Sixty-seven years to the day after the television debut of Whirlwind’s “Jingle Bells,” we offer you this restoration of the program from the original punched paper tape at CHM, recovering an overlooked early piece of the rise of computer music from the auditory maintenance of early electronic digital computers.
Although much of Whirlwind was lost when the machine was decommissioned, the Computer History Museum and the MIT Museum retain many of the machine’s components, some of which are on display in CHM’s permanent exhibition, Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing.
CHM's Software History Center has been conducting “video ethnographies” to record and preserve the experience of running historical software. Over the course of 2018, the center has conducted two video ethnographies surrounding a key moment at the end of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the birth of multimedia. Watch an
CHM has received a National Historical Publications and Records Commission: Access to Historical Records grant to process material related to software history. The collections in CHM’s Software History Processing Project (SHiPP) represent a deep and broad resource for understanding software’s impact on society.
Electronic mail is one of “killer apps” of networked computing. The ability to quickly send and receive messages without having to be online at the same time created a new form of human communication. By now billions of people have used email.
The Computer History Museum (CHM) recently released six video-recorded oral histories of key engineers and scientists from Japan who made seminal contributions to the magnetic recording technologies used in hard disk drives.
In 1950, the physicist Arnold Nordsieck built himself this analog computer. Nordsieck, then at the University of Illinois, had earned his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, under Robert Oppenheimer. To make his analog computer for calculating differential equations, the inventive and budget-conscious Nordsi
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
Editor’s note: Curator Chris Garcia delved into the Museum’s institutional archive and uncovered a rare 1995 interview with computer art pioneer Harold Cohen, taken during The Computer Museum’s exhibition “The Robotic Artist: AARON in Living Color” (April 1−May 9, 1995). The selection below appeared in TCM’s annual rep
A supercomputer is simply a computer that can perform many more calculations per second than the typical computer of its era. The definition is in constant flux. Yesterday’s supercomputer packed the punch of today’s smartphone. From 1969 to 1975, Control Data Corp.’s CDC 7600 was considered the world’s fastest computer