Image from history: Programma 101

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Image from history: Programma 101

Programma 101, the first commercial personal computer.
It was invented by the Italian Giorgio Perotto and had a memory of 240 bytes.

Image from history: IBM PC 5150

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Personal computer of the 80's

This image shows the IBM’s personal computer of the early 1980’s, the 5150 characterized with its 16-256 KB memory. I’ve always preferred my terminal to be green on black 🙂

Book review: “Turing’s Cathedral” by George Dyson

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Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe
by George Dyson
Pantheon (2012-03-01)
9780375422775
Amazon.com link
goodreads link

I was drawn to this book by its title & cover design. “Turing” in the title plus the punched cover directly meant (at least in my own mind) that it was about Alan Turing and the Universal machine.
Before this book I knew little about Turing’s universal machine and the origins of the computer. I knew about Von Neumann only by the name.

After reading this book, I got more interested about computers. I now have an awareness about how powerful the computer is (especially in our times) and how inefficient we (or at least me) are using it. Now I know the origins of the ENIAC, MANIAC & their derivatives. Know I know what an “app” was like in the 1950’s.

Turing’s Cathedral (still not sure why “Cathedral”!; maybe referring to the computer as the cathedral?) is an exciting read especially for the computer enthusiast, mathematicians, physicists, and scientists in general. It is eloquently written and describes things in details.

What I liked most about it is that it has references to actual scientific papers written the creators of the computer. As a matter of fact I have selected a couple of papers too read.

I finished the book without even knowing it. It suddenly stops without prior notice, as if there is a continuation that has been cut.

I really enjoyed reading this book and recommend it for everyone, literally everyone.

until next time…

The History of FORTRAN

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Interviews with the original developers of FORTRAN back in the 1950s.

other source: http://www.fortranlib.com/FORTRAN-1982.wmv