Curatorial Insight, From the Collection
By 1987, the PC revolution was well entrenched and underway. Desktop PCs were standard hardware for home enthusiasts, businesses, government agencies, and computer labs tucked away in college campuses. However, some prognosticators were also fast at work forecasting the future of a new generation of computing devices –
Depending on your age, your first computer might have been an Apple II, a Radio Shack TRS-80, an IBM PC, an Apple Macintosh, or another of the early personal computers. If you missed these early machines the first time around, perhaps you have seen them in the Personal Computer section of the Revolution exhibit at the
By the time personal computers based on microprocessors began to emerge in the mid-1970s, programmers had been writing operating systems for about twenty years. Big mainframe computers had operating systems that were huge and complicated, created from hundreds of thousands of lines of code. But other operating systems,
In the early 1950s, a young, enthusiastic and creative electrical engineer named Dudley Buck left the National Security Agency (NSA) for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Buck had worked on some of the first electronic digital computers at the NSA, and in Massachusetts joined the large program to develop
Early in 2014, the Computer History Museum added a Juniper M40 router to its collection. This router, initially released in 1998, was the first internet router to use custom-designed silicon to accelerate the movement of internet traffic in the largest nation-wide internet backbone networks. The M40 launched a race th
From the Collection
The dominant word processing program for personal computers in the 1980s was DOS-based WordPerfect. Microsoft Word for DOS, which had been released in 1983, was an also-ran.
Rather than using IBM proprietary components developed for their many other computers, the IBM PC used industry standard commercial parts. That included adopting the Intel 8088 microprocessor as the heart of the computer.
The number one question I get asked about oral histories is: “When will the video be available online?” Not, will the video be available online, but when. With instant video sharing made possible by websites like YouTube and Vimeo, in addition to mobile apps like Vine, it’s no longer a question of capability, but of ti