'mit' Episodes

Landing the Eagle

     4/30/2020

In this episode we wrap up the greatest achievements and challenges in the computing era of the 1960's.  We learn about Howard Tindall, and how MIT became a dominant force in Apollo.  We also learn about Core Rope Memory and how Seamstresses helped program Apollo capsules.  This is the last episode of Season 1, it's time to go offline and research how a new era of computing arrives: Microcomputing.  


ITS: Open Computing

     1/11/2021

Modern operating systems adhere to a pretty rigid formula. They all have users with password-protected accounts and secure files. They all have restrictions to keep programs from breaking stuff. That design has been common for a long time, but that doesn't make it the best solution. In the late 60s ITS, the Incompatible Timesharing System, was developed as a more exciting alternative. ITS was built for hackers to play, there were no passwords, any anyone who could find ITS was welcome to log in.

Like the show? Then why not head over and support me on Patreon. Perks include early access to future episodes, and bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/adventofcomputing


Lars Brinkhoff Interview, Preserving ITS

     1/18/2021

Lars Brinkhoff has been spearheading the effort to keep the incompatible Timesharing System alive. Today we sit down to talk about the overall ITS restoration project, software preservation, and how emulation can help save the past.

You can find the full restoration project at github: https://github.com/PDP-10/its

And follow Lars on twitter: @larsbrinkhoff


Numeric Control and Digital Westerns

     2/8/2021

Saga II was a program developed in 1960 that automatically wrote screenplays for TV westerns. Outwardly it looks like artificial intelligence, but that's not entirely accurate. Saga has much more in common with CNC software than AI. This episode we take a look at how the same technology that automated manufacturing found it's way into digital westerns, and how numerically controlled mills are remarkably similar to stage plays.

Clips drawn from The Thinking Machine: https://techtv.mit.edu/videos/10268-the-thinking-machine-1961---mit-centennial-film

Like the show? Then why not head over and support me on Patreon. Perks include early access to future episodes, and bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/adventofcomputing


Zork

     10/31/2021

Make sure you have some extra batteries for your lamp, this episode we are delving into the depths of Zork. Written in 1977 Zork would quickly become the epitome of text based adventures, pushing aside all competitors. A lot of this comes down to it's simple gameplay, and the simple fact that Zork is fun to play. But lurking deeper into the game is a hidden treasure. Ya see, the other huge part of Zork's success was it's portability. That was made possible thanks to some sick programming tricks, and a virtual computer called the Z-machine.
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(OldComputerPods) ©Sean Haas, 2020