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Oct 17, 2021

This episode I face my greatest fears: computer bugs. We are going to dive into the origin of the term, and examine the origins of debugging. The simple fact is that as soon as computers hit the scene we start finding bugs. Debugging follows very soon after. That part's not too surprising, it's the specifics that...


Oct 3, 2021

It's Spook Month on Advent of Computing! Every October we cover the more spooky, scary, and frustrating side of computers. To kick off this year we are looking at viruses again, this time with a special eye to the first infections for IBM PCs and compatible systems.
Besides the technical changes, this drops us into...


Sep 19, 2021

In today's episode we take a long hard look at the telegraph, and try to see how character encoding developed. We are dealing with 100% pre-computing technology, but there are some shocking similarities to later digital systems.
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Sep 5, 2021

Today we are talking about computers in space! 1964 saw the launch of Gemini I, the first spacecraft to carry an onboard computer. The aptly named Gemini Guidance Computer was responsible for guidance, navigation, and safe reentry. Built by IBM it weighed in at a tiny 59 pounds. For 1960's technology there just isn't...


Aug 22, 2021

This concludes my series on the distinctive shape of early home computers. In this episode we finally cover the Sol-20 itself, the first system on the market to be shaped like a wedge. More generally, we try to figure out if the Sol-20 was the progenitor of hundreds of machines that followed, or if the wedge was...