Historians like to let things settle a bit before doing history, but how is that possible when the subject of historical inquiry is computing, which seems to re-invent and redefine itself every few months? The author, a curator in the Space History Department of the National Air and Space Museum, will describe his recent attempt to write a comprehensive history of computing, from the dedication of the ENIAC in 1946 to the commercialization of the World Wide Web. When he began writing, the World Wide Web had not even been invented, yet by the time he submitted a manuscript to the publisher, Microsoft announced Internet Explorer 4.0!
Ceruzzi believes that one can now take a look back and tell a coherent story about computing in the last fifty years, even if tomorrow's headlines threaten to turn it all into a preface to the 'real' story. Ceruzzi's work at the Smithsonian includes research, writing, planning exhibits, collecting artifacts, and lecturing on the subjects of microelectronics, computing, and control as they apply to the practice of air and space flight.
Main Auditorium, Building N-201
NASA Ames Research Center
Mountain View, CA, 94035