Sketchpad.pdf - Sutherland's Sketchpad thesis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=495nCzxM9PI - Sketchpad in action https://www.computerhistory.org/collections/catalog/102738195 - Oral History transcripts
Episode 103 - The Text Interface
1:01:08This episode I attempt to find the first interactive computer text interface. All I can say is, well, it's a journey. Selected Sources: https://sci-hub.se/10.2307/3917015 - Early article on Stibitz's CNC Model I https://archive.org/details/fortranprimer0000orga/page/103/mode/1up?view=theater - Primer on the FORTRAN Monitor System https://kyber.io/rawvids/LISP_I_Programmers_Manual_LISP_I_Programmers_Manual.pdf - LISP I manual
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Episode 102 - Application of Ada
1:05:12This episode picks up where we left off last time. We are looking at Ada and its applications. How does Ada handle tasking? What's the deal with objects? And, most importantly, what are some neat uses of the language? Selected Sources: https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/956653.956654 - Rationale for the Design of Ada https://trs.jpl.nasa.gov/bitstream/handle/2014/45345/08-2590_A1b.pdf - Cassini's AACS computer and software http://www.bitsavers.org/components/intel/iAPX_432/171821-001_Introduction_to_the_iAPX_432_Architecture_Aug81.pdf - Behold the iAPX 432
Episode 101 - Origins of Ada
1:02:25Ada is a fascinating language with a fascinating history. It was initially developed as part of a Department of Defence project. The plan was to create a standardized language for everyone inside the DoD. The results, well, they may just surprise you. Selected Sources: http://archive.adaic.com/pol-hist/history/holwg-93/holwg-93.htm - Ada at the HOLWG https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/956653.956654 - Rationale for the Design of Ada http://iment.com/maida/computer/requirements/strawman.htm - Strawman
Episode 99 - The Berkeley Software Distribution
1:09:55UNIX is a big deal. It's one of the most influential programs in history. Most operating systems that we use today can trace their lineage back to UNIX. The only notable exception at this point is Windows. But all these new-fangled operating systems aren't blood relatives of UNIX, they are all derivatives. Second cousins, if you will. So how did we get from UNIX into a diverse field of UNIX-like things? It all starts with a little project at UC Berkeley. Selected Sources: https://archive.computerhistory.org/resources/access/text/2022/06/102743073-05-01-acc.pdf - Oral History of Bill Joy https://archive.org/details/aquartercenturyofunixpeterh.salus_201910/page/n157/mode/2up?view=theater - A Quarter Century of UNIX
Episode 98 - The Canon Cat
1:10:28This time we are looking at a somewhat obscure machine: the Canon Cat. Designed by Jef Raskin, the Cat is sometimes called the spiritual successor to the Macintosh. That's a nice little epitaph, but doesn't fully explain the tangled mess of things between Raskin, Jobs, Apple, and the Mac. Today we will try to untangle some of that mess as we examine a fascinating little computer that could have changed the world. Selected Sources: http://www.canoncat.net/ -- Everything about the Cat https://archive.org/details/Apple_Mac_Selected_Papers_1980/ -- Raskin's Macintosh memos https://www.digibarn.com/friends/jef-raskin/writings/millions.html -- Computers by the Millions
Episode 97 - What Exactly IS A Database? Part II
1:07:41We've approach the beast itself: SQL. Or, as it used to be known, SEQUEL. In this episode we will discuss how early navigational databases failed, and how we were able to move past them into a relational future. It's a fascinating tale about how careful research and planning can lead to much better tools. Selected sources: https://www.seas.upenn.edu/~zives/03f/cis550/codd.pdf -- Dr. Codd on relational databases https://web.archive.org/web/20070926212100/http://www.almaden.ibm.com/cs/people/chamberlin/sequel-1974.pdf -- The first SEQUEL paper https://people.eecs.berkeley.edu/~brewer/cs262/SystemR.pdf -- A History and Evaluation of System R
Episode 96 - What Exactly IS A Database? Part I
1:00:17I've fallen into a bit of a data rabbit hole, and you get to join me. In this episode I'm starting my journey to understand where databases came from, and how they started to evolve. This will serve as a foundation for next episode, when we will dive into one of the most popular databases from the 1970s: SQL. Along the way we wrestle with GE, the realities of the Apollo Program, and try to figure out what a database really is. Selected Sources: https://sci-hub.se/10.1109/MAHC.2009.110 - A history of IDS https://archive.org/details/TNM_Integrated_Data_Store_introduction_-_General__20171014_0141 - Learn IDS for yourself! https://archive.org/details/bitsavers_ibm360imsRGuide1969_8480205/page/n6/mode/2up - Educational guide to IBM's IMS
Episode 95 - Aspen Movie Map
1:06:27So far I've strayed away from hypermedia in my larger hypertext coverage. This episode helps to fix that. Today we are looking at Aspen Movie Map, a project from 1978 that created a virtual Aspen, Colorado. Why would you want to digitize an entire city? Why did DARPA fund a trip to Aspen? And how does this link up with hypermedia? All this and more will be answered.