A microprocessor-embedded Lucite toilet seat and colorful handheld sun umbrellas featured in a group photograph of attendees at the 44th Asilomar Microcomputer Workshop (AMW44) in April 2018 represent the irreverent sense of humor combined with the pursuit of cutting-edge technology and an unrelenting hacker ethic tha
QuickTime, the pioneering mass-market digital video format for personal computers, was developed by Apple and released in 1991 on the Macintosh. As part of the MPEG-4 video standard, QuickTime technology can be found in every device today that plays digital video, from cell phones to 4K streaming TVs.
Stephen Hawking suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The disease would eventually paralyze him, and a bout of pneumonia in the mid-1980s made him unable to speak on his own. For such a public figure, this was a significant difficulty, one that led Hawking to a long-las
Before computer gaming, music, and art became mainstay applications and tools for creation, engineers often created programs to demonstrate a machine’s capabilities in ways that were easy for the public follow. It took many years to get musicians into the idea of composing using a computer, and even longer to get gener
Over the shortening fall days of 1977, an unmarked silver step van filled with futuristic equipment, shaggy-haired engineers, and sometimes fully uniformed generals quietly cruised the streets of the San Francisco Peninsula. Only an oddly shaped antenna gave a hint of its purpose.
“There is no cloud,” goes the quip. “It’s just someone else’s computer.”The joke gets at a key feature of cloud computing: Your data and the software to process it reside in a remote data center — perhaps owned by Amazon, Google, or Microsoft — which you share with many users even if it feels like it’s yours alone.
President Eisenhower’s Civil Rights Act, Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, and the launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union were respectively important social, cultural, and technical news stories of 1957. There is one event that year did not make headlines but over the next 60 years also profoundly impacted all three aspect
In April 2016, filmmaker Oscar Sharp and NYU artificial intelligence researcher Ross Goodwin teamed up to create the short film Sunspring. Goodwin created an AI bot called Benjamin to write the script, and Sharp filmed it as a part of the SCI-FI-LONDON 48 Hour Film Challenge. It was impressive, but it wasn’t exactly so
One day, while I was going through the videos in our archive at the Computer History Museum, I came across an interesting title: Mockingbird—A Composer’s Amanuensis. I instantly realized this was the video that I’d been waiting for ever since I started exploring computer music.
By 2006 it was already clear to most people in the computing industry that the future was mobile. The cell phone was on its way to becoming the most common electronic device on earth, with over 2.7 billion users. Yet it was almost equally clear that the main events wouldn’t happen in Silicon Valley, or even the United