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History of Computers and How They Changed the World.

How Together Bush, Hitler & Watson @IBM Computers Changed the World



Although Tom Watson is well known for his alleged 1943 statement, "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers", there is scant evidence he actually said this.

#HolocaustRememberanceDay #HolocaustMemorialDay

PARTNERS included Abiel Low who financed Columbia

Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory at Columbia University (with Watson Lab dates)

online privacy
will save your life!
Privacy is autonomy!
Privacy is liberty!
Privacy is a necessary condition to save your life!


capitalism's relationship with warfare, fascism and surveillance

[ INSERT FACEBOOK HERE THEY STORE YOUR FACE AND GIVE YOU A NUMBER, KNOW YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, SCHEDULE, EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU! ] Facebook and Google created and commodified the very tools that enable the modern surveillance state to flourish.

The Holocaust had six stages: identify the Jews, isolate them, exclude them and seize their assets, put them in ghettos, deport them and, finally, exterminate them. According to Black's research, IBM Hollerith machines had a part in each one. IBM's machines tabulated and tracked census information in order to identify Jewish populations across Europe. Hollerith machines tracked the coming and going of passenger and freight trains, and managed the populations of the concentration camps. The numerical tattoo inked on the arms of Auschwitz prisoners? It was originally an IBM identification number used to track that prisoner in the punch card system.

Thomas J. Watson Jr., engineered a strategic business alliance between IBM and the Reich, beginning in the first days of the Hitler regime and continuing right through World War II.
IBM's subsidiary in Poland, Watson B6romaschinen GmbH, serviced the railroads as its main account. It kept the trains to German Extermination Camps running on time.

Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations. ~ George Orwell



Revealed: How Associated Press cooperated with the Nazis German historian shows how news agency retained access in 1930s by promising not to undermine strength of Hitler regime. The Associated Press news agency entered a formal cooperation with the Hitler regime in the 1930s, supplying American newspapers with material directly produced and selected by the Nazi propaganda ministry, archive material unearthed by a German historian has revealed.
The New York-based agency ceded control of its output by signing up to the so-called Schriftleitergesetz (editor's law), promising not to publish any material “calculated to weaken the strength of the Reich abroad or at home”. This law required AP to hire reporters who also worked for the Nazi party's propaganda division. One of the four photographers employed by the Associated Press in the 1930s, Franz Roth, was a member of the SS paramilitary unit's propaganda division, whose photographs were personally chosen by Hitler. AP has removed Roth's pictures from its website since Scharnberg published her findings, though thumbnails remain viewable due to “software issues”. AP also allowed the Nazi regime to use its photo archives for its virulently antisemitic propaganda literature. AP's cooperation with the Hitler regime allowed the Nazis to “portray a war of extermination as a conventional war”. AP's relationship with totalitarian regimes has once again come under scrutiny. Since January 2012, when AP became the first western news agency to open a bureau in North Korea, questions have repeatedly been raised about the neutrality of its Pyongyang bureau's output. AP was apparently willing to let the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) handpick one text and one photo journalist from its agitation and propaganda unit to work in its bureau.

I.B.M. and the Holocaust by Edwin Black
IBM and the Holocaust is the stunning story of IBM's strategic alliance with Nazi Germany - beginning in 1933 in the first weeks that Hitler came to power and continuing well into World War II. As the Third Reich embarked upon its plan of conquest and genocide, IBM and its subsidiaries helped create enabling technologies, step-by-step, from the identification and cataloging programs of the 1930s to the selections of the 1940s. Only after Jews were identified - a massive and complex task that Hitler wanted done immediately - could they be targeted for efficient asset confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, enslaved Iabor, and, ultimately, annihilation. It was a cross-tabulation and organizational challenge so monumental, it called for a computer. Of course, in the 1930s no computer existed. But IBM's Hollerith punch card technology did exist. Aided by the company's custom-designed and constantly updated Hollerith svstems, Hitler was able to automate his persecution of the Jews.

Edwin Black is the author of IBM and the Holocaust, a 2001 bestselling book that was written in secrecy and released at the same time that a class-action lawsuit was filed against IBM on behalf of Holocaust survivors. IBM didn't just provide technology to Hitler's Germany — it helped implement and maintain it for whatever purposes the Nazis required. In Hitler's Germany, and that IBM, the good old "solutions company," was responsible for the Final Solution itself.

The IBM Hollerith machine, a tabulating machine that ran on punch cards, was an essential tool for executing the logistical challenges of the Jewish extermination during Hitler's regime in a world before computers.


ibm tat
Custom-designed, IBM-produced punch cards, sorted by IBM machines leased to the Nazis, helped organize and manage the initial identification and social expulsion of Jews and others, the confiscation of their property, their ghettoization, their deportation, and, ultimately, even their extermination. Recently discovered Nazi documents and Polish eyewitness testimony make clear that IBM's alliance with the Third Reich went far beyond its German subsidiary. A key factor in the Holocaust in Poland was IBM technology provided directly through a special wartime Polish subsidiary reporting to IBM New York, mainly to its headquarters at 590 Madison Avenue. And that's how the trains to Auschwitz ran on time.

January 27th is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the former death camp where Hitler's Nazis killed at least 1.1million people.

PDF: IBM System/360 Principles of Operation



Prescott Bush, George W. Bush's grandfather, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from and collaborated with key financial backers of Nazi Germany.

Prescott Bush Was A Nazi Banker
Guilty of Treason who never went to jail.

Documents reveal that the firm he worked for, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s before falling out with him at the end of the decade. The Guardian has seen evidence that shows Bush was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen's US interests and he continued to work for the bank after America entered the war. Three sets of archives spell out Prescott Bush's involvement. All three are readily available, thanks to the efficient Military Agency Records archive 226 and a helpful and dedicated staff at both the Library of Congress in Washington and the National Archives RG 446 . <more>

Documents linking Prescott Bush to Nazi-era enterprises.That business relationship continued after Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and even after Germany declared war on the United States following Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. It stopped only when the US government seized assets of Bush-connected companies in late 1942 under the "Trading with the Enemy Act." Full Story

Bush Family

Historians have always been amazed at the speed and accuracy with which the Nazis were able to identify and locate European Jewry. Until now, the pieces of this puzzle have never been fully assembled. The fact is, IBM technology was used to organize nearly everything in Germany and then Nazi Europe, from the identification of the Jews in censuses, registrations, and ancestral tracing programs to the running of railroads and organizing of concentration camp slave labor. IBM and its German subsidiary custom-designed complex solutions, one by one, anticipating the Reich's needs. They did not merely sell the machines and walk away. Instead, IBM leased these machines for high fees and became the sole source of the billions of punch cards Hitler needed.

This page from the wartime Auschwitz phone book lists the Hollerith Bureau, which used IBM technology.

Revelations about IBM come during an unprecedented confession by officials of the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann (which owns Random House, among other properties) that its previous official company history was incorrect and that it actually collaborated with Hitler's regime and used Jewish slave labor.

Bertelsmann released an 800-page report saying that company patriarch Heinrich Mohn belonged to a circle of supporters who donated money to a group called the "SS Sponsors Circle," which provided financing to Hitler's elite troops. As an October 8 report by The Wall Street Journal noted, Bertelsmann's new history stands in stark contrast to the previous official company record, which had portrayed Mohn as a devout Christian and strong opponent of Hitler.

The current chairman of Bertelsmann, Gunter Thielen, was quoted as saying the company, which is still controlled by the Mohn family, accepted the conclusions of the report. Thielen added, "I would like to express our sincere regret for the inaccuracies . . . in our previous corporate history of the World War II era, as well as for the wartime activities that have been brought to light."

Central to the Nazi effort was a massive 500-man Hollerith Gruppe, installed in a looming brown building at 24 Murnerstrasse in Krakow, Poland. The Hollerith Gruppe of the Nazi Statistical Office crunched all the numbers of plunder and genocide that allowed the Nazis to systematically starve the Jews, meter them out of the ghettos, and then transport them to either work camps or death camps. The trains running to Auschwitz were tracked by a specially guarded IBM customer site facility at 22 Pawia in Krakow. The millions of punch cards the Nazis in Poland required were obtained exclusively from IBM, including from one company print shop at 6 Rymarska Street across the street from the Warsaw Ghetto. The entire Polish subsidiary was overseen by an IBM administrative facility at 24 Kreuz in Warsaw.
Assessing the Culpability Review
"Jews could not hide from millions of punch cards thudding through Hollerith machines, comparing names across generations, address changes across regions, family trees and personal data across unending registries," Mr. Black writes. Even as war approached, Watson, in Mr. Black's account, fought to keep I.B.M. in the Reich. "As a result, millions of cards, millions of lives and millions of dollars would now intersect at the whirring stations of Hitler's Holleriths."

Prescott Bush - Hitler News

Prescott Bush and Hitler by Evilmaster


Sergei N. Khrushchev (R) visiting IBM plant with his father Nikita S. Khrushchev.
Brown University Center for Information Technology

Khrushchev In San Francisco IBM chmn. Thomas Watson Jr. 3-28-1955 roaring w. laughter as he chats w. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev as they stand holding trays in line w. others at IBM plant's company cafeteria. San Jose, CA, US September 22, 1959 Carl Mydans photographer.

The late Thomas J. Watson Jr., chairman of IBM ambassador to the former Soviet Union, and graduate of Brown (Class of '37), was acutely aware of the international dimensions of our lives. In 1981, when he returned from Moscow , he founded the Center for Policy Development now the Watson Institute where you'll find Khushchev's son Sergei Senior Fellow, Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies, Brown University. 2008


2/5/15 EFF Files Amicus Brief in Case That Seeks to Hold IBM Responsible for Facilitating Apartheid in South Africa.
This case is about corporate collaboration in governmental human rights abuses, through the creation of a customized technology solution for the known and intended purpose of enabling apartheid — a system that the UN characterized as a “crime against humanity.” The plaintiffs are suing under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). The ATS allows anyone to sue in U.S. court for damages resulting from violations of international law — including violations of human rights. In particular, we point out the disturbing parallels between IBM's actions vis-à-vis South Africa and Nazi Germany: IBM New York purposefully “facilitated gross human rights abuses by the Third Reich.”

What Was Stretch? RetroComputing
In 1954 IBM initiated a project "Datatron", with the intent of taking a "giant step" to secure their position as the preeminent vendor of high-performance computers. Later renamed Stretch, the project's primary objective was to produce a computer with 100 times the speed of the IBM 704 scientific computer. This goal was perhaps even more aggressive than it sounds, given that the performance of the logic circuits increased by only a factor of ten to twenty, and memory performance by only a factor of six. Architectural improvements such as extensive use of parallelism were required to meet (or even approach) the goal.

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik and set off the space race.
This timeline explores the history of computing from 1945 to 1990. Each year features illustrated descriptions of significant innovations in hardware and software technology, as well as milestones in areas such as commercial applications and artificial intelligence. When appropriate, biographical sketches of the pioneers responsible for the advances are included. PICTURES Timeline starting in 1937.

Hitler and IBM - Video


"Computer History"


1957 Found buried deep in the catacombs, or basement, of the University of Kansas campus is an ancient technology artifact -- the university's first computer. The institution purchased the computer, an IBM 650, in 1957, according to The University Daily Kansan. [WAS]
It was one of only 2,000 made and is considered to be the first mass-produced computer. Unlike today's hand-held computers, this one was 6 feet tall and 5 feet deep, and that was considered small at the time compared with models that took up an entire floor. The university was fixing to trash the computer when a professor there realized the historical significance of the find. He has begun moving the machine and its multitude of vacuum tubes to his house for restoration. The university won't get much processing power from the machine, though. The computer's memory was only capable of holding 1,000 10-digit numbers.

BBC documentary history of computers part 1

BBC documentary history of computers part 2

BBC documentary history of computers part 3

BBC documentary history of computers part 4

BBC documentary history of computers part 5

BBC documentary history of computers part 6





ENIAC was Built In WWII leading to the creation of The Internet

Read About The Dream Machine and about JCR Licklider then read The Dream Machine: JCR Licklider and the Revolution the Made Computing Personal" by Mitch Waldrop which reminds us that computing is a strategic/military technology . "What the Dormouse Said: How the 60's Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry" by John Markoff reminds us that LSD (also a military technology) and PCs were born in the same test-tube. Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who discovered LSD here in 1938

There were 6 Women Computers known as the "Programmers" of the ENIAC



Computer Wonder Women

Women Special Edition

History of ENIAC - There were 6 Women Programmers of the ENIAC
Kathleen Mauchly Antonelli (ne. McNulty),
died Thursday, April 20, 2006. Kathleen was one of the 6 women programmers of the ENIAC, a resident of the Philadelphia area and lecturer at Chestnut Hill College Philadelphia, PA and was an inspiration to many. Computer Wonder Women - 'WOMEN WANTED!' The Army wanted women with mathematics degrees to HAND CALCULATE the firing trajectories of artillery for the war effort. Snyder, Holberton, punchcard, mainframe, Eniac, Univac, Edvac, Ordvac, Brlesc-1, Cobal, Fortran Technology advances in the 1950's
[Recorded 1960] This humorous promotional film features J. Prespert Eckert and John Mauchly the 2 major figures in the creation of the ENIAC computer who left the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Engineering at the end of WWII to found their own firm. They eventually sold their business to Remington Rand (later Sperry Rand) who incorporated it as the UNIVAC division of the company. Eckert remained with UNIVAC all his life but Mauchly left after a few years to become a private consultant. In 1955 the Sperry Corporation and Remington Rand merged forming Sperry Rand. Sperry Rand then eventually merged with Burroughs to from Unisys and is still in business.


ENIAC My Personal Memories - LISTEN


(Notice Robert Kahn in the Video He is also in 1972 ARPANET Film about Computer Networks )


The road to uncovering a wartime Colossus
By Mark Ward

[ ... While putting those papers together, he was asked why he had written so little about Alan Turing. Prof Randell started to look into Turing's war work and got tantalising glimpses of the electronic code-cracking machines that had been in use at Bletchley. One paper written by Jack Good, one of the engineers who helped create Colossus, and published in 1970 mentioned a "classified, electronic" machine that used 1,000 valves to calculate "complicated Boolean functions involving up to about 100 symbols" to crack codes. The link with Turing, said Prof Randell, was that Colossus drew on Turing's seminal 1936 paper that laid down the basic specifications for a machine that can could carry out complicated calculations step by step. Finding a little out about this machine prompted Prof Randell to seek out and correspond with those named as being involved with Colossus even though he now knew that their work was covered by the Official Secrets Act.
Prof Randell gathered the information into a paper that he presented in 1976 at a conference on the history of computing. Attending was John Mauchly who, before Prof Randell took to the stage, thought that the machine he built, Eniac, was one of the first electronic computers. Jaws literally dropped as Prof Randell delivered his lecture, he told the BBC. They dropped again in the evening as Prof Randell had arranged for one of Colossus's creators, Allen "Doc" Coombs, to attend and answer questions about the machine and what it did. Prof Randell's lecture and Coombs's comments meant the computer history books would have to be rewritten. "Eniac was not the first computer, it was the 11th," he said. ...]

May 25, 2010 PLATO History Project
Brian Dear
This week and next mark the 50th anniversary of the PLATO computer system, when Dr. Daniel Alpert at the Coordinated Sciences Lab at the University of Illinois invited then 26-year-old Dr. Donald Bitzer, who'd just a few months earlier gotten his PhD in Electrical Engineering, to head up a new project to design, build, and deploy a computer that could teach. Over the summer of 1960, the PLATO system was not only envisioned, but an early prototype was built to run on the ILLIAC I computer. Over the next two and a half decades, PLATO would evolve, thanks to generous ARPA and NSF funding, into a large network with interconnected systems and users around the world, bolstered by Control Data Corporation which began commercial marketing of PLATO in 1976.




Far-out Computing Capacity Remembering the Mainframe of the 1960s
A history article in the IBM Systems Magazine describes an IBM System/ 360-50 used to support an on-line lookup system for telephoneinformation operators. While the article is more about the computer than the telephone operators, it is interesting none the less.

LSD The Steve Jobs Way: Intersecting Psychedelics And Technology by Foremski


The Psychedelic Society of San Francisco and Bay Area Software Engineers (BASE) hosted a talk by John Markoff (above), Senior Science reporter at the New York Times, that discussed the influence of 1960s counter culture on the development of the computer industry. The talk was based on Mr Markoff's excellent book, "What the Doormouse said." It's well worth listening to if you are interested in the early history of Silicon Valley and the often overlooked individuals that were vital to the development of the Internet, PC industry, and the software industry. Mr Markoff said he grew up in Palo Alto, in the heart of Silicon Valley as it was just being created. He delivered newspapers to Steve Jobs' house, and also to the one that Mark Zuckerberg lives in today, "There goes the neighborhood," he quipped. Mr Markoff interviewed a lot of early computer pioneers for his book, but he said that he didn't find much evidence of LSD, pot, or other drugs having contributed to great breakthroughs, however, it wasn't the direct subject of his research, which was focused on the counter-culture of the times, primarily the anti-war movement and it's effect on spurring the development of the microcomputer/PC. But he did paint an incredible picture of how the use of psychedelics in the 1960s, when LSD was still legal, sparked great curiosity among engineers, and even companies such as Ampex exploring the use of LSD to boost the creativity of its engineers. [ snip ]

From Hal Murray

I worked on that project. Boy does that bring back memories. Thanks for the reminder. (I still have my coffee cup from back then.) I was working for Computer Corporation of America in Cambridge MA. Today, we would call it a startup. There were 8-10 of us in the company. We had a data base system that ran on IBM 360s. That was long before SQL.
Bell Labs was working on computerizing directory assistance. Somehow, one of our guys got in touch with one of their guys. We claimed that we could do the data base lookup in under a second. They were rightly skeptical, but after a lot of discussion and simulation, they funded us to do a serious prototype. We busted our tails for a couple of weeks and gave them a great demo at the IBM data center in Philadelphia. (It was the nearest place to Boston (Homdel?) where we could rent time on a 360 with 2260 terminals.) The demo worked well enough that we got a contract for the system out in Oakland that the above article describes.
A big chunk of CCA moved to Oakland for several months. We were all young. I don't think anybody had kids so working long hours on a neat project was fun rather than disruptive to our life style. (Several wives/girlfriends came out for weekends. I got to Yosemite for a weekend in October. We had Half Dome to ourselves.)
The project covered the whole 415 area code, 1.5 million listings. I think the breakdown was (roughly):
3/4 million residential - 1/2 million business - 1/4 million government
Part of our job was to read the tapes that they sent to the printers for the phone books and extract the data to feed to our system. (The print tapes were full of quirks and special cases. I didn't work in that area.)
They didn't have room for us or the computer in the main PacBell building in downtown Oakland so they rented the basement floor of an office building a few blocks away. We were connected to the main building by a pair of 56 KB lines. Being the phone company, they understood about backhoe fade. One line went out the back of the main building and the other went out the front. I think they didn't converge until they got to our building.
One day, we got a tour of the normal directory assistance operation. There was a large room full of people. I'd guess 50 of them. Each operator was in a small booth with a row of phone books in front of her. When the operator said "What city please?", she really meant "What phone book?". I think the San Francisco directory assistance was shut down overnight and the calls forwarded over to Oakland.
The phone books were reprinted monthly. It took about 10 of them to cover 415. The schedule was staggered so a new one arrived every few days. New listings and changes since the last version sent to the customers had a big dot next to them so they were easy to find. The walls of the booth had the numbers for popular restaurants and movie theaters. Think of it as a cache. The hit rate was impressive. I don't remember any solid numbers, but I'd guess 10-30%.
There was also a small booklet with the changes since the phone books had been printed. I think it was updated nightly. It was 10 or 20 pages. At one end of the big room was a chalk board with today's screwups. If Joe's Pizza Parlor had a new phone and it got listed wrong or missed the cutoff and Joe called in to complain, his name and correct number would get up on that board where everybody could see it.
I think the trial setup had 8 stations connected to our system. There was some sort of minicomputer at their end of the 56Kb lines. I remember grumbling that we had to do a lot of processing that should have been done at their end. Back then, I didn't understand project management. In hindsight, letting us do all the work was probably the right decision. The API/protocol was pretty simple. I think it was only an afternoon to get things off the ground. After that, all the changes were in our code so fixing/tweaking something didn't take any coordination, negotiation, or memos. Somebody just told us what to do and we did it.

The goal was to deliver the first screen full of answers in under a second and have the answer be on that screen most of the time. The key idea is that the first 3 characters of the last name and the first 3 characters of the street name was enough information to get you down to a screen full most of the time. That's one seek for a hash table lookup, then another seek to get the first listing and a few more reads (maybe few short seeks) to get the other listings on that screen.
3 characters of first name and 3 characters of last name also gets you down to a single screen most of the time.
After a preliminary test, we started over with 3+4 and 4+3 in order to get slightly better first-screen statistics. The data base also had middle names/initials, street numbers, city, and whatever. They were only used occasionally.
WIL was the nasty case for names. That covered Wilson and Williams and probably a few other big clumps.
Overall, I think Bell Labs and PacBell were happy with the results. We were at the right place at the right time.


Less telcom related...

The only name I remember from PacBell was Al Aramburu. He was a VP(?) in PacBell and also a supervisor for Marin County (north across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco). I think he was on loan to Bell Labs when they started working on this and he made the west coast arrangements for the experiment.
From CCA, Bill Mann, Bob Kittredge, Dave Long and I moved out to Oakland for several months. Dave Long stayed out there as our man on the scene for a few months after it was up and working and the rest of us returned to the east coast. (Apologies if I overlooked anybody.)
PacBell provided an IBM 360/50 dedicated to this project. Until we got off the ground, it was available to us (CCA) for whatever we needed. It was an interesting example of throw-money-at-it for an experiment. We'll learn enough to make it worth while.
I don't remember when I learned about Moore's law. This was obviously long before it hit popular culture, even if you restrict your sample set to geeks.
PacBell obviously considered this to be an important project. We never had any foot-dragging type bureaucratic problems. I don't remember any names, but the guys/gals in the trenches supporting us were all good.


Our system was one of the first 360/50s on the west coast with 384K (yes K) of memory. We weren't sure everything would work in 256K and BellLabs/PACBell didn't want to pay for 512K, so we tried 384K.
The system had 3x 2314 disks, a few tape drives, and a printer and card reader. The 2314s had the dual channel option. Each 2314 had 9 drives, 8 could be online with the 9th was a spare. Each drive was 30 megabytes, 200 cylinders, 20 tracks per cylinder, 7294 bytes per track.
The whole 2314 was about 5 ft tall, 12 feet wide, and 3 or 4 feet deep.
The I/O gear (tapes and disks) arrived long before the CPU. The IBM field service guys had plenty of time to play with their local diagnostics that ran on the CPU in the controller units. So the I/O gear was all tuned up long before the CPU arrived.
A couple of days after I got there, the CPU came down the freight elevator. The IBM guys swarmed around it. After they got everything all setup, they pushed the Power-On button. The main breaker popped. Those guys worked on 360/50s all day long. They knew it inside and out. After a quick huddle they found the bug in the directions from the factory. The next try got off the ground.
But it didn't get very far. One of the guys asked something like "Did we check for loose cards?". The response was several grumbles of "Not me.". They dumped power and started checking each individual plug in card. That involved opening the cover (air baffle) on each 8x10 inch section, and then tapping each card in there with the back of a screw driver to make sure it was properly seated. Several times, a card dropped out onto the floor when they opened the baffle/cover. I remember several cries of "Got another one!" when somebody found a card that wasn't well seated. After they reseated all the loose cards, the machine booted. I did the the SYSGEN that evening.
I browsed the web a bit but didn't find a good picture. The main part of a 360/50 was a T as viewed from above. The console was on the bottom of the T. The CPU was the stem. The top bar was the memory.


Odds and ends...

The 360/50 was used by a lot of banks. Bankers are stingy.
When they didn't have a serious problem to work on, the IBM field service guys used to hang out at our place. Aside from free coffee, we would give them occasional time on the system when it wasn't busy with real work. They would try their latest diagnostic software. (Bankers wouldn't give them the time of day, even at midnight.)
I remember at least one interesting event due to new diagnostics finding a problem the old ones didn't, but I've forgotten the details. When the computer was busy, we got to sit around and swap lies. I remember making a wise ass comment about a big hammer on top of an IBM tool box. It sure didn't look like anything you wanted near a computer. The response was: "That's our door fitting tool." :)
Our office manager had worked for PacBell in Nevada on a project that involved taking aerial pictures of all of their telephone poles. They contracted it out to somebody with an airplane and camera. They couldn't sell the pictures to recover some of their costs because they weren't tariffed for that. For the next round, they bought one set of pictures from the guy who took them with the understanding that he could/would sell them to other people.
At one point, PacBell used a lot of IBM 7044s for their billing. They were getting another one, maybe just in case since IBM was shutting down that refurbishing line. The CPU fell off the fork lift that was taking it out of the plane. When it hit the ground, the whole frame was bent slightly. A quick phone call kept them from taking the refurbishing line apart so they could run that machine through again.

My First Computer


Virginia Heffernan, national correspondant for Yahoo News, wrote a column about her first computer and quoted John Perry Barlow and others about theirs
“My first computer was a Compaq 'luggable.' 1985,” Barlow told me by email. “Looked kind of like an oversized Elna sewing machine. It weighed about 25 pounds and had a 9" green screen. I believe it had 640k of memory, I bought a 20 megabyte 'hard disk on a card' for it which ran me $1250. I thought it was a bargain and couldn't imagine filling it. I got it in a nondescript computer store in Salt Lake City, UT.” Barlow, who is from Wyoming, was a rancher at the time. His politics might be best characterized as “rugged.” She then asked readers to wrote about theirs


Computer History

Computer History Museum CHM YouTube channel

1964 Timesharing: A Solution to Computer Bottlenecks
This vintage film from 1964 features MIT Science Reporter John Fitch at the MIT Computation Center in an extended interview with MIT professor of computer science Fernando J. Corbato. The film was co-produced by WGBH (Boston) and MIT. The prime focus of the film is timesharing, one of the most important developments in computing, and one which has come in and out of favor several times over the last several decades as the dichotomy between remote and centrally-managed computing resources played out; the latest incarnation for centrally-managed computing resources is known as cloud computing. Timesharing as shown in this film, was a novel concept in the early 1960s. Driven by a desire to more efficiently use expensive computer resources while increasing the interactivity between user and computer (man and machine), timesharing was eventually taken up by industry in the form of special timesharing hardware for mainframe and minicomputer computer systems as well as in sophisticated operating systems to manage multiple users and resources.

STEVE WOZNIAK, the co-inventor of the Apple Computer, still attends rock concerts frequently. THEN: he was Attending high school in Sunnyvale during the Summer of Love.

How Spreadsheets Changed the World: A Short History of the PC Era
By John F. McMullen

Apple II: The Story Begins
In 1978, my wife, Barbara McMullen, and I were in the process of leaving Morgan Stanley to form our own consulting business. We had 24 years' worth of experience with large computer systems between us, of which seventeen was with securities processing systems. Our plan, therefore, was to concentrate on working on large, "mainframe" brokerage systems, and we had already signed a small retainer agreement with a data processing services firm to begin our independent life.

Happy 35th birthday, Apple II
by Victor Agreda, Jr. Apr 16th 2012
Harry McCracken has a nice write up on the debut, evolution and legacy of the Apple II (or, ][ as I like to call it). The Apple II was unveiled 35 years ago, and it ushered in the home computing revolution.
I am a product of that revolution, as my dad bought an Apple in 1978 and it sits by my desk now, shown in the picture above. There were no computer stores back then so he bought one in the back of a bike shop, where a little hobbyist section had Altairs and other user-unfriendly computers.
From then my own path was set, as I wouldn't own a "PC" running anything other than an Apple OS until the 90s. For millions of other Apple customers, the same thing would be true. The Apple II proved to be a great computer for schools, small businesses and homes.
Here's to the machine that started it all!

[May 14, 1979]
In this short one-minute commercial, Xerox introduces its vision for the office of the future. Years ahead of its time, the 1972 Xerox Alto featured Ethernet networking, a full page display, a mouse, laser printing, e-mail, and a windows-based user interface. Although it's high price limited sales, the Alto was a groundbreaking invention and the inspiration for the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows operating systems.


Viola Is a Repository of Prior Art for The Web by Dale Dougherty 3/30/00
Viola's greatest value may yet to be realized; it represents a valuable repository of prior art with which to fight all kinds of Web-related patents. Pei has set up the Viola Archive, the world wide web hypermedia toolkit. The original Xwindows, independent, experimental, scriptable, object oriented, alternative, etc, web browser. which contains the source code and documentation. We want to provide whatever information we can to help others dispute web-related patents. Again, because Viola's browser development preceded even Mosaic, any feature we find in it can be said to be public knowledge -- and used to dispute any claim that any later arrival to the Web party invented archives to find support for the fact that Viola was known to others and to create a timeline for when various features were introduced. Email from Pei Wei to Marc Andreessen -- 02/03/93.

The First Web Browser was written in 1990 it was the only way to see the web. Much later it was renamed Nexus in order to save confusion between the program and the abstract information space (which is now spelled World Wide Web with spaces).


HISTORICAL DOCUMENT UP on RAND SITE "Willis H. Ware" In the late 60s ARPA and then DSB sponsored a committee to write a doc on security controls. The report became very famous and often referred to as "the Ware Report".
In the late 60s I chaired a Defense Science Board Committee that produced a document: Security Controls for Computer Systems. Classified for 9 years, it was declassified and republished by RAND in 1979 [R-609-1]. Courtesy of John Young, who operates the very efficient and respected archive CRYPTOME, the document is now available, scanned and converted to HTML format.
1970 DSB report, "Security Controls for Computer Systems" (265K)
Have a look to see how thoroughly the committee understood the issue in those days; especially have a look at Appendix II SEE also the preface which explains why the original documents was classified; many people have commented on this.

21:48 This video shows four 'firsts' in the history of computing. The video was assembled by Danny Cohen and donated to the Computer History Museum by Sun Microsystems Laboratories. The topics covered are: computer aided instruction (CAI); computer aided design (CAD); flight simulationand digital voice packet transmission. Many features of computing systems we have come to take for granted today got their start in such early experiments.




And Ye Shall Know the Truth, and the Truth Shall Make You Free
- John 8:32 (and the lobby of CIA Headquarters, Langley Virginia)



The Secret History of Silicon Valley - Backstory

  • Part 1: The Vietnam War
  • Part 2: B-52's and the Soviet Air Defense System
  • Part 3: Bill Perry/ESL and the Cold War
  • Part 4: Undisclosed Locations
  • Part 5: Silicon Valley, the 2nd 100 years
  • Part 6: Stanford, Terman and WWII
  • Part 7: Stanford, Terman and the Cold War
  • Part 8: Stanford and the rise of Cold War Entrepreneurship
  • Part 9: Stanford and Electronic Intelligence
  • Part 10: Stanford and Weapons Systems
  • Part 11: The Rise of Venture Capital Part
  • 12: The First Valley IPO's Part
  • 13: Startups with Nuclear Missiles
  • Part 14: Spy Satellites in Silicon Valley Part
  • 15: Lockheed - Silicon Valley largest employer •
  • Part 16: Balloon Wars
    The bibliography is very interesting also.

European counter-terror plan involves blanket collection of passengers' data
Exclusive: European commission plans to request 42 items of personal information about air passengers

Canadian Government Spies on Millions of File-Sharers

Internet Society Four Basic Steps to Protecting Your Digital Privacy in 2015

ANCIENT HISTORY - The Oldest Computer

Were Greeks 1,400 years ahead of their time?
Lean about the intricate bronze mechanism of wheels and dials created 80 years before the birth of Christ. The "Antikythera Mechanism" was discovered damaged and fragmented on the wreck of a cargo ship off the tiny Greek island of Antikythera in 1900. Now, a joint British-Greek research team has found a hidden ancient Greek inscription on the device, which it thinks could unlock the mystery. The team believes the Antikythera Mechanism may be the world's oldest computer, used by the Greeks to predict the motion of the planets. The researchers say the device indicates a technical sophistication that would not be replicated for millennia and may also be based on principles of a heliocentric, or sun-centred, universe - a view of the cosmos that was not accepted by astronomers until the Renaissance.
The "back story"... Our inventive ancestors devised all sorts of techniques to increase their power to calculate and compute. Take a look.

The Computer History Museum
is at 1401 North Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View, Calif.; (650) 810-1010; “the world's largest museum for the preservation and presentation of the computer revolution and its impact.” And however specialized or esoteric the artifacts, they take on new interest in this institution because of the kind of history it tells and the place it tells it. <more>