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Aug 7, 2022

Digital animation has really become an artform in and of itself. In the current epoch these animations play out on fancy bitmapped displays, but it's origins are far more visceral. Or maybe we should say far more hacky. This episode we are diving in to BEFLIX: an early animation toolchain from Bell Labs that produced...


Jul 24, 2022

Can a computer be creative? Can we program a machine to make art? It turns out the answer is yes, and it doesn't even take artificial intelligence. This episode we are diving in to the ILLIAC Suite, a piece for string quartet that was composed by a computer. Along the way we will examine the Markov Chain Monte Carlo...


Jul 10, 2022

What is a computer? A miserable pile of electrons!

But... not necessarily. I have yet to find a fully satisfying definition for "computer" that encompasses the full grandeur of calculating machines. This episode we are further complicating that quest by adding fluid based computers to the mix. We will be looking at 3...


Jun 26, 2022

More Visi-fun ahead! Today we are looking at Visi On, a visionary user interface developed for home computers. Along the way we will discuss smalltalk, portability, and how the slick graphics over at Xerox were adapted to run on smaller machines.
 
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Jun 12, 2022

Today we are looking at VisiCalc, the original killer app. Hitting the market in 1979, VisiCalc was the first computer spreadsheet program. Through it's 6 year lifespan it was ported to everything from the Apple II to the IBM PC to the Apple III. It dominated the market and then... it disappeared.
 
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