computer science

The Birth of the Internet

The Birth of the Internet

On October 29, 1969, the very first message between two distant computer nodes, from the Network Measurement Center at the UCLA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and SRI International (SRI) was sent. This is to be considered the birth of the ARPANET, which should become the Internet. Origins of the Internet What was the reason for the development of the Internet? Especially in the 1960s, when computers were absolutely not widespread…
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FORTRAN – The First Programming Language for Numeric Calculations

FORTRAN – The First Programming Language for Numeric Calculations

On October 15, 1956, the Reference Manual for the Programming Language FORTRAN – The IBM Mathematical Formula Translating System – was published. It is considered the very first high-level programming language. FORTRAN was developed at IBM under the guidance of John W. Backus to develop a more practical alternative to assembly language for programming their IBM 704 mainframe computer. FORTRAN became to dominate the area of numerical programming early on and has…
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John Vincent Atanasoff and the first Electronic Digital Computer

John Vincent Atanasoff and the first Electronic Digital Computer

On October 4, 1903, American physicist and inventor John Vincent Atanasoff was born. He is best known for being considered as one of the inventors of the electronic digital computer. Even computer scientists most probably haven’t heard anything of this computer pioneer. Of course you will have heard about Alan Turing [5] or John von Neumann,[6] who are traditionally referenced as being the fathers of modern computers. Maybe, in case you are German, then you might…
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GNU’s not Unix

GNU’s not Unix

On September 27, 1983, American software freedom activist and computer programmer Richard Stallman announced the GNU project. Its aim is to give computer users freedom and control in their use of their computers and computing devices, by collaboratively developing and providing software. You’ve probably never heard of GNU, unless you are a computer scientist or some kind of software developer. But, GNU denotes the starting point of a development that still continues…
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How Margaret Hamilton Helped Apollo 11 to Safely Land on the Moon

How Margaret Hamilton Helped Apollo 11 to Safely Land on the Moon

On August 17, 1936, American computer scientist, systems engineer, and business owner Margaret Hamilton was born. Hamilton was Director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, which developed on-board flight software for the Apollo space program. A Software Developer at MIT Margaret Elaine Heafield was born in Paoli, Indiana, USA, to Kenneth Heafield and Ruth Esther Heafield.  Hamilton graduated from Hancock High School in 1954 and received her B.Sc.…
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It’s a computer! – The fabulous Commodore Amiga

It’s a computer! – The fabulous Commodore Amiga

In 1985 Commodore revolutionized the home computer market by introducing the high end Commodore Amiga with a graphic power that was unheard of by that time in this market segment. Based on the Motorola 68000 microprocessor series the Amiga was most successful as a home computer, with a wide range of games and creative software, although early Commodore advertisements attempted to cast the computer as an all-purpose business machine. In addition, it was  also…
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Deep Blue vs Gary Kasparov

Deep Blue vs Gary Kasparov

On May 11, 1997, Deep Blue, a chess-playing supercomputer, defeated chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, and becme the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player in a classic match format. From The Turk to Computer Chess Programs The story of the chess playing supercomputer started in 1985 with a computer called ChipTest at Carnegie Mellon University by Feng-hsiung Hsu. But actually, the dream of an automated chess…
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Rudy Rucker – Infinity and the Mind

Rudy Rucker – Infinity and the Mind

On March 22, 1946, American mathematician, computer scientist, science fiction author, and philosopher Rudolph von Bitter Rucker, better known as Rudy Rucker, was born. He is also one of the founders of the cyberpunk literary movement. “The space of our universe is the hypersurface of a vast expanding hypersphere.” – Rudy Rucker, The Sex Sphere (1983) Youth and Education Rucker was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where his father Embry Cobb Rucker,…
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J.C.R. Licklider and Interactive Computing

J.C.R. Licklider and Interactive Computing

On March 11, 1915, American psychologist and computer scientist J.C.R. Licklider, known simply as J.C.R. or “Lick“, was born. He is particularly remembered for being one of the first to foresee modern-style interactive computing and was one of the most distinguished Internet pioneers. “[…] we are entering a technological age in which we will be able to interact with the richness of living information – not merely in the passive way that…
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Who remembers Apple’s Lisa?

Who remembers Apple’s Lisa?

On January 19, 1983, the Apple Lisa was introduced, the first personal computer to offer a graphical user interface in an inexpensive machine aimed at individual business users. Although a commercial failure, the Lisa paved the way for the famous Apple MacIntosh released in 1984 [4]. I don’t know if you are old enough to remember the early 1980s. But the era of personal computers had just began, which means there were small…
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