Archive for the 'history' Category

Computing: The Human Experience


The story of computing is the story of humanity™

Computing: The Human Experience is a transmedia project engaging audiences of all ages in the story of the technology that has changed humanity.



Steve Jobs at Heaven’s Gate: The New Yorker Cover


The cover of the October 17, 2011, issue of The New Yorker
in Open Culture

Jean Bartik, Software Pioneer, Dies at 86 (one of the Top Secret Rosies)


“Ms. Bartik was the last surviving member of the group of women who programmed the Eniac, or Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, which is credited as the first all-electronic digital computer.”

in The New York Times

“In 1942, when computers were human and women were underestimated, a group of female mathematicians helped win a war and usher in the modern computer age. Sixty-five years later their story has finally been told.”

in Top Secret Rosies

Top Secret Rosies Trailer from LeAnn Erickson on Vimeo.

200 Countries & 200 Years in 4 Minutes, Presented by Hans Rosling


“Hans Rosling, a professor of global health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, focuses on ‘dispelling common myths about the so-called developing world’ (as his TED bio well notes). And he has established a reputation for presenting data in extremely imaginative ways. Just watch the video above, an outtake from the BBC show “The Joy of Stats”). In four minutes, Rosling visually traces the health of 200 countries over 200 years, using 120,000 data points, and we end up with a little reason for optimism. Great stuff… ”

in Open Culture

An Olympic honour for Alan Turing


“Last year I led a campaign to obtain an apology for the mistreatment of the British mathematician Alan Turing. Turing’s prosecution for homosexuality led to the death of a true genius at the age of only 41 in 1954. On 10 September last year, Gordon Brown issued an apology that recognised Turing’s stature as one of the greatest Britons. But Britain has a final opportunity to unapologetically recognise Alan Turing in two years’ time, at the 2012 Olympics.

It’s now well known that Turing laid down the foundations of computer science in the 1930s, helped shorten the second world war by breaking Nazi codes at Bletchley Park and investigated artificial intelligence. He went on to design early computers during the late 1940s and just before he died he was untangling the process of morphogenesis to understand why and how living beings take the shape they do. Only today are scientists appreciating the work he did in his last years, and every computer user can be thankful for his theoretical Turing machine, which captured the essence of the machines we all use.

What is less known is that Turing was also an accomplished physical athlete. He was an excellent marathon runner, with a best time of 2 hours 46 minutes. He ran for a local club in Walton, Surrey while working at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. He is also said to have run between London and Bletchley Park for meetings during the second world war, and at age 14 he cycled 60 miles from Southampton to school at Sherborne during the general strike of 1926.”


Harvard Extension School’s Open Learning Initiative



Time Travel with Google Earth


“Google Earth’s historical imagery feature now includes aerial footage of the aftermath of World War II, allowing users to comprehend the extent of post-war destruction by comparing photos of cities as they are today to those of bombed out cities immediately after the war.”
in OpenCulture