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Episode 26 Notes - Other Predictions from Vannevar Bush

Mar 25, 2020

First published  in the Atlantic Monthly in 1945, As We May Think is often cited as a watershed moment in computer history. In this essay Vannevar Bush laid out his vision for machines of the future, improved interfaces, and better data handling methods. It's most remembered today for it's description of the Memex, a...

Episode 25 Notes - Hard Sectoring

Mar 11, 2020

Diagram of hard sector floppy disk

The floppy disk has changed very little since it's original development way back at IBM in the late 1960s. That being said there have been incremental improvements, and I'd like to look at one of those early changes. As it turns out early floppy disks came with a pattern of holes punched along their outer edge. Many 8...

Episode 23 Notes - Artifacts of FORTRAN

Feb 12, 2020

In November of 1954 the first preliminary design of FORTRAN was completed. Over the next few years a compiler was built and distributed, various changes were made to the language, and FORTRAN would start down it's path to domination. High level programming languages, starting with FORTRAN, would change what could be...

Episode 22 Notes - Playing Rogue Today

Jan 29, 2020

Rogue is, arguably, one of the most influential video game ever written. It was the first game to make significant use of procedurally generated content. And there is a good chance that most people have never played it. Despite it's important and far-reaching legacy Rogue was never a commercial success. However, games...

Episode 21 Notes - How Capable Was the 8008?

Jan 16, 2020

The Intel 8008 was the second microprocessor produced my Intel, but it was the first to have much interesting software written for it. Intel's earlier chip, the 4004, was only ever really used for desktop calculators. So most of the software written for that platform is very special purpose. Things were different for...