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May 31, 2020

The transistor changed the world. It made small, complex, and cheap computing possible. But it wasn't the first attempt to crack the case. There is a long and strange lineage of similar devices leading up to the transistor. In this episode we take a look at two of those devices. First the vacuum tube, one of the...


May 17, 2020

In the current day Linux is the most widely used UNIX-like operating system. It's rise to prominence has been an amazing success story. From it's humble beginnings Linux has grown to power everything from super computers to car stereos. But it's not the first UNIX clone. A much earlier system existed, called...


May 10, 2020

In this byte sized episode I take a look at a pack in that came with the first Macintosh. Along side Apple stickers, manuals, and the computer itself there was a single cassette tape labeled "A Guided Tour of the Macintosh". The purpose? It's a strange addition to the Mac's packing, but a great example of Apple's...


May 3, 2020

Every day we are inundated with digital audio: phone calls, music, even this podcast. Digitized sound has become so ubiquitous that it often fades into the background. What makes this all possible is a technology called Pulse Code Modulation, or PCM. This isn't new technology, its roots trace all the way back to 1937....


Apr 19, 2020

It's easy to think of Apple and Microsoft as bitter rivals, but that's not always the case. The two companies have a very complicated relationship, and a very long history. This connection goes all the way back to the 1970s and a product called Applesoft BASIC. It would become stock software on nearly every Apple...