computer science

The Publication of the First RFC

The Publication of the First RFC

On April 7, 1969, Steve Crocker of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), published the first Request for Comment – RFC 1 – entitled “Host Software”. This might be considered as the beginning of the internet, because Request for Comments (RFC) are memoranda describing methods, behaviors, research, or innovations applicable to the working of the Internet and Internet-connected systems. Originally, Steve Crocker’s RFCs were intended to help record unofficial notes on the…
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Vannevar Bush and his Vision of the Memex Memory Extender

Vannevar Bush and his Vision of the Memex Memory Extender

On March 11, 1890, American engineer, inventor and science administrator Vannevar Bush was born. He is best known as as head of the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) during World War II, through which almost all wartime military research and development was carried out, including initiation of the Manhattan Project. In computer science we know Vannevar Bush as the father of the Memex, an adjustable microfilm viewer with a…
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Nikolaus Wirth and PASCAL – Programming Language for the Masses

Nikolaus Wirth and PASCAL – Programming Language for the Masses

On February 15, 1934, Swiss computer scientist Niklaus Emil Wirth was born. He is best known for designing several programming languages, including Pascal, and for pioneering several classic topics in software engineering. If there is (or better ‘was’) one programming language that I really loved in the same way I hated it, then it was Pascal. On the one hand it was a rather easy to understand beginners programming language, but when…
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ENIAC – The First Computer Introduced Into Public

ENIAC – The First Computer Introduced Into Public

On February 13, 1946, J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly introduced Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, or ENIAC, the first general purpose, electronic computer. ENIAC was a giant step forward in computing technology. “Where a calculator like the ENIAC today is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh only 1½ tons.” – Andrew Hamilton, “Brains that Click”,…
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Donald Knuth and the Art of Programming

Donald Knuth and the Art of Programming

On January 10, 1938, computer scientist Donald Knuth, developer of the seminal computer science textbooks ‘The Art of Computer Programming‘, was born. He is also widely known for his development of the TeX typesetting framework and the METAFONT font definition language. Actually, Donald Knuth is one of my personal heroes in computer science. The very day I started to study this subject, his textbooks had already become a sort of ‘holy bible’ when…
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Joseph Weizenbaum and his famous Eliza

Joseph Weizenbaum and his famous Eliza

On January 8, 1923, computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum, a pioneer in natural language processing and artificial intelligence, who later became one of artificial intelligence’s leading critics, was born. In 1966 he published a simple program named Eliza, which involved its users in a conversation that bore a striking resemblance to one with a psychologist. Early Years Joseph Weizenbaum was born in Berlin the son of master furrier Jechiel Weizenbaum and his wife…
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How the ARPANET became the Internet

How the ARPANET became the Internet

On January 1, 1983, the ARPANET as predecessor of today’s internet switched from NCP (Network Control Protocol) to the TCP/IP protocol, and the ARPANET then became one subnet of the early Internet. “There are some people who imagine that older adults don’t know how to use the internet. My immediate reaction is, “I’ve got news for you, we invented it.” — Vint Cerf, a “father of the internet,” quoted at age 73 in…
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Warren Weaver – A Pioneer in Machine Translation

Warren Weaver – A Pioneer in Machine Translation

On November 24, 1978, American scientist, mathematician, and science administrator Warren Weaver passed away. Weaver is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of machine translation, and as an important figure in creating support for science in the United States. Youth and Education Warren Weaver was born in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, USA, to Kittie Belle Stupfel and Isaiah Weaver, who was a pharmacist. In 1904, the family moved from Reedsburg to Madison, Wisconsin,…
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Founded in a Sillicon Valley Garage – David Packard and Hewlett-Packard

Founded in a Sillicon Valley Garage – David Packard and Hewlett-Packard

On September 7, 1912, American electrical engineer and co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, David Packard was born. Packard is noted for many technological innovations and philanthropic endeavors. In 1939, he formed a partnership known as Hewlett-Packard Company with William R. Hewlett, a friend and Stanford classmate. Hewlett-Packard Co. has become a leading manufacturer computers, computer printers, and analytic and measuring equipment. David Packard was born in Pueblo, Colorado, and attended Centennial High School, where early…
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Steve Jobs – American Businessman, Inventor, and Industrial Designer

Steve Jobs – American Businessman, Inventor, and Industrial Designer

On February 24, 1955, American businessman, inventor, and industrial designer Steve Jobs was born. Jobs is widely recognized as a pioneer of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. “What a computer is to me is it’s the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.” — Steve Jobs, as quoted in Memory and…
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