History of computing

IBM 360 is 50 years old today

Monday, April 7th, 2014

It’s been way too long since I posted here, but the 50th anniversary of the announcement of the IBM 360 seems like a good excuse. Of course, the 360 was to its era what the Intel architecture is today, and in fact even more. Not only was its instruction set the code of choice for […]

A small correction to the historical record on Colossus and Bletchley Park

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Awhile ago I posted an entry recommending a Nice Video about Colossus and Tommy Flowers. I have since been in touch with Capt. Jerry Roberts, who was one of the key members of the codebreaking team at Bletchley Park (B.P) during World War II. Capt. Roberts contacted me after I made my posting, and although […]

IBM Advanced Computing System (1961-1969)

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

IBM and CDC developed some of the most innovative computer architectures during the 1960’s. The advanced 360 architectures such as the IBM 360/91 are well known for their pioneering implementations of instruction-level parallelism and register renaming. Before that, Project Stretch was famous for contributing many innovations to computer architecture. Less well known was the Advanced […]

Nice video about Colossus and Tommy Flowers

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Google has posted a nice little video about Bletchley Park and the Colossus machine, including nice remembrances of hardware designer Tommy Flowers.  There’s also a  posting about Tommy Flowers in the Google blog. I had the opportunity to see the reconstruction of Colossus in operation, breaking actual codes, when I visited the British National Museum […]

Some interesting readings in Computer Science

Friday, January 21st, 2011

I’ve just posted on the  main Arcane Domain Web site a short bibliography of Computer Science papers that I have found to be particularly worthwhile.  There’s no attempt here to be comprehensive or balanced. Rather, it’s a list of papers that I think are interesting, well written, of unusual historical significance, or just under-appreciated. A […]

The Web is 20 Years Old Today

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Twenty years ago today, on December 25th, 1990, Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau first successfully connected a browser to a Web server — the Web as an operational system is 20 years old today.

James Gosling Interview

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

There’s a transcript of a terrific interview with James Gosling available at http://www.basementcoders.com/transcripts/James_Gosling_Transcript.html.  Lots of irreverent, insightful comments on Java, Oracle, open source, Google and the Android suit, etc.

Sanjiva on 10 Years of SOAP

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

I just noticed that in April, Sanjiva Weerawarana posted his own thoughts on 10 years of SOAP, with a somewhat more positive perspective than mine.  I also see that his posting predates mine, so it seems we each noted the anniversary independently.  For those who don’t know, Sanjiva has been one of the most important […]

Ten Years of SOAP

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Ten years ago today, at the 9th International Web Conference in Amsterdam, we held a panel discussion to introduce the SOAP networking protocol to the Web community.   Just a week before, the SOAP 1.1 specification had been posted as a W3C Note.   Many legitimate criticisms have been aimed at SOAP in the years since, but […]

Lotus Notes 1.0 was released 20 years ago today

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Ed Brill has a post noting the 20th anniverary of the announcement of Lotus Notes 1.0.  Today is also the 25th anniversay of the founding of Iris Associates, the company set up by Ray Ozzie, Tim Halvorsen and Len Kawell to to create notes.

Happy Birthday, UNIX™

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

40 years ago, in August of 1969, Ken Thompson‘s wife headed west for a few weeks on a family trip, leaving Ken the month it would take to allocate “one week each to the four core components of operating system, shell, editor and assembler” that he and Dennis Ritchie decided to write after work on […]

40 Years of Internet RFCs

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Steve Crocker has a nice piece in yesterday’s New York Times reflecting on 40 years of Internet RFCs. 

A great talk on World War II Codebreaking

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Bletchley Park was the estate where Alan Turing and an amazing team of codebreakers cracked several key World War II German ciphers, and where they built the world’s first programmable electronic digital computers.  Bletchley is falling into disrepair, and there are ongoing efforts to raise funds to save it. While rummaging around following links about […]