Archive
Computers
Over-the-phone computer data bank (Nov, 1979)

Sure, it’s a Compuserve style walled garden, but there was a pretty impressive amount of information available online in 1979.

Over-the-phone computer data bank

Telecomputing Corp. of America is now offering a computer information service called The Source. Actually a large computer located in Virginia that contains some 2000 programs, The Source includes a tie-in with the UPI and New York Times news and data banks. Type in your question and you get answers on everything from the latest news and stock-market reports to methods of conserving energy.

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Engineering hours turn into minutes when you speed up your data analysis (Sep, 1952)

Engineering hours turn into minutes when you speed up your data analysis

You can do it yourself with these Telecomputing Instruments

THIS WAY

Today you can reduce and analyze film and oscillograph data faster than ever before. Telecomputing Instruments, in conjunction with electronic computing equipment, have made this possible.

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Artificial MIND—Next from Science (Aug, 1962)

Aeronutronic, now there’s a word you don’t hear every day.

Artificial MIND—Next from Science

COMPUTER experts keep reassuring us that Man and his mind will never be replaced by their electronic marvels. But a small, doughnut-shaped electronic neuron has been announced that artificially duplicates part of the human nervous system. And it carries out learning processes, according to Aeronutronic Division of Ford Motor Co.

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The making of Macintosh – An Interview with The Macintosh Design Team (Feb, 1984)

This is a pretty fantastic article. It’s really amazing how forward thinking these guys were. I loved how Jobs kept pointing out the fact that the Macintosh was designed so well that it actually had less chips than a standard IBM video card. It’s also pretty incredible to see how Steve Jobs’ devotion to making designs that are as simple and elegant as possible was exactly the same as it is today. This quote could just as easily have come from an article about the iPhone:

“Jobs: If you read the Apple’s first brochure, the headline was “Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication.” What we meant by that was that when you first attack a problem it seems really simple because you don’t understand it. Then when you start to really understand it, you come up with these very complicated solutions because it’s really hairy. Most people stop there. But a few people keep burning the midnight oil and finally understand the underlying principles of the problem and come up with an elegantly simple solution for it. But very few people go the distance to get there”.

By the way, if you liked this article you really have to check out folklore.org. It’s a site created by Andy Hertzfeld that’s full wonderful stories about the creation of the Macintosh by the people who created it.
He also wrote a great book covering the same subject called Revolution in The Valley.

An Interview: The Macintosh Design Team – The making of Macintosh

On October 14, 1983, the design team for Apple Computer Inc.’s new Macintosh computer met with BYTE Managing Editor Phil Lemmons at the company’s Cupertino, California, headquarters. In the dialogue that followed, Bill Atkinson, Steve fobs, Andy Hertzfeld, Larry Kenyon, Joanna Hoffman, Burrell Smith, Dave Egner, Chris Espinosa, Steve Capps, Jerry Manock, Bruce Horn, and George Crowe discussed the evolution of their brainchild.

BYTE: How did the Macintosh project begin?

Jobs: What turns on Andy and Burrell and Chris and Bill and Larry and everyone else here is building something really inexpensive so that everyone can afford it. It’s not very many years ago that most of us in this room couldn’t have afforded a $5000 computer. We realized that we could build a supercheap computer that would run Bill Atkinson’s amazing Quickdraw and have a mouse on it— in essence, build a really cheap implementation of Lisa’s technology that would use some of that software technology. That’s when the Macintosh as we know it was started.

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Byte review of the original Macintosh (Feb, 1984)

Mac Draw was originally called Mackelangelo? Yeah, I think they made the right choice there.
Also if you look at the text sample on page 17 you can see that they hadn’t even picked the font names yet. Geneva Chicago is called System.

The Apple Macintosh Computer

Mouse-window-desktop technology arrives for under $2500

by Gregg Williams

Apple established itself as one of the leading innovators in personal computing technology a year ago by introducing the Lisa, a synthesis and extension of human-interface technology that has since been widely imitated. Now the company has strengthened that reputation with a new machine, the Macintosh (above). In terms of technological sophistication and probable effect on the marketplace, the Macintosh will outdistance the Lisa as much as the Lisa has outdistanced its predecessors.

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3-Ton “Brain” Is Problem-Solver (Jul, 1935)

3-Ton “Brain” Is Problem-Solver

THE largest and keenest “mechanical brain” in the world was exhibited recently for the first time at the University of Pennsylvania. Weighing three tons, the mechanism can solve complex problems in one-sixth of the time usually required by human mathematicians.

The novel machine has ten “integrators,” each of which is set by a hand dial to determine the effect of a variable quantity on the problem at hand. During the setting of a dial, a knife-edged wheel comes in contact with a small steel disc. By controlling friction, the speed of the small wheel becomes the main factor in problem-solving.

Built at a cost of $50,000, the device required the services of 115 skilled workers over a 15-month period before it was completed.

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MULTIPROCESSOR WITH 64 BIT PROCESSING POWER. (Jan, 1983)

MULTIPROCESSOR WITH 64 BIT PROCESSING POWER.

Dazzled by 16-bit and 32-bit machines? When it comes to multiuser applications you’ve got to talk about TOTAL processing power. Not just the number of bits on a single processor.

In our new Betasystem II multiprocessor, we put eight SLAVENETâ„¢ processor boards together to give you 64-bit processing throughput. That’s because the SLAVENET boards work in parallel to gobble up 64 bits of data each cycle.

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THE COMPUTER DATA BANK: WILL IT KILL YOUR FREEDOM? (Jun, 1968)

We also have a similar 1967 article by Arthur R. Miller, one of the people quoted in this article:
THE NATIONAL DATA CENTER AND PERSONAL PRIVACY (Nov, 1967)

THE COMPUTER DATA BANK: WILL IT KILL YOUR FREEDOM?

All around the U.S., computer centers may be talking too much about everybody and everything

BY JACK STAR

LOOK SENIOR EDITOR Did your sister have an illegitimate baby when she was 15? Did you fail math in junior high? Are you divorced or living in a common-law relationship? Do you pay your bills promptly? Are you willing to talk to salesmen? Have you been treated for a venereal disease? Are you visiting a psychiatrist? Were you ever arrested? Have you taken an airplane trip in the past 90 days; with whom: and in which hotels did you stay?

The answers to these intimate questions and hundreds more like them have always been available to a persistent investigator with enough time and money to sift the paper trail we leave behind in file cabinets around the country. But now, for the first time, in this age of computers, it is becoming possible for any snooper to get such information quickly and cheaply, without leaving his office chair.

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Apple’s Enhanced Computer, the Apple IIe (Feb, 1983)

I think this is the first time I’ve seen one of our regular commenter’s name mentioned in an article I scanned. Rick is the guy who modified the Apple II ROM for the IIe!

Apple’s Enhanced Computer, the Apple IIe

It’s like having an Apple II with all the extras built in.

It all began in the summer of 1977 at the West Coast Computer Faire. A fledgling computer company with an unusual name—Apple Computer— introduced a new hobby computer called the Apple II. The new Apple II was an impressive machine. It had BASIC in ROM (read-only memory), a built-in Teletype-style keyboard, high-resolution color graphics, and, once the new 16K-bit semiconductor memory devices became available, its memory could be expanded all the way up to 48K bytes. One of the first true home computers, it was completely self-contained, needing only a TV set for a display and a common cassette recorder for data storage.

Today, almost everyone is familiar with the Apple II. It can be found in homes, schools, laboratories, and businesses, and is being used in a wide variety of ways. During the past five years, an entire subindustry has sprung up around it that has, in turn, stimulated further Apple II sales.

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The Lisa Computer System – Apple designs a new kind of machine (Feb, 1983)

Also check out this article from the same issue: A behind-the-scenes look at the development of Apple’s Lisa.

Next week I have similar reviews coming for the Apple //e and the original Macintosh.

The Lisa Computer System – Apple designs a new kind of machine

Gregg Williams Senior Editor

I had an interesting conversation with an engineer on a recent flight from San Francisco to New York. He knew only a little about microcomputers, but he was aware that their presence is slowly becoming more common in the workplace. “Sure, the industry is healthy, but it’s still only reaching a few people,” he said. “Most people won’t use computers — they’re afraid of them, they don’t know what to use them for, or it’s too much trouble to use them. Before computers become really profitable, they’re going to have to be very easy to use. They have to be simpler. They’ve got to be useful in the office.”

He continued, “We’ve got to stop using paper — which means the computer has to do word processing, filing, electronic mail, everything — or it’ll be too much trouble having some things on the computer and others on paper. Then you’ve got to be able to talk to other computers — other computers like yours and some big corporate computer that’s halfway across the country. Sure, it’s a lot of stuff, but when you get all that together, then you’ll see computers really take off.”

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