By Topic

Annals of the History of Computing, IEEE

Popular Articles (March 2015)

Includes the top 50 most frequently downloaded documents for this publication according to the most recent monthly usage statistics.
  • 1. Selected Papers On Computer Science

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 82 - 83
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (286 KB)  

    First Page of the Article
    View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 2. History of Computing in India: 1955-2010

    Publication Year: 2015 , Page(s): 24 - 35
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (187 KB)  

    The history of computing in India is inextricably intertwined with two interacting forces: the political climate (determined by the political party in power) and the government policies mainly driven by the technocrats and bureaucrats who acted within the boundaries drawn by the political party in power. There were four break points (which occurred in 1970, 1978, 1991 and 1998) that changed the direction of the development of computers and their applications. This article explains why these breaks occurred and how they affected the history of computing in India. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 3. Establishing Moore's Law

    Publication Year: 2006 , Page(s): 62 - 75
    Cited by:  Papers (11)  |  Patents (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (297 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The seemingly unshakeable accuracy of Moore's law - which states that the speed of computers; as measured by the number of transistors that can be placed on a single chip, will double every year or two - has been credited with being the engine of the electronics revolution, and is regarded as the premier example of a self-fulfilling prophecy and technological trajectory in both the academic and popular press. Although many factors have kept Moore's law as an industry benchmark, it is the entry of foreign competition that seems to have played a critical role in maintaining the pace of Moore's law in the early VLSI transition. Many different kinds of chips used many competing logic families. DRAMs and microprocessors became critical to the semiconductor industry, yet were unknown during the original formulation of Moore's law View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 4. The Origins and Early History of Computer Engineering in the United States

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 6 - 18
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (444 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This article examines the origins and early history of the field of computer engineering in the United States, from the mid-1940s to mid-1950s. The account is based on both primary and secondary sources and draws theory from technology studies and the sociology of professions. The author begins by discussing roles played by engineers and engineering during the development of some of the first high-speed digital computers. He then describes the efforts of two electrical engineering institutes as they staked claims in computing, followed by a discussion of bifurcated versus integrated visions for the new field. In the final sections, the article turns to the emergence and establishment of computer engineering as a distinct field or specialty, primarily in the context of professional societies and private-sector firms. One main goal of this article is to show how the jurisdiction of engineering expanded to include computer hardware design. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 5. Andrew V. Haeff: Enigma of the Tube Era and Forgotten Computing Pioneer

    Publication Year: 2015 , Page(s): 67 - 74
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (564 KB)  

    Prolific, yet neglected inventor Andrew Vasily Haeff (1905-1990) made numerous contributions to vacuum tube art, including the traveling wave tube, the inductive-output tube, the electron-wave tube (or "double-stream" amplifier), the resistive wall tube, and many others. Haeff's contributions to computing history include his pioneering computer monitor technology, his high-speed electrostatic computer memory tube, and his early work in the display and storage of text and graphics. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 6. The Production and Interpretation of ARPANET Maps

    Publication Year: 2015 , Page(s): 44 - 55
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2383 KB)  

    This article explores a 20-year series of ARPANET maps produced by the firm Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN). These BBN maps signify the earliest efforts to represent an early and central piece of the modern Internet, and they wind up as illustrations in contemporary discussions of ARPANET history and the early Internet. Once a functional tool for engineers, they now serve as an aesthetic backdrop used without explicit recognition of their intended purpose. The authors propose an excavation of their production, design conventions, and symbolic functions. They find that the maps represent a specific technological focus--the subnet--that worked well with the maps' network graph form and also aligned with the map creators' purposes during the network's early years. As a result, the continuities and systematic nature in the maps' form, one so central to the subnet, encourage us to read them from a certain technological perspective based in particular on the network's early, a view that may affect how retrospective histories depict the ARPANET's entire lifetime. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 7. Red Clones: The Soviet Computer Hobby Movement of the 1980s

    Publication Year: 2015 , Page(s): 12 - 23
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1538 KB)  

    The Soviet microcomputer hobby movement began in the early 1980s. It passed through two main developmental stages before it melted away a decade later, leaving behind a country enchanted with microcomputing. This article traces the development of the movement and assesses its significance and place in the USSR's history of computing. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 8. Implications of Historical Trends in the Electrical Efficiency of Computing

    Publication Year: 2011 , Page(s): 46 - 54
    Cited by:  Papers (15)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1790 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The electrical efficiency of computation has doubled roughly every year and a half for more than six decades, a pace of change comparable to that for computer performance and electrical efficiency in the microprocessor era. These efficiency improvements enabled the creation of laptops, smart phones, wireless sensors, and other mobile computing devices, with many more such innovations yet to come. The Web Extra appendix outlines the data and methods used in this study. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 9. Useful Instruction for Practical People: Early Printed Discussions of the Slide Rule in the US

    Publication Year: 2015 , Page(s): 36 - 43
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1040 KB)  

    Printed accounts of the appearance and use of various forms of slide rule appear in a variety of 18th and early 19th American printed sources. Based largely on British work, these texts reveal both confidence in the practical potential of the instrument and the slow diffusion of the device. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 10. Three faces of human-computer interaction

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 46 - 62
    Cited by:  Papers (12)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (312 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Human-computer interaction is considered a core element of computer science. Yet it has not coalesced; many researchers who identify their focus as human-computer interaction reside in other fields. The author examines the origins and evolution of three HCI research foci: computer operation, information systems management, and discretionary use. The author describes efforts to find common ground and forces that have kept them apart. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 11. Hopper and Dijkstra: Crisis, Revolution, and the Future of Programming

    Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 64 - 73
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (294 KB)  

    In the late 1960s, tensions were erupting in corporate and academic computing cultures in the United States and abroad with competing views about the state of computer programming and possible future implications. A discourse of "software crisis" was ignited in 1968 when NATO hosted a conference on the topic of software engineering. The author examines the rhetoric of crisis, revolution, and promise in computer programming cultures by viewing it through the lens of two dissimilar leaders, Grace Hopper and Edsger Dijkstra, who articulated views through discourses about computer programming that reveal multiple ideals and tensions. As representatives and exemplars of different communities, they emphasized pragmatic versus theoretical stances, respectively. The historical context they operated in also highlights the cultural complexities of gender in computer programming, a durable phenomenon that continues today. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 12. Gordon Bell

    Publication Year: 2015 , Page(s): 4 - 11
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1282 KB)  

    Computer pioneer Gordon Bell has been one of the industry's leading figures for nearly 50 years. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1994), American Association for the Advancement of Science (1983), ACM (1994), IEEE (1974), and Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (2009) and a member of the National Academy of Engineering (1977) and National Academy of Science (2007), Bell was also a founding board member of the Computer History Museum. This interview is based on an oral history conducted by Gardner Hendrie for the CHM in June 2005. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 13. Guest Editors' Introduction: History of Database Management Systems

    Publication Year: 2009 , Page(s): 3 - 5
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (526 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This issue tells the history of database management systems through a series of pioneer recollections, principally from people who founded the major DBMS companies or were heavily involved in the growth and development of these products and companies. These eight recollections cover the principal DBMS software products for IBM mainframe computers. IBM itself was a significant player in this marketplace with its IMS product, but all the other products were produced and marketed by independent software companies. Many historians and industry analysts believe that these products and these companies formed the foundation on which the mainframe software products industry was built. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 14. Video Synthesizers: From Analog Computing to Digital Art

    Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 74 - 86
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2562 KB)  

    In the late 1960s, artists and engineers began building increasingly sophisticated video synthesizers, machines that produced abstract or distorted images by electronically manipulating either a video signal or the cathode ray tube on which it was displayed. This article explores how experimental videographers modeled video synthesizers on audio synthesizers, conceptualized them as analog computers, and starting in 1973, interfaced them with digital minicomputers. They used digital computers first as programmable controllers for complex analog synthesizers and then as sources of digital imagery themselves, integrating video and computer graphics in hybrid analog/digital systems. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 15. Why the Arpanet Was Built

    Publication Year: 2011 , Page(s): 4 - 21
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1004 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The who, what, when, and how of the Arpanet is usually told in heroic terms-Licklider's vision, the fervor of his disciples, the dedication of computer scientists and engineers, the work of graduate students, and so forth. Told by one of the key actors in this salient part of US and Internet history, this article addresses why the Arpanet was built. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 16. Lovelace & Babbage and the creation of the 1843 'notes'

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 16 - 26
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (246 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Augusta Ada Lovelace worked with Charles Babbage to create a description of Babbage's unbuilt invention, the analytical engine, a highly advanced mechanical calculator often considered a forerunner of the electronic calculating computers of the 20th century. Ada Lovelace's "notes," describing the analytical engine, published in Taylor's scientific memoirs in 1843, contained a ground-breaking description of the possibilities of programming the machine to go beyond number-crunching to "computing" in the wider sense in which we understand the term today. We expand on research first presented by the authors in their documentary film, to dream tomorrow. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 17. Cybernetics, Automata Studies, and the Dartmouth Conference on Artificial Intelligence

    Publication Year: 2011 , Page(s): 5 - 16
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (656 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence, held at Datrmouth College in 1956, is regarded as the official "birthplace" of Al. This article draws on unpublished archives to shed new light on the origins of the conference and the complex relationships between cybernetics, automata studies, and Al in the 1950s. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 18. From Ancient to Modern Computing: A History of Information Hiding

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 33 - 39
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (547 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This article proposes a methodological approach to the historiography of computing in terms of information hiding--that is, the introduction of levels of abstraction (LoAs) between the human being and the computing machine. This approach applies the LoAs, in terms of the epistemological levelism proposed within the philosophy of information, to the transition from ancient to modern computing. In particular, the black-box metaphor and von Neumann's architectures are discussed. Also, the authors propose a formal LoAs method as a mathematical counterpart. Information itself is then treated as structure-preserving functions so that a LoA can distinguish what kind of information gets hidden when human beings interact with computing machines. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 19. The Relational Model: Beginning of an Era

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 30 - 37
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (158 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Serving as an informal technical introduction to this Annals special issue on relational database management systems, this article gives an introductory overview of the relational model and discusses the value of Edgar F. (Ted) Codd's model. Then, after providing an account of Chris Date's contributions, the author assesses the relational model's effect on the industry and how it might affect future developments. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 20. "There Is No Saturation Point in Education": Inside IBM's Sales School, 1970s-1980s

    Publication Year: 2015 , Page(s): 56 - 66
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1650 KB)  

    The author was both a student and an instructor in IBM's training program for newly hired salespeople in the 1970s and 1980s. He describes the training these new hires received, focusing on Sales School, IBM's longest running training program. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 21. A Brief History of Software Engineering

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 32 - 39
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (198 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This personal perspective on the art of programming begins with a look at the state of programming from about 1960, and it follows programming's development through the present day. The article examines key contributions to the field of software engineering and identifies major obstacles, which persist even today. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 22. The SAP Story: Evolution of SAP within the German Software Industry

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 60 - 76
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (399 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The success of the German company SAP and its enterprise software contradicts the widespread assumption of American dominance in the computer software industry. In this combined business and technology history of SAP, the author explores the individuals and ideas behind the concept of standardized, integrated business software and how SAP developed from a small company to a global market leader. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 23. A view from the 1960s: how the software industry began

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 36 - 42
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (232 KB)  

    The conventional wisdom in the computer industry in the 1960s was that one could not make any money selling software-it was either given away free by the computer manufacturers or written specifically and uniquely for each computer installation. But several years before the concept of charging for software products was given legitimacy by IBM's unbundling in June 1969, there were a number of entrepreneurs who were convinced that there was a market for software that could be sold off-the-shelf over and over again to hundreds of customers. The companies founded by these software pioneers grew to become enterprises worth hundreds of millions of dollars and were the prototypes for the thousands of software companies that came after them. The article tells the story of two of those early companies, Applied Data Research and Informatics, and the contributions they made to the creation of today's multibillion dollar software industry View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 24. IBM Relational Database Systems: The Early Years

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 38 - 48
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (254 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The relational data model, proposed by E.F. Codd in 1970, inspired several research projects at IBM and elsewhere. Among these was System R, which demonstrated the commercial viability of relational database systems. This article describes the research challenges faced by the System R team and how the technology they created has influenced the development of the modern database industry. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 25. Ada Byron, Lady Lovelace, an analyst and metaphysician

    Publication Year: 1996 , Page(s): 4 - 12
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (976 KB)  

    There may be controversy about when the computer revolution began, but to me a revolution begins with an idea, and that idea was Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine conceived in 1834. The computer revolution also began with a woman, Augusta Ada Byron, Lady Lovelace, who wrote an article in 1843 that not only gave us descriptive, analytical, contextual, and metaphysical information about the Analytical Engine but also the first program. Her prescient comments have stood the test of time. Augusta Ada Byron, Lady Lovelace (1815-1852), is regarded by some people as the first programmer and by others as a science fiction archetype, perhaps as “mad and bad” as her illustrious father, Lord Byron. At the very least, Ada is one of the most colorful characters in computer history View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 26. Videogames in Computer Space: The Complex History of Pong

    Publication Year: 2009 , Page(s): 5 - 19
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (5283 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The earliest digital games emerged out of laboratories and research centers in the 1960s and 1970s. The intertwined histories of Nolan Bushnell's Computer Space and Pong illustrate the transition from these "university games" to accessible entertainment and educational games as well as the complicated historical relationship among the arcade, computer, and videogames. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 27. US Government Computer Penetration Programs and the Implications for Cyberwar

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 4 - 21
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1059 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The US Department of Defense was the driving force behind the development of sophisticated computer penetration methodologies. By analyzing the security of the nation's time-sharing computer systems, security analysts developed an expert understanding of computer penetration. Eventually, the US and its intelligence agencies utilized computer penetration techniques to wage offensive cyberattacks. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 28. Women and gender in the history of computing

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 4 - 8
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (226 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    First Page of the Article
    View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 29. The Oracle Story: 1984-2001

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 10 - 23
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (623 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This article tells the story of Oracle from 1984 through 2001, primarily through the author's experiences during those years. Andrew Mendelsohn worked on the software development team that built the Oracle relational database management system (RDBMS). During this time, Oracle went from being a small niche software company to becoming one of the giants in the software industry. Although many observers believe Oracle's strong marketing and sales organizations were the primary reasons for its success during this time, Mendelsohn argues that Oracle's success was also due to its highly innovative RDBMS product that was strongly differentiated from its competitors. This article traces the development of the Oracle RDBMS through the mainframe, minicomputer, client-server, and Internet computing eras. It calls out the key competitors at each stage and the key product innovations that allowed Oracle to compete so successfully in the market. Finally, this article also provides insight into the workings of the overall Oracle business and culture. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 30. Understanding 'How Computing Has Changed the World'

    Publication Year: 2007 , Page(s): 52 - 63
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (290 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    How can we satisfactorily address the history of computing, recognizing that computing artifacts and practices are often shaped by local circumstances and cultures, and yet also capture the longer-term processes by which computing has shaped the world? This article reviews three traditions of scholarly work, proposes a new line of scholarship, and concludes with thoughts on collaborative, international, and interdisciplinary research. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 31. Hearing Aids and the History of Electronics Miniaturization

    Publication Year: 2011 , Page(s): 24 - 45
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (4270 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Electrical hearing aids were the principal site for component miniaturization and compact assembly before World War II. After the war, hearing aid users became the first consumer market for printed circuits, transistors, and integrated circuits. Due to the stigmatization of hearing loss, users generally demanded small or invisible devices. In addition to being early adopters, deaf and hard of hearing people were often the inventors, retailers, and manufacturers of miniaturized electronics. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 32. Colossus: its origins and originators

    Publication Year: 2004 , Page(s): 38 - 45
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (240 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The British Colossus computer was one of the most important tools in the wartime effort to break German codes. Based on interviews and on recently declassified documents, this article clarifies the roles played by Thomas Flowers, Alan Turing, William Tutte, and Max Newman in the events leading to the installation of the first Colossus at Bletchley Park, Britain's wartime code-breaking establishment, in December 1943. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 33. Los Alamos Bets on ENIAC: Nuclear Monte Carlo Simulations, 1947-1948

    Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 42 - 63
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2028 KB)  

    In April 1948 a team including John and Klara von Neumann and Nick Metropolis ran the first of a series of calculations on ENIAC. These were not only the first computerized Monte Carlo simulations, but also the first code written in the modern paradigm, usually associated with the "stored program concept," ever to be executed. This article--the third in a three-part series published in Annals--reconstructs the planning, design, code, and operation of these programs from extensive archival records. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 34. The Relational Database and the Concept of the Information System

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 9 - 17
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (178 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    E.F. Codd developed his relational database concept within a community that was attempting to create a general-purpose machine for retrieving and reasoning with data. Rather than just making progress toward that goal, this article argues that Codd's accomplishment marked the end of that effort and traces the heritage of the relational database system as it relates to the concept of an information system. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 35. Algol in France: From Universal Project to Embedded Culture

    Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 6 - 25
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1416 KB)  

    Algol was a high-level programming language, created by American and European mathematicians in the late 1950s. It sparked a wave of debates, projects and counter-projects, and remained lively in academic spheres until the 1970s. This article focuses on Algol, less as a programming language than as a research programme, an object of circulation and translation, and a decisive step in the building of a new scientific community: computer science, or informatique. It provides an analysis of the main French actors involved in the global Algol endeavor--small groups of computer scientists who became interested in this project, appropriated it, and participated in its evolution, either within academic laboratories, R&D departments of computer companies, user organizations, or learned societies. This involves grasping each group with its local, particular rationale, culture, and environment as well as its integration in scientific networks at national and transnational levels. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 36. The Technological Roots of Computer Graphics

    Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 30 - 41
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1502 KB)  

    Numerous, seemingly unrelated technologies eventually culminated in what we know today as the field of computer graphics (CG). The article focuses on prior art documents cited in CG patent applications to identify the technology at the origin, the problems encountered, and that solutions proposed in the 1940s and 1950s that led to the generation of images with computers in the early 1960s. The analysis is threefold: the aggregation of patent classification supplied information about the technologies at the origin of CG, the firms behind these patents provided an idea about the players, and the analysis of individual publications provided information about the problems they addressed and the solutions that were proposed. This approach enriches previous works on CG history, which are usually based on the pioneers' views or on the personal experiences of author(s). The key finding made in this prior art analysis reveals that, in addition to computing and television, CG has deep roots in radar-related technologies and aircraft instrumentation. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 37. Engineering "The Miracle of the ENIAC": Implementing the Modern Code Paradigm

    Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 41 - 59
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (504 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In 1947 John von Neumann had the idea of converting ENIAC to the new style of programming first described in his celebrated "First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC." By April 1948, Nick Metropolis, building on plans developed by Adele Goldstine and others, had implemented the conversion, making ENIAC the first computer to execute programs written in the new style, which we call the "modern code paradigm." Treating this as a case of user-driven innovation, the authors document the conversion process and compare capabilities of the reconstructed machine to those of the first modern computers. This article is the second in a three-part series. The first article, "Reconsidering the Stored Program Concept" (published in IEEE Annals, vol. 36, no. 1, 2014; http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MAHC.2013.56), examined the history of the aforesaid idea and proposed a set of more specific alternatives. The third, "Los Alamos Bets on ENIAC: Nuclear Monte Carlo Simulations, 1947-1948" (to appear in IEEE Annals, vol. 36, no. 3, 2014; http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MAHC.2013.56), will examine in detail the first program run on the machine after its conversion to the new programming method. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 38. The Oracle Story, Part 1: 1977-1986

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 51 - 57
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (316 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Starting in 1977, the founders of the Oracle Corporation created a product and a company which in less than 20 years would come to dominate the DBMS marketplace, and become one of the world's largest computer software and services companies. With virtually no outside financial investment, the founders bootstrapped the company by developing project software under contract while working overtime to develop the original Oracle relational database management systems product. Through a combination of insightful decisions about the direction of the technology and fortunate advances in the marketplace, Oracle was able to leapfrog the established software vendors who were committed to older legacy DBMS approaches. And by aggressive and smart marketing and ongoing development work, Oracle was able to outdistance their RDBMS competitors and hold their own even against IBM. This article tells about the first 10 years of the Oracle story. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 39. When Switches Became Programs: Programming Languages and Telecommunications, 1965-1980

    Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 38 - 50
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (254 KB)  

    Beginning in the mid-1960s, electromechanical telecommunications switches were increasingly replaced by computer-controlled switches. Production and development of this equipment relied on the construction of its software. This software was shaped by practices, ideas, and ideals appropriated from the computer industry and computer science as much as by concerns and constraints of the telecommunications industry itself. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 40. The Intel 4004 microprocessor: what constituted invention?

    Publication Year: 1997 , Page(s): 4 - 15
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1112 KB)  

    Investigates the context for the development of one of the earliest microprocessors, the Intel 4004. It considers the contributions made by Intel employees, most notably Marcian E. “Ted” Hoff, Jr. and Federico Faggin, and the contributions other people made to this development who are not generally known, most notably Tadashi Sasaki and Masatoshi Shima. This paper represents a case study of how corporate and national cultures affect technological development and of the many aspects of invention, including conceptualization, logical design, engineering, fabrication, capitalization and marketing View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 41. Grounding Digital History in the History of Computing

    Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 72 - 75
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (152 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this brief article, we use the relatively recent publication of a number of books on the subject as a launching point to argue that digital history should be grounded in the history of computing. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 42. This Is Not a Computer: Negotiating the Microprocessor

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 48 - 54
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (735 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The Intel 4004 μ-Computer is the earliest known microprocessor-based hardware distributed by Intel. This article relates the information concerning the 4004 μ-Computer in an effort to gain a more complete historical perspective on the liminal period in the corporate history of Intel when, soon after the introduction of its first microprocessor, the company was wrestling with the "one-chip CPU--computer or component?" dilemma and tried to position itself in the emerging microcomputing market that it helped to create. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 43. When Computers Were Amateur

    Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 4 - 14
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (198 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This article examines the records of the Amateur Computer Society (1966-1976), a hobbyist organization whose newsletters chronicle an important corner in the history of computing. It argues for amateurism as an important foil to histories firmly ensconced in the firm or lab, often focused on technological artifacts. The author offers two readings of the newsletters: one that looks at the discussion of schematics as a contested representation of amateur expertise and the other that reveals the crucial links between amateur practice and domesticity. In addition to this portrait of early computer building hobbyists, the article sketches the amateur as a meaningful analytic category for the history of computing. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 44. Coming to grips with Univac

    Publication Year: 2006 , Page(s): 32 - 42
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (368 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    When it made successful use of magnetic tape, the Univac I pioneered the way for federal and commercial applications with extensive files. But pioneering posed many challenges because technology barely supported the production and introduction of electronic computers. This article is a recollection of efforts the US Air Force made to accommodate and use the first Univac moved out of the factory. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 45. The Commercialization of Database Management Systems, 1969–1983

    Publication Year: 2009 , Page(s): 26 - 41
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (178 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Database management systems were the most important commercial software packages of the 1970s. The authors reconstruct their early history by examining the evolution of their capabilities and installed base. They also document early user experiences, including the sources from which potential users learned about these new technologies, new roles such as the database administrator, and new concepts such as the data dictionary. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 46. Reconsidering the Stored-Program Concept

    Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 4 - 17
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (331 KB)  

    The first in a three-part series in IEEE Annals, this article gives a historical explanation of the endemic confusion surrounding the stored-program concept. The authors suggest the adoption of more precisely defined alternatives to capture specific aspects of the new approach to computing associated with the 1945 work of von Neumann and his collaborators. The second article, "Engineering--The Miracle of the ENIAC: Implementing the Modern Code Paradigm,"' examines the conversion of ENIAC to use the modern code paradigm identified in this article. The third, "Los Alamos Bets on ENIAC: Nuclear Monte Carlo Simulations, 1947-1948,"' examines in detail the first program written in the new paradigm to be executed. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 47. The Arpanet IMP Program: Retrospective and Resurrection

    Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 28 - 39
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (264 KB)  

    People from Bolt Beranek and Newman and others have extensively documented the Arpanet technology, including the Arpanet Interface Message Processor (IMP). This paper sketches the history (not the previously described technology) of the IMP program as originally written in 1969 for the modified Honeywell 516 computer. A sequence of other systems, evolving from the original software system and running on a variety of hardware platforms, are also enumerated. In 2013 a faded 1973 line printer listing of the IMP program was run through a special OCR program optimized to process such historical artifacts; an assembler was recreated to assemble the IMP code (looking like the modified PDP-1 Midas assembler used in 1973); and a software emulator of the original IMP hardware platform was created. This article also describes the methods used to recover a digital copy and assemble and run again the 1973 IMP code. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 48. First draft of a report on the EDVAC

    Publication Year: 1993 , Page(s): 27 - 75
    Cited by:  Papers (15)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (10296 KB)  

    The first draft of a report on the EDVAC written by John von Neumann is presented. This first draft contains a wealth of information, and it had a pervasive influence when it was first written. Most prominently, Alan Turing cites it in his proposal for the Pilot automatic computing engine (ACE) as the definitive source for understanding the nature and design of a general-purpose digital computer.<> View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 49. Women in computing: historical roles, the perpetual glass ceiling, and current opportunities

    Publication Year: 1996 , Page(s): 36 - 42
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1704 KB)  

    Over the course of history, women have slowly begun to hold influential roles in the computing industry. Although progress has been made, the precipitous journey is not yet complete. The paper presents a historical analysis of the entrance and role of women in the computing industry, a discussion on the existence and impact of the glass ceiling, and a detailed and informative collection of programs and opportunities established to abet women in succeeding in the industry. The information compiled in this work will prove useful not only to the women already employed in the industry but also to women contemplating entrance View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • 50. Reconfigurable computer origins: the UCLA fixed-plus-variable (F+V) structure computer

    Publication Year: 2002 , Page(s): 3 - 9
    Cited by:  Papers (46)  |  Patents (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1519 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Gerald Estrin and his group at the University of California at Los Angeles did the earliest work on reconfigurable computer architectures. The early research, described here, provides pointers to work on models and tools for reconfigurable systems design and analysis. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

Aims & Scope

From the analytical engine to the supercomputer, from Pascal to von Neumann, from punched cards to CD-ROMs -- the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing covers the breadth of computer history.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Nathan Ensmenger
Indiana University, School of Informatics & Computing
nensmeng@indiana.edu