'computing' Episodes

Happy Birthday ENIAC

     2/15/2020

Today we’re going to celebrate the birthday of the first real multi-purpose computer: the gargantuan ENIAC which would have turned 74 years old today, on February 15th. Many generations ago in computing. The year is 1946. World War II raged from 1939 to 1945. We’d cracked Enigma with computers and scientists were thinking of more and more ways to use them. The press is now running articles about a “giant brain” built in Philadelphia. The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer was a mouthful, so they called it ENIAC. It was the first true electronic computer. Before that there were electromechanical monstrosities. Those had to physically move a part in order to process a mathematical formula. That took time. ENIAC used vacuum tubes instead. A lot of them. To put things in perspective: very hour of processing by the ENiAC was worth 2,400 hours of work calculating formulas by hand. And it’s not like you can do 2,400 hours in parallel between people or in a row of course. So it made the previous almost impossible, possible. Sure, you could figure out the settings to fire a bomb where you wanted two bombs to go in a minute rather than about a full day of running calculations. But math itself, for the purposes of math, was about to get really, really cool. The Bush Differential Analyzer, a later mechanical computer, had been built in the basement of the building that is now the ENIAC museum. The University of Pennsylvania ran a class on wartime electronics, based on their experience with the Differential Analyzer. John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert met in 1941 while taking that class, a topic that had included lots of shiny new or newish things like radar and cryptanalysis. That class was mostly on ballistics, a core focus at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. More accurate ballistics would be a huge contribution to the war effort. But Echert and Mauchly wanted to go further, building a multi-purpose computer that could analyze weather and calculate ballistics. Mauchly got all fired up and wrote a memo about building a general purpose computer. But the University shot it down. And so ENIAC began life as Project PX when Herman Goldstine acted as the main sponsor after seeing their proposal and digging it back up. Mauchly would team up with Eckert to design the computer and the effort was overseen and orchestrated by Major General Gladeon Barnes of the US Army Ordnance Corps. Thomas Sharpless was the master programmer. Arthur Burkes built the multiplier. Robert Shaw designed the function tables. Harry Huskey designed the reader and the printer. Jeffrey Chu built the dividers. And Jack Davis built the accumulators. Ultimately it was just a really big calculator and not a computer that ran stored programs in the same way we do today. Although ENIAC did get an early version of stored programming that used a function table for read only memory. The project was supposed to cost $61,700. The University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer and Information Science in Philadelphia actually spent half a million dollars worth of metal, tubes and wires. And of course the scientists weren’t free. That’s around $6 and a half million worth of cash today. And of course it was paid for by the US Army. Specifically the Ballistic Research Laboratory. It was designed to calculate firing tables to make blowing things up a little more accurate. Herman Goldstine chose a team of programmers that included Betty Jennings, Betty Snyder, Kay McNulty, Fran Bilas, Marlyn Meltzer, and Ruth Lichterman. They were chosen from a pool of 200 and set about writing the necessary formulas for the machine to process the requirements provided from people using time on the machine. In fact, Kay McNulty invented the concept of subroutines while working on the project. They would flip switches and plug in cables as a means of programming the computer. And programming took weeks of figuring up complex calculations on paper. . Then it took days of fiddling with cables, switches, tubes, and panels to input the program. Debugging was done step by step, similar to how we use break points today. They would feed ENIAC input using IBM punch cards and readers. The output was punch cards as well and these punch cards acted as persistent storage. The machine then used standard octal radio tubes. 18000 tubes and they ran at a lower voltage than they could in order to minimize them blowing out and creating heat. Each digit used in calculations took 36 of those vacuum tubes and 20 accumulators that could run 5,000 operations per second. The accumulators used two of those tubes to form a flip-flop and they got them from the Kentucky Electrical Lamp Company. Given the number that blew every day they must have loved life until engineers got it to only blowing a tube every couple of days. ENIAC was modular computer and used different panels to perform different tasks, or functions. It used ring counters with 10 positions for a lot of operations making it a digital computer as opposed to the modern binary computational devices we have today. The pulses between the rings were used to count. Suddenly computers were big money. A lot of research had happened in a short amount of time. Some had been government funded and some had been part of corporations and it became impossible to untangle the two. This was pretty common with technical advances during World War II and the early Cold War years. John Atanasoff and Cliff Berry had ushered in the era of the digital computer in 1939 but hadn’t finished. Maunchly had seen that in 1941. It was used to run a number of calculations for the Manhattan Project, allowing us to blow more things up than ever. That project took over a million punch cards and took precedent over artillery tables. Jon Von Neumann worked with a number of mathematicians and physicists including Stanislaw Ulam who developed the Monte Method. That led to a massive reduction in programming time. Suddenly programming became more about I/O than anything else. To promote the emerging computing industry, the Pentagon had the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at The University of Pennsylvania launch a series of lectures to further computing at large. These were called the Theory and Techniques for Design of Electronic Digital Computers, or just the Moore School Lectures for short. The lectures focused on the various types of circuits and the findings from Eckert and Mauchly on building and architecting computers. Goldstein would talk at length about math and other developers would give talks, looking forward to the development of the EDVAC and back at how they got where they were with ENIAC. As the University began to realize the potential business impact and monetization, they decided to bring a focus to University owned patents. That drove the original designers out of the University of Pennsylvania and they started the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation in 1946. Eckert-Mauchley would the build EDVAC, taking use of progress the industry had made since the ENIAC construction had begun. EDVAC would effectively represent the wholesale move away from digital and into binary computing and while it weighed tons - it would become the precursor to the microchip. After the ENIAC was finished Mauchly filed for a patent in 1947. While a patent was granted, you could still count on your fingers the number of machines that were built at about the same time, including the Atanasoff Berry Computer, Colossus, the Harvard Mark I and the Z3. So luckily the patent was avoided and digital computers are a part of the public domain. That patent was voided in 1973. By then, the Eckert-Mauchly computer corporation had been acquired by Remington Rand, which merged with Sperry and is now called Unisys. The next wave of computers would be mainframes built by GE, Honeywell, IBM, and another of other vendors and so the era of batch processing mainframes began. The EDVAC begat the UNIVAC and Grace Hopper being brought in to write an assembler for that. Computers would become the big mathematical number crunchers and slowly spread into being data processors from there. Following decades of batch processing mainframes we would get minicomputers and interactivity, then time sharing, and then the PC revolution. Distinct eras in computing. Today, computers do far more than just the types of math the ENIAC did. In fact, the functionality of ENIAC was duplicated onto a 20 megahertz microchip in 1996. You know, ‘cause the University of Pennsylvania wanted to do something to celebrate the 50th birthday. And a birthday party seemed underwhelming at the time. And so the date of release for this episode is February 15th, now ENIAC Day in Philadelphia, dedicated as a way to thank the university, creators, and programmers. And we should all reiterate their thanks. They helped put computers front and center into the thoughts of the next generation of physicists, mathematicians, and engineers, who built the mainframe era. And I should thank you - for listening to this episode. I’m pretty lucky to have ya’. Have a great day! .


Polish Innovations In Computing

     1/27/2020

Computing In Poland Welcome to the History of Computing Podcast, where we explore the history of information technology. Because understanding the past prepares us to innovate (and sometimes cope with) the future! Today we’re going to do something a little different. Based on a recent trip to Katowice and Krakow, and a great visit to the Museum of Computer and Information Technology in Katowice, we’re going to look at the history of computing in Poland. Something they are proud of and should be proud of. And I’m going to mispronounce some words. Because they are averse to vowels. But not really, instead because I’m just not too bright. Apologies in advance. First, let’s take a stroll through an overly brief history of Poland itself. Atilla the Hun and other conquerors pushed Germanic tribes from Poland in the fourth century which led to a migration of Slavs from the East into the area. After a long period of migration, duke Mieszko established the Piast dynasty in 966, and they created the kingdom of Poland in 1025, which lasted until 1370 when Casimir the Great died without an heir. That was replaced by the Jagiellonian dynasty which expanded until they eventually developed into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569. Turns out they overextended themselves until the Russians, Prussians, and Austria invaded and finally took control in 1795, partitioning Poland. Just before that, Polish clockmaker Jewna Jakobson built a mechanical computing machine, a hundred years after Pascal, in 1770. And innovations In mechanical computing continued on with Abraham Izrael Stern and his son through the 1800s and Bruno’s Intergraph, which could solve complex differential equations. And so the borders changed as Prussia gave way to Germany until World War I when the Second Polish Republic was established. And the Poles got good at cracking codes as they struggled to stay sovereign against Russian attacks. Just as they’d struggled to stay sovereign for well over a century. Then the Germans and Soviets formed a pact in 1939 and took the country again. During the war, Polish scientists not only assisted with work on the Enigma but also with the nuclear program in the US, the Manhattan Project. Stanislaw Ulam was recruited to the project and helped with ENIAC by developing the Monte Carlo method along with Jon Von Neumann. The country remained partitioned until Germany fell in WWII and the Soviets were able to effectively rule the Polish People’s Republic until a socal-Democratic movement swept the country in 1989, resulting in the current government and Poland moving from the Eastern Bloc to NATO and eventually the EU around the same time the wall fell in Berlin. Able to put the Cold War behind them, Polish cities are now bustling with technical innovation and is now home some of the best software developers I’ve ever met. Polish contributions to a more modern computer science began in 1924 when Jan Lukasiewicz developed Polish Notation, a way of writing mathematical expressions such that they are operator-first. during World War II when the Polish Cipher Bureau were the first that broke the Enigma encryption, at different levels from 1932 to 1939. They had been breaking codes since using them to thwart a Russian invasion in the 1920s and had a pretty mature operation at this point. But it was a slow, manUal process, so Marian Rejewski, one of the cryptographers developed a card catalog of permutations and used a mechanical computing device he invented a few years earlier called a cyclometer to decipher the codes. The combination led to the bomba kryptologiczna which was shown to the allies 5 weeks before the war started and in turn led to the Ultra program and eventually Colossus once Alan Turing got a hold of it, conceptually after meeting Rejewski. After the war he became an accountant to avoid being forced into slave cryptographic work by the Russians. In 1948 the Group for Mathematical Apparatus of the Mathematical Institute in Warsaw was formed and the academic field of computer research was formed in Poland. Computing continued in Poland during the Soviet-controlled era. EMAL-1 was started in 1953 but was never finished. The XYZ computer came along in 1958. Jack Karpiński built the first real vacuum tube mainframe in Poland, called the AAH in 1957 to analyze weather patterns and improve forecasts. He then worked with a team to build the AKAT-1 to simulate lots of labor intensive calculations like heat transfer mechanics. Karpinski founded the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He would win a UNESCO award and receive a 6 month scholarship to study in the US, which the polish government used to spy on American progress in computing. He came home armed with some innovative ideas from the West and by 1964 built what he called the Perceptron, a computer that could be taught to identify shapes and even some objects. Nothing like that had existed in Poland or anywhere else controlled by communist regimes at the time. From 65 to 68 he built the KAR-65, even faster, to study CERN data. By then there was a rising mainframe and minicomputer industry outside of academia in Poland. Production of the Odra mainframe-era computers began in 1959 in Wroclaw, Poland and his work was seen by them and Elwro as a threat do they banned him from publishing for a time. Elwro built a new factory in 1968, copying IBM standardization. In 1970, Karpiński realized he had to play ball with the government and got backing from officials in the government. He would then designed the k-202 minicomputer in 1971. Minicomputers were on the rise globally and he introduced the concept of paging to computer science, key in virtual memory. This time he recruited 113 programmers and hardware engineers and by 73 were using Intel 4004 chips to build faster computers than the DEC PDP-11. But the competitors shut him down. They only sold 30 and by 1978 he retired to Switzerland (that sounds better than fled) - but he returned to Poland following the end of communism in the country and the closing of the Elwro plant in 1989. By then the Personal Computing revolution was upon us. That had begun in Poland with the Meritum, a TRS-80 clone, back in 1983. More copying. But the Elwro 800 Junior shipped in 1986 and by 1990 when the communists split the country could benefit from computers being mass produced and the removal of export restrictions that were stifling innovation and keeping Poles from participating in the exploding economy around computers. Energized, the Poles quickly learned to write code and now graduate over 40,000 people in IT from universities, by some counts making Poland a top 5 tech country. And as an era of developers graduate they are founding museums to honor those who built their industry. It has been my privilege to visit two of them at this point. The description of the one in Krakow reads: The Interactive Games and Computers Museum of the Past Era is a place where adults will return to their childhood and children will be drawn into a lots of fun. We invite you to play on more than 20 computers / consoles / arcade machines and to watch our collection of 200 machines and toys from the '70's-'90's. The second is the Museum of Computer and Information Technology in Katowice, and the most recent that I had the good fortune to visit. Both have systems found at other types of computer history museums such as a Commodore PET but showcasing the locally developed systems and looking at them on a timeline it’s quickly apparent that while Poland had begun to fall behind by the 80s, it was more a reflection of why the strikes throughout caused the Eastern Bloc to fall, because Russian influence couldn’t. Much as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth couldn’t support Polish control of Lithuania in the late 1700s. There were other accomplishments such as The ZAM-2. And the first fully Polish machine, the BINEG. And rough set theory. And ultrasonic mercury memory.


BASIC

     11/24/2019

BASIC Welcome to the History of Computing Podcast, where we explore the history of information technology. Because by understanding the past prepares us to innovate the future! Today we’re going to look at the computer that was the history of the BASIC programming language. We say BASIC but really BASIC is more than just a programming language. It’s a family of languages and stands for Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. As the name implies it was written to help students that weren’t math nerds learn how to use computers. When I was selling a house one time, someone was roaming around in my back yard and apparently they’d been to an open house and they asked if I’m a computer scientist after they saw a dozen books I’d written on my bookshelf. I really didn’t know how to answer that question We’ll start this story with Hungarian John George Kemeny. This guy was pretty smart. He was born in Budapest and moved to the US with his family in 1940 when his family fled anti-Jewish sentiment and laws in Hungary. Some of his family would go on to die in the Holocaust, including his grandfather. But safely nestled in New York City, he would graduate high school at the top of his class and go on to Princeton. Check this out, he took a year off to head out to Los Alamos and work on the Manhattan Project under Nobel laureate Richard Feynman. That’s where he met fellow Hungarian immigrant Jon Von Neumann - two of a group George Marx wrote about in his book on great Hungarian Emmigrant Scientists and thinkers called The Martians. When he got back to Princeton he would get his Doctorate and act as an assistant to Albert Einstein. Seriously, THE Einstein. Within a few years he was a full professor at Dartmouth and go on to publish great works in mathematics. But we’re not here to talk about those contributions to the world as an all around awesome place. You see, by the 60s math was evolving to the point that you needed computers. And Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz would do something special. Now Kurtz was another Dartmoth professor who got his PhD from Princeton. He and Kemeny got thick as thieves and wrote the Dartmouth Time-Sharing System (keep in mind that Time Sharing was all the rage in the 60s, as it gave more and more budding computer scientists access to those computer-things that prior to the advent of Unix and the PC revolution had mostly been reserved for the high priests of places like IBM. So Time Sharing was cool, but the two of them would go on to do something far more important. In 1956, they would write DARSIMCO, or Dartmouth Simplified Code. As with Pascal, you can blame Algol. Wait, no one has ever heard of DARSIMCO? Oh… I guess they wrote that other language you’re here to hear the story of as well. So in 59 they got a half million dollar grant from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation to build a new department building. That’s when Kurtz actually joined the department full time. Computers were just going from big batch processed behemoths to interactive systems. They tried teaching with DARSIMCO, FORTRAN, and the Dartmouth Oversimplified Programming Experiment, a classic acronym for 1960s era DOPE. But they didn’t love the command structure nor the fact that the languages didn’t produce feedback immediately. What was it called? Oh, so in 1964, Kemeny wrote the first iteration of the BASIC programming language and Kurtz joined him very shortly thereafter. They did it to teach students how to use computers. It’s that simple. And as most software was free at the time, they released it to the public. We might think of this as open source-is by todays standards. I say ish as Dartmouth actually choose to copyright BASIC. Kurtz has said that the name BASIC was chosen because “We wanted a word that was simple but not simple-minded, and BASIC was that one.” The first program I wrote was in BASIC. BASIC used line numbers and read kinda’ like the English language. The first line of my program said 10 print “Charles was here” And the computer responded that “Charles was here” - the second program I wrote just added a second line that said: 20 goto 10 Suddenly “Charles was here” took up the whole screen and I had to ask the teacher how to terminate the signal. She rolled her eyes and handed me a book. And that my friend, was the end of me for months. That was on an Apple IIc. But a lot happened with BASIC between 1964 and then. As with many technologies, it took some time to float around and evolve. The syntax was kinda’ like a simplified FORTRAN, making my FORTRAN classes in college a breeze. That initial distribution evolved into Dartmouth BASIC, and they received a $300k grant and used student slave labor to write the initial BASIC compiler. Mary Kenneth Keller was one of those students and went on to finish her Doctorate in 65 along with Irving Tang, becoming the first two PhDs in computer science. After that she went off to Clarke College to found their computer science department. The language is pretty easy. I mean, like PASCAL, it was made for teaching. It spread through universities like wildfire during the rise of minicomputers like the PDP from Digital Equipment and the resultant Data General Nova. This lead to the first text-based games in BASIC, like Star Trek. And then came the Altair and one of the most pivotal moments in the history of computing, the porting of BASIC to the platform by Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen. But Tiny BASIC had appeared a year before and suddenly everyone needed “a basic.” You had Commodore BASIC, BBC Basic, Basic for the trash 80, the Apple II, Sinclair and more. Programmers from all over the country had learned BASIC in college on minicomputers and when the PC revolution came, a huge part of that was the explosion of applications, most of which were written in… you got it, BASIC! I typically think of the end of BASIC coming in 1991 when Microsoft bought Visual Basic off of Alan Cooper and object-oriented programming became the standard. But the things I could do with a simple if, then else statement. Or a for to statement or a while or repeat or do loop. Absolute values, exponential functions, cosines, tangents, even super-simple random number generation. And input and output was just INPUT and PRINT or LIST for source. Of course, functional programming was always simpler and more approachable. So there, you now have Kemeny as a direct connection between Einstein and the modern era of computing. Two immigrants that helped change the world. One famous, the other with a slightly more nuanced but probably no less important impact in a lot of ways. Those early BASIC programs opened our eyes. Games, spreadsheets, word processors, accounting, Human Resources, databases. Kemeny would go on to chair the commission investigating Three Mile Island, a partial nuclear meltdown that was a turning point in nuclear proliferation. I wonder what Kemeny thought when he read the following on the Statue of Liberty: Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Perhaps, like many before and after, he thought that he would breathe free and with that breath, do something great, helping bring the world into the nuclear era and preparing thousands of programmers to write software that would change the world. When you wake up in the morning, you have crusty bits in your eyes and things seem blurry at first. You have to struggle just a bit to get out of bed and see the sunrise. BASIC got us to that point. And for that, we owe them our sincerest thanks. And thank you dear listeners, for your contributions to the world in whatever way they may be. You’re beautiful. And of course thank you for giving me some meaning on this planet by tuning in. We’re so lucky to have you, have a great day!


The Altair 8800

     9/19/2019

Welcome to the History of Computing Podcast, where we explore the history of information technology. Because understanding the past prepares us for the innovations of the future! Todays episode is on Agile Software Development. Agile software development is a methodology, or anti-methodology, or approach to software development that evolves the requirements a team needs to fulfill and the solutions they need to build in a collaborative, self-organized, and cross-functional way. Boy, that’s a lot to spit out there. I was in an elevator the other day and I heard someone say: “That’s not very agile.” And at that moment, I knew that I just couldn’t help but do an episode on agile. I’ve worked in a lot of teams that use a lot of variants of agile, scrum, Kanban, scrumban, Extreme Programing, Lean Software Development. Some of these are almost polar opposites and you still hear people talk about what is agile and if they want to make fun of people doing things an old way, they’ll say something like waterfall. Nothing ever was waterfall, given that you learn on the fly, find re-usable bits or hit a place where you just say that’s not possible. But that’s another story. The point here is that agile is, well, weaponized to back up what a person wants someone to do. Or how they want a team to be run. And it isn’t always done from an informed point of view. Why is Agile an anti-methodology? Think of it more like a classification maybe. There were a number of methodologies like Extreme Programming, Scrum, Kanban, Feature Driven Development, Adaptive Software Development, RAD, and Lean Software Development. These had come out to bring shape around a very similar idea. But over the course of 10-20 years, each had been developed in isolation. In college, I had a computer science professor who talked about “adaptive software development” from his days at a large power company in Georgia back in the 70s. Basically, you are always adapting what you’re doing based on speculation of how long something will take, collaboration on that observation and what you learn while actually building. This shaped how I view software development for years to come. He was already making fun of Waterfall methodologies, or a cycle where you write a large set of requirements and stick to them. Waterfall worked well if you were building a computer to land people on the moon. It was a way of saying “we’re not engineers, we’re software developers.” Later in college, with the rapid proliferation of the Internet and computers into dorm rooms I watched the emergence of rapid application development, where you let the interface requirements determine how you build. But once someone weaponized that by putting a label on it, or worse forking the label into spiral and unified models, then they became much less useful and the next hot thing had to come along. Kent Beck built a methodology called Extreme Programming - or XP for short - in 1996 and that was the next hotness. Here, we release software in shorter development cycles and software developers, like police officers on patrol work in pairs, reviewing and testing code and not writing each feature until it’s required. The idea of unit testing and rapid releasing really came out of the fact that the explosion of the Internet in the 90s meant people had to ship fast and this was also during the rise of really main-stream object-oriented programming languages. The nice thing about XP was that you could show a nice graph where you planned, managed, designed, coded, and tested your software. The rules of Extreme Programming included things like “Code the unit test first” - and “A stand up meeting starts each day.” Extreme Programming is one of these methodologies. Scrum is probably the one most commonly used today. But the rest, as well as the Crystal family of methodologies, are now classified as Agile software development methodologies. So it’s like a parent. Is agile really just a classification then? No. So where did agile come from? By 2001, Kent Beck, who developed Extreme Programming met with Ward Cunningham (who built WikiWikiWeb, the first wiki), Dave Thomas, a programmer who has since written 11 books, Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber, who designed Scrum. Jim Highsmith, who developed that Adaptive Software Development methodology, and many others were at the time involved in trying to align an organizational methodology that allowed software developers to stop acting like people that built bridges or large buildings. Most had day jobs but they were like-minded and decided to meet at a quaint resort in Snowbird, Utah. They might have all wanted to use the methodologies that each of them had developed. But if they had all been jerks then they might not have had a shift in how software would be written for the next 20+ years. They decided to start with something simple, a statement of values; instead of Instead of bickering and being dug into specific details, they were all able to agree that software development should not be managed in the same fashion as engineering projects are run. So they gave us the Manifesto for Agile Software Development… The Manifesto reads: We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value: * Individuals and interactions over processes and tools * Working software over comprehensive documentation * Customer collaboration over contract negotiation * Responding to change over following a plan That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more. But additionally, the principles dig into and expand upon some of that adjacently. The principles behind the Agile Manifesto: Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation. Working software is the primary measure of progress. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly. Many of the words here are easily weaponized. For example, “satisfy the customer.” Who’s the customer? The product manager? The end user? The person in an enterprise who actually buys the software? The person in that IT department that made the decision to buy the software? In the scrum methodology, the customer is not known. The product owner is their representative. But the principles should need to identify that, just use the word so each methodology makes sure to cover it. Now take “continuous delivery.” People frequently just lump CI in there with CD. I’ve heard continuous design, continuous improvement, continuous deployment, continuous podcasting. Wait, I made the last one up. We could spend hours going through each of these and identifying where they aren’t specific enough. Or, again, we could revel in their lack of specificity by pointing us into the direction of a methodology where these words get much more specific meanings. Ironically, I know accounting teams at very large companies that have scrum masters, engineering teams for big projects with a project manager and a scrum master, and even a team of judges that use agile methodologies. There are now scrum masters embedded in most software teams of note. But once you see Agile on the cover of The Harvard Business Review, you hate to do this given all the classes in agile/XP/scrum - but you have to start wondering what’s next? For 20 years, we’ve been saying “stop treating us like engineers” or “that’s waterfall.” Every methodology seems to grow. Right after I finished my PMP I was on a project with someone else that had just finished theirs. I think they tried to implement the entire Project management Body of Knowledge. If you try to have every ceremony from Scrum, you’re not likely to even have half a day left over to write any code. But you also don’t want to be like the person on the elevator, weaponizing only small parts of a larger body of work, just to get your way. And more importantly, to admit that none of us have all the right answers and be ready to, as they say in Extreme Programming: Fix XP when it breaks - which is similar to Boyd’s Destruction and Creation, or the sustenance and destruction in Lean Six-Sigma. Many of us forget that last part: be willing to walk away from the dogma and start over. Thomas Jefferson called for a revolution every 20 years. We have two years to come up with a replacement! And until you replace me, thank you so very much for tuning into another episode of the History of Computing Podcast. We’re lucky to have you. Have a great day!


Wikipedia

     9/2/2019

Welcome to the History of Computing Podcast, where we explore the history of information technology. Because understanding the past prepares us for the innovations of the future! Todays episode is on the history of Wikipedia. The very idea of a single location that could store all the known information in the world began with Ptolemy I, founder of the Greek dynasty that ruled Egypt following the death of Alexander the great. He and his son amassed 100s of thousands of scrolls in the Library and Alexandria from 331 BC and on. The Library was part of a great campus of the Musaeum where they also supported great minds starting with Ptolemy I’s patronage of Euclid, the father of geometry, and later including Archimedes, the father of engineering, Hipparchus, the founder of trigonometry, Her, the father of math, and Herophilus, who gave us the scientific method and countless other great hellenistic thinkers. The Library entered into a slow decline that began with the expulsion of intellectuals from Alexandria in 145BC. Ptolemy VIII was responsible for that. Always be weary of people who attack those that they can’t win over especially when they start blaming the intellectual elite for the problems of the world. This began a slow decline of the library until it burned, first with a small fire accidentally set by Caesar in 48BC and then for good in the 270s AD. In the centuries since there have been attempts here and there to gather great amounts of information. The first known encyclopedia was the Naturalis Historiae by Pliny the Elder, never completed because he was killed in the eruption of Vesuvius. One of the better known being the Encyclopedia Britannica, starting off in 1768. Mass production of these was aided by the printing press but given that there’s a cost to producing those materials and a margin to be made in the sale of those materials that encouraged a somewhat succinct exploration of certain topics. The advent of the computer era of course led to encyclopedias on CD and then to online encyclopedias. Encyclopedias at the time employed experts in certain fields and paid them for compiling and editing articles for volumes that would then be sold. As we say these days, this was a business model just waiting to be disrupted. Jimmy Wales was moderating an online discussion board on Objectivism and happened across Larry Sanger in the early 90s. They debated and became friends. Wales started Nupedia, which was supposed to be a free encyclopedia, funded by advertising revenue. As it was to be free, they were to recruit thousands of volunteer editors. People of the caliber that had been previously hired to research and write articles for encyclopedias. Sanger, who was pursuing a PhD in philosophy from Ohio State University, was hired on as editor-in-chief. This was a twist on the old model of compiling an encyclopedia and a twist that didn’t work out as intended. Volunteers were slow to sign up, but Nupedia went online in 2000. Later in the year there had only been two articles that made it through the review process. When Sanger told Ben Kovitz about this, he recommended looking at the emerging wiki culture. This had been started with WikiWikiWeb, developed by Ward Cunningham in 1994, named after a shuttle bus that ran between airport terminals at the Honolulu airport. WikiWikiWeb had been inspired by Hypercard but needed to be multi-user so people could collaborate on web pages, quickly producing content on new patterns in programming. He wanted to make non-writers feel ok about writing. Sanger proposed using a wiki to be able to accept submissions for articles and edits from anyone but still having a complicated review process to accept changes. The reviewers weren’t into that, so they started a side project they called Wikipedia in 2001 with a user-generated model for content, or article, generation. The plan was to generate articles on Wikipedia and then move or copy them into Nupedia once they were ready. But Wikipedia got mentioned on Slashdot. In 2001 there were nearly 30 million websites but half a billion people using the web. Back then a mention on the influential Slashdot could make a site. And it certainly helped. They grew and more and more people started to contribute. They hit 1,000 articles in March of 2001 and that increased by 10 fold by September, By And another 4 fold the next year. It started working independent of Nupedia. The dot-com bubble burst in 2000 and by 2002 Nupedia had to lay Sanger off and he left both projects. Nupedia slowly died and was finally shut down in 2003. Eventually the Wikimedia Foundation was built to help unlock the world’s knowledge, which now owns and operates Wikipedia. Wikimedia also includes Commons for media, Wikibooks that includes free textbooks and manuals, Wikiquote for quotations, Wikiversity for free learning materials, MediaWiki the source code for the site, Wikidata for pulling large amounts of data from Wikimedia properties using APIs, Wikisource, a library of free content, Wikivoyage, a free travel guide, Wikinews, free news, Wikispecies, a directory containing over 687,000 species. Many of the properties have very specific ways of organizing data, making it easier to work with en masse. The properties have grown because people like to be helpful and Wales allowed self-governance of articles. To this day he rarely gets involved in the day-to-day affairs of the wikipedia site, other than the occasional puppy dog looks in banners asking for donations. You should donate. He does have 8 principles the site is run by: 1. Wikipedia’s success to date is entirely a function of our open community. 2. Newcomers are always to be welcomed. 3. “You can edit this page right now” is a core guiding check on everything that we do. 4. Any changes to the software must be gradual and reversible. 5. The open and viral nature of the GNU Free Documentation License and the Create Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License is fundamental to the long-term success of the site. 6. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. 7. Anyone with a complaint should be treated with the utmost respect and dignity. 8. Diplomacy consists of combining honesty and politeness. This culminates in 5 pillars wikipedia is built on: 1. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. 2. Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view. 3. Wikipedia is free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute. 4. Wikipedia’s editors should treat each other with respect and civility. 5. Wikipedia has no firm rules. Sanger went on to found Citizendium, which uses real names instead of handles, thinking maybe people will contribute better content if their name is attached to something. The web is global. Throughout history there have been encyclopedias produced around the world, with the Four Great Books of Song coming out of 11th century China, the Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity coming out of 10th century Persia. When Wikipedia launched, it was in English. Wikipedia launched a German version using the deutsche.wikipedia.com subdomain. It now lives at de.wikipedia.com and Wikipedia has gone from being 90% English to being almost 90 % non-English, meaning that Wikipedia is able to pull in even more of the world’s knowledge. Wikipedia picked up nearly 20,000 English articles in 2001, over 75,000 new articles in 2002, and that number has steadily climbed wreaching over 3,000,000 by 2010, and we’re closing in on 6 Million today. The English version is 10 terabytes of data uncompressed. If you wanted to buy a printed copy of wikipedia today, it would be over 2500 books. By 2009 Microsoft Encarta shut down. By 2010 Encyclopedia Britannica stopped printing their massive set of books and went online. You can still buy encyclopedias from specialty makers, such as the World Book. Ironically, Encyclopedia Britannica does now put real names of people on articles they produce on their website, in an ad-driven model. There are a lot of ads. And the content isn’t linked to as many places nor as thorough. Creating a single location that could store all the known information in the world seems like a pretty daunting task. Compiling the non-copywritten works of the world is now the mission of Wikipedia. The site receives the fifth most views per month and is read by nearly half a billion people a month with over 15 billion page views per month. Anyone who has gone down the rabbit hole of learning about Ptolemy I’s involvement in developing the Library of Alexandria and then read up on his children and how his dynasty lasted until Cleopatra and how… well, you get the point… can understand how they get so much traffic. Today there are over 48,000,000 articles and over 37,000,000 registered users who have contributed articles meaning if we set 160 Great Libraries of Alexandria side-by-side we would have about the same amount of information Wikipedia has amassed. And it’s done so because of the contributions of so many dedicated people. People who spend hours researching and building pages, undergoing the need to provide references to cite the data in the articles (btw wikipedia is not supposed to represent original research), more people to patrol and look for content contributed by people on a soapbox or with an agenda, rather than just reporting the facts. Another team looking for articles that need more information. And they do these things for free. While you can occasionally see frustrations from contributors, it is truly one of the best things humanity has done. This allows us to rediscover our own history, effectively compiling all the facts that make up the world we live in, often linked to the opinions that shape them in the reference materials, which include the over 200 million works housed at the US Library of Congress, and over 25 million books scanned into Google Books (out of about 130 million). As with the Great Library of Alexandria, we do have to keep those who seek to throw out the intellectuals of the world away and keep the great works being compiled from falling to waste due to inactivity. Wikipedia keeps a history of pages, to avoid revisionist history. The servers need to be maintained, but the database can be downloaded and is routinely downloaded by plenty of people. I think the idea of providing an encyclopedia for free that was sponsored by ads was sound. Pivoting the business model to make it open was revolutionary. With the availability of the data for machine learning and the ability to enrich it with other sources like genealogical research, actual books, maps, scientific data, and anything else you can manage, I suspect we’ll see contributions we haven’t even begun to think about! And thanks to all of this, we now have a real compendium of the worlds knowledge, getting more and more accurate and holistic by the day. Thank you to everyone involved, from Jimbo and Larry, to the moderators, to the staff, and of course to the millions of people who contribute pages about all the history that makes up the world as we know it today. And thanks to you for listening to yet another episode of the History of Computing Podcast. We’re lucky to have you. Have a great day! Note: This work was produced in large part due to the compilation of historical facts available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Wikipedia


Open Atari

     8/31/2017

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast: Mike Maginnis of the Open Apple and Drop III Inches podcasts joins the Antic crew and starts a computer war, Nir Dary tells us about disk drive upgrades, we catch up with Curt Vendel about his projects including the 2nd Atari history book, and more Atari news than you can possibly imagine!

READY!

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge

ANTIC Facebook Page

AHCS

Eaten By a Grue  

What we’ve been up to

Interviews

News

YouTube videos this month

Commercial

End of Show Music

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation;

increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.


The Atari 8-bit Podcast - Curt Vendel & Dennis Harkins

     2/28/2014

 

On this episode of Antic, the Atari 8-bit Podcast: an interview with Curt Vendel, Atari historian and co-author of “Atari, Inc: Business Is Fun” … and  an interview with Dennis Harkins, author of the APX program Message Display Program … and how a pack of bubble gum led to life with an Atari and a career in computers.

 

Links mentioned in this episode:

 

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevins Book “Terrible Nerd”

 

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

 

What We’ve Been Up To

"Compute's Atari Collection Volume 1"

"CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer" by Boisy G Pitre and Bill Loguidice

“Sophistication and Simplicity, The Life and Times of the Apple II Computer” by Steven Weyhrich

KansasFest

Kampfgruppe

Vintage Computer Festival Southeast (VCFSE) 2.0

Intellivisionaries Podcast

Movie Musical Madness

Kevin's black metal 850 interface

"A Mind Forever Voyaging - a history of storytelling in video games"

Atari User Magazine

Kevin's Atari 400/800 Posters

 

News

VCF East 9.1

Atari Gamer Magazine

Atari Gamer Promotion on YouTube

30th Anniversary Edition of Boulder Dash

TapStar Interactive

Terry Stewart (Tez) HD remake  of Atari 400 Video on YouTube

Band Of Outsiders Atari Clothing Article

Band of Outsiders Website

Atari 800 mentioned on Colbert Report Video

Atari 800 on Colbert Report Discussion on AtariAge

Google and YouTube Atari Easter Eggs

Learning Curve programming articles

Learning Curve Discussion on AtariAge

Nolan Bushnell interview

NOMAM 2014 programming contest for 10 line games

Bill Kendrick - Paddleship Entry for NOMAM

Archive.org Computer Magazines

Archive.org Computer Newsletters

Archive.org Game Magazines

Archive.org Manuals

Archive.org The Business Case: Applications and Programs for the Home Office

 

Tips

KDOS

Atari Encyclopedia

History of Atari Computers from CIO Magazine

Bits of the Past store

 

Interview - Curt Vendel

Atari Museum

Atari History Book Website

“Atari Inc.: Business is Fun (Volume I)” by Curt Vendel, Marty Goldberg at Amazon

 

Interview - Dennis Harkins

Unedited Dennis Harkins Interview

 

Closing

Taste My Beeper 1-bit GTIA Music

Mash-up of the Beastie Boys and the music from Ballblazer

 


The Atari 8-bit Podcast - Chris Crawford

     10/4/2013

 

In this episode of Antic, the Atari 8-bit Podcast, an interview with Chris Crawford, author of Eastern Front 1941; we rescue Atari hardware and TI 99/4a hardware; we find a new source for reliable Atari power supplies; and we take a look at an Atari emulator that works in your web browser.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevins Book “Terrible Nerd”

Atlanta Historical Computing Society

Vintage Computer Festival MW 8.0

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari vintage commercial at YouTube

Phoenix Art Museum - Art of Video Games Exhibit

Commodore Computer Club

New book projects announced

Chris Crawford Eastern Front Source Code and More

Follow-up to Atari Bankruptcy Saga

JSMESS Atari Emulation in a Browser

4MB Flash MegaCart Web Site

4MB Flash MegaCart Discussion on AtariAge

Atari Party 2013 Pictures

More Atari Party 2013 Pictures

Atari Computer USB Power Adapter Cable on eBay

Atari Computer Replacement Power Supply on eBay

Atari Computer Power Supply Discussion on AtariAge

GTIABlast! Demo Site

GTIABlast! GTIA Mode 10 Video on YouTube

GTIABlast! GTIA Mode 11 Video on YouTube

Atari Software Competition 2013 Web site

Atari Software Competition 2013 Discussion on AtariAge

Atari Box Art Article on The Verge

Atari User Magazine Site

Atari User Magazine at Magcloud

Atari User Magazine at Lulu

Starring the Computer

B&C ComputerVision

Atari Legacy Group on LinkedIn

Full Chris Crawford Interview

 

 

 

 

 


The Atari 8-bit Podcast - JD Casten & Steve Wilds

     4/3/2014

 

On this episode of Antic, the Atari 8-bit Podcast: an interview with JD Casten, Antic magazine’s prolific game author, an interview with Steve Wilds, editor of Atari User Magazine … and lots of retrogaming news and reviews.

 

Links mentioned in this episode:

 

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevins Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

 

What We’ve Been Up To

Turbo-BASIC XL

Turbo-BASIC XL at Page6.org

Turbo-BASIC XL Expanded Documentation

More Turbo-BASIC XL Information

ShopGoodWill.com

Retro Gamer Magazine

Vintage Computer Festival Southeast (VCFSE) 2.0

 

News

VCF East 9.1

Seattle Retro Gaming Expo

Classic Gaming Expo

Portland Retro Gaming Expo

Retro Gamer Magazine picks top 10 Atari 8-bit games

Floppy Bird Article

Floppy Bird Download

Stampede Article

Stampede Download

Perplexity Article

Perplexity Download

Retro Gaming Magazine

Nolan Bushnell Article on using Games to Teach

Atari Dump Dig Update

Tablet-Friendly Revamp for Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

“Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time” by Bill Loguidice and Matt Barton

TitanFall Arcade

Discussion on AtariAge about Buying Atari

Archive.org BusinessCase

 

Software of the Month

Synapse Software Syn Business Application Series

 

Hardware of the Month

Atari XE Game System (XEGS)

 

Website of the Month

Atari Museum

Facebook Page for Atari Museum

 

Interview - JD Casten

JD Casten Website

 

Interview - Steve Wilds

Atari User Magazine

 


The Atari 8-bit Podcast - Gray Chang & Jonathan Halliday

     9/26/2014

On this episode of Antic, the Atari 8-bit PODCAST: We delve into the SIDE2 compact flash interface, look at arcade games ported to the 8-bits, discuss another  new atari podcast,  and interviews with Gray Chang -- author of Claim Jumper -- and Jonathan Halliday, creator of the new Atari GUI.

 

Links mentioned in this episode:

 

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevins Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

 

What We’ve Been Up To

VCF Midwest 9.0

Jim Brain Retro Innovations

iTalk II Video on YouTube

Atari 800 with Encore Video Productions Info Display System

Covox VoiceMaster Video on YouTube

ValForth

SIO2PC

Atlanta Maker Faire

SpartaDOS

 

News

Retro Gamer Magazine

New Atari 8-bit Podcast Inverse Atascii

Mini Atari 800XL with Atari 1050 disk drive (3D printed) at MakerBot

Mini Atari 800XL with Atari 1050 disk drive (3D printed) Blog

Mini Atari 400 (3D printed) at MakerBot

Mini Atari 400 (3D printed) Blog

ABBUC 2014 Hardware contest entries

SIO2BT (SIO to Bluetooth) at YouTube

SIO2BT Discussion at AtariAge

New keyboard interface for Atari 8-bit

WUDSN Atari 8-bit cross-compiling

New Cover for the 2nd Edition of Atari Inc. - Business Is Fun

Nolan Bushnell Reddit AMA

Atari User Magazine

HTML5 version of the classic Star Raiders that runs in your browser 

 

Bill’s Modern Segment

Asteroids Emulator at AtariMania

Norbert's Emulators page: Asteroids Emulator for the Atari 800XL

YouTube: Asteroids emulator on the Atari 800XL

Pac-Man Arcade Orders at AtariAge

AtariAge Forum: "Pac-man Update for Atari 8-bit"

The Pac-Man Dossier

 

Software of the Month

Aspeqt

 

Hardware of the Month

SIDE2 

 

Website of the Month

Lotharek’s Lair

 

Feedback

McDonald’s Atari Commercial

AtariBBS by Thom Cherryhomes

AtariBBS ATA and ASC welcome screens

AtariBBS BBSConf status

AtariBBS User Module

AtariBBS filemenu functionality

AtariBBS flatmsg board functionality 

 

Interview - Gray Chang

Gray Chang Website

another interview with Gray

archive.org full version

Download APX programs

 

Interview - Jonathan Halliday

GUI Videos

Jonathan’s Website

 

Closing

OUTRO MUSIC

 


The Atari 8-bit Podcast - Live from VCFSE 2.0!

     5/9/2014

 

On this episode of Antic, the Atari 8-bit podcast, we broadcast live from Vintage Computer Festival Southeast 2.0, interview attendees with Atari stories, find out who's going to win the grand prize for the quiz show (hint: It's someone you may know!), and answer questions from the audience.  Come join us for the most fun-packed show we've had yet!  READY

Links mentioned in this episode:

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevins Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Show

Vintage Computer Festival Southeast 2.0
Serge's Boxed Atari Collection


The Atari 8-bit Podcast - Darren Doyle & Michael Current

     4/24/2014

On this episode of Antic, the Atari 8-bit Podcast: Randy does a horrible impersonation of Rod Serling, we talk with Darren Doyle of Atari Gamer Magazine, have a discussion with Michael Current of the Atari 8-bit FAQ AND give you the scoop on Vintage Computer Festival Southeast 2.0. Also Kevin gives excuses about why his alien voice box isn’t working...still.

Links mentioned in this episode:

 

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevins Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

 

What We’ve Been Up To

VCF Southeast 2.0

VCFSE 2.0 Kickstarter

The Future Was Here: The Commodore Amiga by Jimmy Maher

Finding The Next Steve Jobs by Nolan Bushnell and Gene Stone

The Making of Karateka: Journals 1982-1985 by Jordan Mechner

Kevin's 10-line Contest Entry: Abduction

Kevin's 10-line Contest Entry: Joy Joy Revolution

CoCoFest 2014

Atari 5200 Information on WikiPedia

ShopGoodWill.com

 

News

The Art of Atari: From Pixels to Paintbrush

City Updates Agreement for Atari Dump Dig

Retro Gamer Magazine
Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo

Classic Console & Arcade Gaming Show 2014

Video Game Summit

High Score Club (HSC) on AtariAge  - 11th season

Article: Learn more about the legends of game design from GDC 1997

Video: Learn more about the legends of game design from GDC 1997

New ACUSOL language being developed for the Atari 8-bit, discussion on AtariAge

Action! Language for the Atari

Atari Casino

More Atari Casino

Bushnell could have been rich!

ColecoVisions Podcast Forum

Colecovisions Podcast Show Notes

Dennis Harkins Atari Papers

Archive.org - MicroTimes magazine

Atari 800 on v1n1 - interview with FreeFall (archon)’s creators Jon Freeman and Anne Westfall

BBS land

Atari 520 ST First Impressions, Preview of Amiga

Br0derbund software interview

Mindset computer

 

Website of the Month

Atari Mail Archive

 

Software of the Month (Software Automatic Mouth, SAM)

SAM Manual, disk image, and MP3s

SAM Online simulator

SAM Creator SoftVoice

SoftSynth

 

Hardware of the Month (VoiceBox Speech Synthesizer by The Alien Group)

Ad for VoiceBox

AtariAge discussion

 

Listener Feedback

Ten Pence Arcade Podcast

Atari Technical Information Maintained by Dan

 

Interview - Darren Doyle

Atari Gamer Magazine

Homebrew Heroes Magazine

 

Interview - Michael Current

Unedited version of the interview (1 hour)

Michael current’s web site

Atari 8-Bit Computers: Frequently Asked Questions

Atari 8-Bit Computers: Vendors and Developers list

Welcome to comp.sys.atari.8bit!

Atari History Timelines

St. Paul Atari Computer Enthusiasts (SPACE)


The Atari 8-bit Podcast - Kieren Hawken & Dale Yocum

     8/29/2014

On this episode of Antic, the Atari 8-bit codpast: interviews with atari author and enthusiast Kieren Hawken; and Dale Yocum, the guy who thought up Atari Program Exchange. And Bill kendrick complains and ends up with his own segment, reviewing Space harrier. . . And we don’t talk about the Atari Dump Dig.

 

Links mentioned in this episode:

 

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevins Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

 

What We’ve Been Up To

Maker Faire Atlanta

Arduino

KansasFest

CC65

Briel Computers

Ten Pence Arcade

Defcon

Pro(c) Magazine -Euro 5,00 / World incl. postage. Payment by PayPal to 8bit@proc-atari.de

 

News

Nolan Bushnell interview on Retro Obscura - Discussion on AtariAge

Nolan Bushnell interview on Retro Obscura

Dump Dig movie trailer. movie to be titled “Atari: Game Over”

RetroChallenge 2014

RetroChallenge 2014 - Earl Evans’ entry

Atari SAP Music Archive

Classic Gaming Expo

VCF Midwest

Portland Retro Gaming Expo

Player/Missile Atari Podcast

Translating ATASCII text files to ASCII text files on AtariAge

"Invenies Verba" for Atari 8-bit by Bill Kendrick on YouTube

Archive.org Atari Emulator Screenshots

 

Bill Kendrick’s Modern Segment

Chris Hutt's website (Wayback Machine archive)
Chris Hutt's YouTube channel
Release announcement on AtariAge forums (with video and download link)
AtariMania entry

 

Software of the Month

Atari 800 Best Game Pack

 

Hardware of the Month

Atari-styled USB Joystick

 

Website of the Month

Once Upon Atari

AtariMania

 

Listener Feedback

James Hague’s DaisyPop iPhone Game on iTunes

Computer Art and Animation: A User's Guide to Atari LOGO

Atari800MacX

 

Interview - Kieren Hawken

Retro Video Gamer

Homebrew Heroes

Revival Retro Event

ROM Retro Event

Retro Gamer Magazine

Atari User

Nolan Bushnell Interview by Kieren on YouTube

 

Interview - Dale Yocum

Unedited version of Interview at Archive.org

 

Closing

Atari Tape Music

 


The Simpsons Screen Saver

     8/29/2020

I didn't do it. Wait, no, I finally did. This week: Berkeley Systems' Simpsons After Dark Screensaver.


SkiFree

     5/4/2019

This week: Chris Pirih's SkiFree and some wonderful listener e-mail!


Castle of the Winds

     12/23/2018

This week we discuss Rick Saada's role-playing game Castle of the Winds, and listen to some wonderful listener e-mail!


SimFarm

     7/15/2018

This week we discuss the Maxis simulator classic SimFarm, as well a story errata from a prior podcast and listener mail.


This Episode is Under Construction

     7/11/2018

Three days of jackhammering and concrete cutting outside of my window means episode 6 is delayed until the madness stops.


Indiana Jones and his Desktop Adventures

     7/2/2018

This is a big fat episode! In this episode you'll learn about the poorly-selling LucasArts roguelite, warezing over ISDN lines using DCC bots, and I summarize an interview with creator Hal Barwood.


San Diego Zoo's - The Animals

     6/24/2018

San Diego Zoo Presents: The Animals! The Multimedia PC specification, a short discussion of Blender magazine, and memories of Video for Windows.


A Father's Day Story

     6/17/2018

A short episode to wish you all a happy Father's Day, and share a little fatherly story of my own.


The Adventures of MicroMan

     6/10/2018

Our first foray into the world of Windows 3.1 gaming: The Adventures of MicroMan. I reflect on the history of this much loved cult classic, and talk a little about its creator. You can download the original shareware version of and even play it in-browser. Read technical information on and check out Brian Goble's


An Introduction to Windows 3.1

     6/3/2018

In my inaugural episode I talk about my first Windows 3.1 computer and sketch out some ideas for future episodes.


The History of After Dark

     9/29/2020

Feeling totally twisted? I know I am! This week: The history of Berkeley Systems and its After Dark suite.


KansasFest Diary

     9/5/2014

KansasFest 2014 through the eyes of a first-timer!


The Apple II (Part III)

     5/13/2014

Third part on the Apple II:

  • News

  • New acquisitions

  • Feedback

  • Books, Software, Modern Upgrades, Online Stores, Emulation, Current Web Sites

  • Special guest host Carrington Vanston!!

Items mentioned in this episode:

News

New Acquisitions

Vintage Computer Shows

Books

  • Compute’s First, Second and Third Book of Apple

  • Apple II User’s Guide by Lon Poole

  • Programming Surprises & Tricks for your Apple II/IIe Computer by David L. Heiserman

  • AppleSoft Tutorial from Apple, Inc. - based on Apple II BASIC Programming Manual by Jef Raskin; rewritten for AppleSoft by Caryl Richardson

  • Beneath Apple DOS by Don Worth and Peter Lechner - Beneath Apple DOS is intended to serve as a companion to Apple's DOS Manual, providing additional information for the advanced programmer or the novice Apple user who wants to know more about the structure of diskettes.

  • Apple II/IIe Computer Graphics by Ken Williams, founder and CEO of Sierra On-Line Inc

  • AppleSoft BASIC Toolbox by Larry Wintermeyer

  • Apple Graphics Games by Paul Coletta

  • Machine Language for Beginners by Richard Mansfield

  • Micro Adventure is the title of a series of books for young adult readers, published by Scholastic, Inc.

  • Golden Flutes & Great Escapes by Delton Horn

  • Sophistication and Simplicity, the Life and Times of the Apple II Computer by Steve Weyhrich, 2013 - http://www.amazon.com/dp/0986832278/?tag=flodaypod-20

  • The New Apple II User’s Guide by David Finnegan, 2012 - http://www.amazon.com/dp/0615639879/?tag=flodaypod-20

  • iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It,  by Steve Wozniak and Gina Smith, 2006 - http://www.amazon.com/dp/0393061434/?tag=flodaypod-20

  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, 2011 - http://www.amazon.com/dp/1451648537/?tag=flodaypod-20

  • WOZPAK Special Edition - http://www.amazon.com/dp/1304231321/?tag=flodaypod-20

  • What’s Where in the Apple by Prof. William F. Luebbert - http://www.whatswhereintheapple.com/

Software

Modern Upgrades & Connectivity Options

Online Stores

Emulation

Current Web Sites & Other Forums

Other Books/Sites Used for Reference

 


The APF Imagination Machine

     8/20/2014

News, upcoming vintage computer shows, feedback.

 

Main topic: The APF Imagination Machine

 

Links Mentioned in the Show:

 

News

 

Feedback

 

Emulation

 

Current Web Sites/Links/Mail Lists

 

References

 

Closing


The Exidy Sorcerer - Live from VCFSE 2.0

     5/14/2014

Recorded live from VCFSE 2.0 in Roswell, GA!  Main topic: The Exidy Sorcerer.  Special guest host David Greelish!

Links Mentioned in the Show:

Books

Emulation

Current Web Sites

References

Closing


Interview with Apple II Fan Ken Gagne

     7/20/2014

Bonus episode this month. Interview with Apple II Enthusiast Ken Gagne about KFest, Open Apple Podcast, Juiced.GS and more.

 

 


Ohio Scientific Challenger

     11/26/2014

Main Topic: The OSI Challenger series of computers

 

At this point in the podcast run, we are still in the late 1970’s time frame, and the OSI machines fall into that time frame for their release.  No vintage computer historical journey would be complete without including these very important machines.  As usual, we’ll cover the history, technical specs, peripherals, Web sites, books, emulation and much, much more.  I am joined by special guest host Terry Stewart of the Classic Computers website who will help me cover these machines.  In addition, we are joined by OSI aficionados Mark Csele and David Fenyes who share their first-hand memories of the OSI.  But first, I’ll cover new acquisitions, news, and feedback before diving into the OSI.

 

Links Mentioned in the Show:

 

New Acquisitions/What I’ve Been up to

 

News

 

Ads

 

Software

 

Books

 

Manuals/Catalogs

 

Emulation

 

Buying and Using One Today (eBay and replicas)

 

Current Web Sites 


The TRS-80 Model I (Part I)

     11/21/2013

News, reviews, and a discussion of the TRS-80 Model I:

  • personal memories

  • history up to its introduction

  • interview with David and Theresa Welsh (Part I), authors of "Priming the Pump: How TRS-80 Enthusiasts Helped Start the PC Revolution"

 

 

Links Mentioned in the Show:


The Apple II (Part II)

     3/26/2014

Second part on the Apple II:

  • New acquisitions

  • News

  • Tech specs, peripherals, magazines, user groups, shows

  • Special guest host Carrington Vanston!!

Items mentioned in this episode:

New Acquisitions

Vintage Computer Shows

Magazines

User Groups

Shows

Other Books/Sites Used for Reference



The Apple II, Part I, History with Steve Weyhrich

     2/5/2014

First part on the Apple II:

  • Personal memories of the Apple II.

  • New acquisitions.

  • News.

  • Feedback.

  • History of the Apple II.

  • Special guest host Steve Weyhrich, the man who literally wrote the book on Apple II history!!

 Links mentioned in this episode:

 New Acquisitions

 Vintage Computer Shows

 Feedback

 

Other News

History

 


Vintage Computer Festival Midwest 8.0

     10/9/2013

News and a completion discussion of VCF Midwest 8.0:

  • personal memories

  • feedback

  • new acquisitions

  • upcoming shows

  • new vintage computer books

  • overview of VCFMW

  • interviews with attendees of the show (Jim Leonard and Jason Timmons) 

 

Links Mentioned in the Show:


VCF East 9.1 Preview w/Evan Koblentz

     2/9/2014

1 year anniversary of Floppy Days!!  Special Bonus Episode!  I talk with Evan Koblentz of MARCH, who gives us a preview of the upcoming VCF East 9.1.

Links and Info:

VCF East 9.1 - http://www.midatlanticretro.org
Evan Koblentz email - evan@snarc.net

NOTE: Evan misspoke about Bil Herd's Friday session. It is not just CRT repair. It's overall video issues, of which CRT is just one part.


CoCo Book Interview w/Boisy Pitre & Bill Loguidice

     3/7/2014


Special Bonus episode!  Interview with Boisy Pitre and Bill Loguidice about their new book "CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer."

Links:


VCFSE 2.0 Preview

     4/16/2014

Hello, welcome to Floppy Days Episode #15.  This is a bonus episode and the topic of this show is the upcoming (as of this podcast) 2014 Vintage Computer Festival Southeast 2.0 near Atlanta Georgia on May 3rd and 4th.  I interview Lonnie Mimms and Flash Corliss about the show and they give you the highlights about what you can expect to see there.  I hope you enjoy it.

 


The History of Computing Ep 10: Computers and the Space Race

     3/25/2020

We go knee-deep into available computing technology in the late 1950's and what it was used for: Missles and Satellites.  We see the creation of the NASA RTCC in a muddy field and revisit what IBM is up to.


Magnetic: The History of Computing ep 4

     12/9/2019

This episode looks at some really interesting inventions with the Bulb and Electricity that played a major role in the development of the electronic computer.  This includes vacuum tubes and Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT's).


Magnetic: The History of Computing Ep 11: Fly By Wire

     4/7/2020

The early 1960's were full of gigantic leaps in computing technology, and a lot of it was used in NASA to get astronauts into space!  We see the first use of the word Mainframes, and see how Neil Armstrong used a new invention called "secondary storage" to try to save his own life!


Magnetic: The History of Computing

     11/25/2019

In this episode, we solve the problem of calculating from inaccurate tables, learn about NYU Art Professor and inventor of the first electrical language: Samuel Morse, and we discover how the Tabulating Machine company got its start and made one man very rich (and the census a lot easier).  Tune in!


Magnetic: the History of Computing

     11/11/2019

In this first episode, I go over the beginning of computing: why did we start this thing in the first place?  We review the Abacus, the plague, and the loom, and see why those factored into the device you're reading this on. 


DOS Prompt: Betrayal at Krondor (Part 2)

     12/31/2020

Welcome back for the second half of our DOS Prompt series on Betrayal at Krondor, where I discuss the development history of the game.


DOS Prompt: Betrayal at Krondor (Part 1)

     12/23/2020

Welcome all you Northwarden Piggies! Today's episode is a first: we're dropping down to a DOS Prompt to talk about Betrayal at Krondor.


(OldComputerPods) ©Sean Haas, 2020