IEEE Annals of the History of Computing

Includes the top 50 most frequently accessed documents for this publication according to the usage statistics for the month of

  • Measuring Risk: Computer Security Metrics, Automation, and Learning

    Publication Year: 2015, Page(s):32 - 45
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (288 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Risk management is widely seen as the basis for cybersecurity in contemporary organizations, but practitioners continue to dispute its value. This article analyzes debate over computer security risk management in the 1970s and 1980s United States, using this debate to enhance our understanding of the value of computer security metrics more generally. Regulators placed a high value on risk analysis... View full abstract»

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  • Sixty Years of Software Development Life Cycle Models

    Publication Year: 2017, Page(s):41 - 54
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (235 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Sixty years ago, in 1956, the first explicit representation of a software development life cycle model was presented by Herbert Benington. Since then, software development life cycle models have come a long way, and the current article provides an overview of that development. View full abstract»

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  • Imagining the Personal Computer: Conceptualizations of the Homebrew Computer Club 1975–1977

    Publication Year: 2017, Page(s):27 - 39
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (198 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    The Homebrew Computer Club was a hobbyist group in the San Francisco Bay Area dedicated to helping people build their own home personal computers. I analyze their writings between 1975 and 1977, in order to understand how their values became embedded in the technology they built, establishing how the personal computer should be used and thought of. These values were based in ideals of open informa... View full abstract»

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  • Establishing Moore's Law

    Publication Year: 2006, Page(s):62 - 75
    Cited by:  Papers (74)  |  Patents (2)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | 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 po... View full abstract»

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  • Fermat Meets SWAC: Vandiver, the Lehmers, Computers, and Number Theory

    Publication Year: 2008, Page(s):38 - 49
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (341 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    This article describes the work of Harry Schultz Vandiver, Derrick Henry Lehmer, and Emma Lehmer on calculations related with proofs of Fermat's last theorem. This story sheds light on ideological and institutional aspects of activity in number theory in the US during the 20th century, and on the incursion of computer-assisted methods into pure fields of mathematical research. View full abstract»

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  • A Brief History of Software Engineering

    Publication Year: 2008, Page(s):32 - 39
    Cited by:  Papers (18)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | 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»

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  • Implications of Historical Trends in the Electrical Efficiency of Computing

    Publication Year: 2011, Page(s):46 - 54
    Cited by:  Papers (137)  |  Patents (1)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (1790 KB) | HTML iconHTML Multimedia Media

    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. ... View full abstract»

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  • “Only the Initiates Will Have the Secrets Revealed”: Computational Chemists and the Openness of Scientific Software

    Publication Year: 2017, Page(s):40 - 58
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (445 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Computational chemistry is a scientific field within which the computer is a pivotal element. This scientific community emerged in the 1980s and was involved with two major industries: the computer manufacturers and the pharmaceutical industry, the latter becoming a potential market for the former through molecular modeling software packages. We aim to address the difficult relationships between s... View full abstract»

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  • Why the Arpanet Was Built

    Publication Year: 2011, Page(s):4 - 21
    Cited by:  Papers (10)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | 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»

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  • Selected Papers On Computer Science

    Publication Year: 1998, Page(s):82 - 83
    Request permission for reuse | PDF file iconPDF (286 KB)
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  • The Internet Design Tension between Surveillance and Security

    Publication Year: 2015, Page(s):72 - 83
    Cited by:  Papers (6)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (710 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    The design tension between security and surveillance has existed for decades. This article specifically examines the protocol design tension between national security interests in surveillance versus network security in the early decades of the Internet and its predecessor networks. Using archival research and protocol-specific case studies, this article describes episodes in which the Internet En... View full abstract»

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  • TeX: A Branch of Desktop Publishing, Part 1

    Publication Year: 2018, Page(s):78 - 93
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (2983 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Donald Knuth began the development of TEX in 1977 and had an initial version running in 1978, with the aim of typesetting mathematical documents with the highest quality, and with archival reproducibility far into the future. Its usage spread, and today the TEX system remains in use by a vibrant user community. However, the world of TEX has always been somewhat out... View full abstract»

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  • Lovelace & Babbage and the creation of the 1843 'notes'

    Publication Year: 2003, Page(s):16 - 26
    Cited by:  Papers (12)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | 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 descr... View full abstract»

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  • The Origins of PostScript

    Publication Year: 2018, Page(s):68 - 76
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (1107 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Introduced by Adobe Systems in 1984, PostScript was a unique device-independent approach to describing the appearance of a printed page, for the first time allowing pages to be printed on a range of devices of different resolutions. From 1984 to 1987, the use of PostScript by printer manufacturers grew to the point that it became the de facto standard. This article describes the 11-year sequence o... View full abstract»

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  • Cybernetics, Automata Studies, and the Dartmouth Conference on Artificial Intelligence

    Publication Year: 2011, Page(s):5 - 16
    Cited by:  Papers (7)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | 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»

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  • The Origin and Early History of the Computer Security Software Products Industry

    Publication Year: 2015, Page(s):46 - 58
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (237 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    In the second half of the 1970s, established computer firms and new IT start-ups chose alternative paths to offer commercial access control systems to organizational mainframe computer users. These developments in effect launched the computer security software products industry with IBM's Resource Access Control Facility (RACF) and SKK's Access Control Facility 2 (ACF2). View full abstract»

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  • Hearing Aids and the History of Electronics Miniaturization

    Publication Year: 2011, Page(s):24 - 45
    Cited by:  Papers (17)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | 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 hear... View full abstract»

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  • The Xerox Alto Publishing Platform

    Publication Year: 2018, Page(s):38 - 54
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (1331 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Starting in 1973, researchers at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) built the first networked workstation platform (Alto and Ethernet) and a suite of applications and services to explore office automation. Separate interactive tools allowed people to create and edit different sorts of document content, which were then merged onto pages using Press files, a page description file format. View full abstract»

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  • The Media are the Message: 'The Influencers'

    Publication Year: 2006, Page(s):74 - 79
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (90 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    The author reflects on the impact of media and other opinion leaders in the 1970s and early 1980s on the emerging software industry: The fortunes of companies in the nascent personal computer market rose or fell, depending on what these opinion magnates said, wrote, or did (or did not) View full abstract»

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  • The Technical Development of Internet Email

    Publication Year: 2008, Page(s):3 - 29
    Cited by:  Papers (14)  |  Patents (1)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (405 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Development and evolution of the technologies and standards for Internet email took formatting more than 20 years, and arguably is still under way. The protocols to move email between systems and the rules for formatting messages have evolved, and- been largely replaced at least once. This article traces that evolution, with a focus on why things look as they do today. View full abstract»

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  • The History and Growth of IBM's DB2

    Publication Year: 2013, Page(s):54 - 66
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (1853 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    IBM's Database 2 (DB2) relational database management system (RDBMS) shipped in the early 1980s and drove billions of dollars of revenue to IBM and other firms within its first decade. The product spawned a wealth of add-on tools, shaped the future of mainframe computing, and provided independent software vendors with a strong, reliable, and scalable platform for mission-critical applications. Tod... View full abstract»

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  • The Dawn of Digital Light

    Publication Year: 2016, Page(s):74 - 91
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (956 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Digital pictures and computers are now inseparable, so it's surprising how generally unremarked their association was in the beginning. Records reveal that the first digital pictures--the first still pictures, videogames, and computer animations--were made on the earliest computers. Historians have noted this before, but individually without a unifying context. This article shows that the original... View full abstract»

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  • The Origins of Word Processing Software for Personal Computers: 1976-1985

    Publication Year: 2006, Page(s):32 - 47
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (2322 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Since Electric Pencil first debuted in 1976, more than 400 other word processing packages have emerged, most fading into oblivion. This article recounts the history of microcomputer word processing software - focuses on three of the earliest word processing software packages, Electric Pencil, EasyWriter, and WordStar, which was the mid-1980s leader in the CP/M, PC-DOS, and MS-DOS operating system ... View full abstract»

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  • Reconfigurable computer origins: the UCLA fixed-plus-variable (F+V) structure computer

    Publication Year: 2002, Page(s):3 - 9
    Cited by:  Papers (59)  |  Patents (4)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | 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»

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  • Common Language: Business Programming Languages and the Legibility of Programming

    Publication Year: 2018, Page(s):17 - 31
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (2169 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    The English-like business programming language COBOL saw widespread use from its introduction in 1960 well into the 1980s, despite being disdained by computer science academics. This article traces out decisions made during COBOLs development, and argues that its English-like appearance was a rhetorical move designed to make the concept of code itself more legible to non-programming management at ... View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

The IEEE Annals of the History of Computing serves as a record of vital contributions which recount, preserve, and analyze the history of computing and the impact of computing on society.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Gerardo Con Diaz
University of California, Davis
condiaz@ucdavis.edu