Tags: history

Carnegie Mellon is Saving Old Software from Oblivion

A prototype archiving system called Olive lets vintage code run on today’s computers. Researchers’ growing dependence on computers and the difficulty they encounter when attempting to run old software are hampering their ability to check published results. The problem of obsolescent software is...
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Shareware: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Shareware software had a simple premise: You could try the application and if you liked it, you paid for it. In those halcyon days, the PC software market was still getting its traction. Most programs were expensive—a single application often retailed for $495, in 1980s dollars. Often, they were...
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Re-Creating the First Flip-Flop

The flip-flop is a crucial building block of digital circuits: It acts as an electronic toggle switch that can be set to stay on or off even after an initial electrical control signal has ceased. This allows circuits to remember and synchronize their states, and thus allows them to perform ...
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Vint Cerf
Vint Cerf, a “Father of the Internet,” spoke at the recent Open Networking Summit on Internet architecture and open technology.

Vint Cerf on Open Networking and Design of the Internet

The secret behind Internet protocol is that it has no idea what it’s carrying – it just a bag of bits going from point A to point B. So said Vint Cerf, vice president and chief internet evangelist at Google, speaking at the recent Open Networking Summit. Cerf, who is generally acknowledged as a “...
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This Week in Programming: That’s How C Does It

I had grand ambitions this week. I’d come across a smattering of articles delving into the history of programming languages, practices, and other Internet-based tidbits. I’d pondered a pithy title like “if !mistake(history) do repeat” and dug through my source materials for evidence, but came up a...
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From USENET to Facebook: The Second Time as Farce

Facebook repeats the pattern of USENET, this time as farce. As a no-holds-barred Wild West sort of social network, USENET was filled with everything we rightly complain about today. It was easy to troll and be abusive; all too many participants did it for fun. Most groups were eventually flooded by...
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Floppy Disk History: The Evolution of Personal Computing

In the mid-70s I heard about floppy drives, but they were expensive, exotic equipment. I didn’t know that IBM had decided as early as 1967 that tape drives, while fine for backups, simply weren’t good enough to load software on mainframes. So it was that Alan Shugart assigned David L. Noble to lead...
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The Evolution of IT Infrastructure – From Mainframe to Serverless

Our journey through the history of IT infrastructure starts with the centralised mainframe era kicked off by IBM in the 1960s and advances through to the cloud-based, server-less world we now occupy. In between, we’ve seen the eras of personal computers, client/server computing and web-based...
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Linux
After 26 years, Linux is still essential and growing, and new technologies are growing beyond Linux into the broader open source landscape.

Linux, Open Source, and Beyond

Linux is 26 years old, and look what happened in those 26 years: everything. Now what? Linux is both shrinking and expanding. Cloudy Linux Cloud is a perfect metaphor for Linux. Once upon a time the Linux world was small, with well-defined boundaries, and populated by fierce partisans. Linux was...
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Unix to GitHub: 10 Key Events in Free and Open Source Software History

It's easy to take open source software for granted today, but free and open source software as we know it is the product of a long series of developments that stretch back a half-century. Here's a look at some of the big moments in free and open source history -- from the heyday of free Unix, to...
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