Cover art for podcast The History of Computing

The History of Computing

199 EpisodesProduced by Charles EdgeWebsite

Computers touch all most every aspect of our lives today. We take the way they work for granted and the unsung heroes who built the technology, protocols, philosophies, and circuit boards, patched them all together - and sometimes willed amazingness out of nothing. Not in this podcast. Welcome to th… read more

7:16

One Year Of History Podcasts

 

 

The first episode of this podcast went up on July 7th 2019. One year later, we’ve managed to cover a lot of ground, but we’re just getting started. Over 70 episodes and so far, my favorite was on Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing.

They may seem disconnected at times, but they’re not. There’s a large outline and it’s all research being included in my next book.

The podcast began with an episode on the prehistory of the computer. And we’ve had episodes on the history of batteries, electricity, superconductors, and more - to build up to what was necessary in order for these advances in computing to come to fruition.

We’ve celebrated Grace Hopper and her contributions. But we’d like to also cover a lot of other diverse voices in computing. 

There was a series on Windows, covering Windows 1, 3, , and 95. But we plan to complete that series with a look at 98, Millineum, NT, 2000, and on. We covered Android, CP/M, OS/2 and VMS but want to get into the Apple operating systems, SUN, and Linux, etc.

Speaking of Apple… We haven’t gotten started with Apple. We covered the lack of an OS story in the 90s - but there’s a lot to unpack around the founding of Apple, Steve Jobs and Woz, and the re-emergence of Apple and their impact there. 

And since that didn’t happen in a vacuum, there were a lot of machines in that transition from the PC being a hobbyist market to being a full-blown industry. We talked through Radioshack, Commodore, the Altair, the Xerox Alto, 

We have covered some early mainframes like the Atanasoff-Berry Computer, ENIAC, the story of Z-1 and Zuse, and even supercomputers like Cray, but still need to tell the later story, bridging the gap between the mainframe, the minicomputer, and traditional servers we might find in a data center today. 

We haven’t told the history of the Internet. We’ve touched on bits and pieces, but want to get into those first nodes that got put onto ARPAnet, the transition to NSFnet, and the merging of the nets into the Internet. And we covered sites like Friendster, Wikipedia, and even the Netscape browser, but the explosion of the Internet has so many other stories left to tell. Literally a lifetime’s worth. 

For example, we covered Twitter and Snapchat but Google and Facebook

We covered the history of object-oriented languages. We also covered BASIC, PASCAL, FORTRAN, ALGOL, Java, But still want to look at AWS and the modern web service architecture that’s allowed for an explosion of apps and web apps. 

Mobility. We covered the Palm Pilot and a little on device management, but still need to get into the iPhone and Samsung and the underlying technology that enabled mobility. 

And enterprise software and compliance.

Knowing the past informs each Investment thesis. We covered Y Combinator but there are a lot of other VC/Private equity firms to look at.

But what I thought I knew of the past isn’t always correct. As an example, coming from the Apple space, we have a hero worship of Steve Jobs that, for example, reading the Walter Isaacson book often conflicts with. He was a brilliant man, but complicated. And the more I read and research, the more I need to unpack many of own assumptions across the industry. 

I was here for a lot of this, yet my understanding is still not what it could be.

Interviews from people who wrote code to put on lunar landers, who invented technology like spreadsheets, 

I wish more people could talk about their experiences openly, but even 40 years later, some are still bound by NDAs

I’ve learned so much and I look forward to learning so much more!

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