Linked by MOS6510 on Sat 27th Apr 2013 03:26 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "One of the things that will never fail to make me happy: seeing people stuck in time explain what modern day technology is. Kim Komando hosted an educational series about computer and explains the basics of its hardware, DOS, Microsoft Windows, Writeand more."
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Love finds like this
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 27th Apr 2013 14:21 UTC
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I always get a kick out of past views on current technology. E.g. while skimming one of my old astronomy books from the 80s, I found a description of the tech NASA used to transmit images from their probes, by breaking the images down into some newfangled thing called a "picture element (or 'pixel')". It was basically an explanation of digital photography, for people who'd never heard of digital photography before (apparently NASA were among the earliest users of digital photography).

Or there are the two gems from my old computer magazine collection, the first being an issue of Byte from 1993 - right around the time the PPC was first released, when everyone expected it would put Intel out of business overnight (and some fascinating info on IBM's "Workplace OS", which I'd never heard of before).

My favourite, though, has to be an issue of Scientific American from 1995 (re-issue of a "special issue" from 1990) called "The Computer in the 21st Century." There were some interesting predictions about the future of display tech, which were mostly correct (along with some amusing photos of people working at huge, monochrome plasma displays used as computer monitors), articles by Negroponte and Alan Kay, etc.

But the most interesting piece was an article on the very last page, about legal attempts to prevent the Bush administration (the first one) from deleting archived EMails from the Reagan era, many of which pertained to Iran-Contra. It was interesting just because of the parallels with the EMail-related controversies that arose after Bush the Second left office (as if we needed more proof of the saying "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree). But it also helps protect us from the hubris of believing that these are exclusively "modern" issues and we're the first people to ever encounter them or think about them.

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