About Us

The IT History Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of knowledge about the people, products, and companies that together comprise the field of computing.

Since 1978 our organization, and its hundreds of members, have worked toward this goal, and we invite you to contribute your own knowledge and memories on this website! (read more)

Bell Telephone Antwerp's American Ways

While in the just-over hectic fortnight spent at pre-preparing for a project proposal with the FNRS, the Belgian funding agency for scientific research, I got the sad news that Nicolas Rouche , one of the Belgian pioneers who had helped our research on the Machine Mathématique IRSIA-FNRS had died unexpectedly on the 18th of November 2008. During most of his...

Close Encounter of the Third Kind with a Trained-by-Fun 'Informaticien'

A week or so ago, I went to Louvain-la-Neuve catching up with my readings on the economics of technology, especially the writing by Nathan Rosenberg on technological pathways and Tissot and Veyrassat 's interesting edited volume on technological trajectories. The trip was also the occasion to visit Gilbert Lemaître , nephew of Georges Lemaître , and also one of the...

From Real Economies to Virtual Ones and Back... Maybe

It seems I may be stuck into writing about news these days ... Indeed, my interest as that of many of us has been caught by the recent world-wide financial crisis. Notwithstanding the risk of political incorrectness of such claim, let me just say that I love the news ... as regards to what it reveals about computerisation. Back in...

The Interface Strikes Back

Recently I bought a new laptop. Since then, I have been in heavenly misery. Pre-new machine, my life was simple. My machine being about five years old, I lacked the basic technology for a survival in this hyper up-to-date current age. Although most up-to-date when I got it - I was one of the rare persons to use Windows XP...

Not Quite Machu Picchu, but Close.

I have a close relative who’s traveled the world. She’s climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. She rode on a dilapidated bus through the Khyber Pass, on her way to India along the famous “ Hippie Trail ." She visited Machu Picchu and taught at a school in East Africa. Even though my work involves travel, I am an armchair traveler, not an...

Towards Geek Polities?

The other day, after being asked to contribute as a tutor for freshers, I had a nosey sneak through the faculty freshers' handbook. Besides being filled with answers to freshers' refreshingly naive and silly questions, this handbook struck me by its constant referring to computing: procedures to be performed by e-mail, documents to download from the uni intranet, etc. There...

Music

All three of my kids have I-Pods. One of them has a model that holds 10,000 songs. If each song were, on average, about three minutes long, it would two months to get through them all, if you listened to the gadget for 8 hours a day. What’s the point? At the dawn of the Information Age,a professor of mine...

Introduction: Hazards of life…

Maybe this post ought have come first before my comment on the Three Societies Meeting just up the blog. Still as it was more about me I have preferred leaving it out as second. I hope not being murdered for that. I am Sandra Mols, young researcher on an interdisciplinary project with Marie d'Udekem-Gevers on Belgian computing history at the...

A few historians of computing among lots of historians of science

When recently I got contacted about the opportunity to contribute to this blog, I thought as a first post to report on the panels on the history of computing of the 6th Three Societies Meeting . This joint meeting of the British Society for the History of Science, the History of Science Society and the Canadian Society for the History...

The First What?

The first business computer. The first Systems Analyst. As a curator, I always demur when asked "what was the first....? There's no end to it, and technology does not proceed that way. A new technology does not suddenly appear in fully functional form; it "eases up" to functionality. At some point you say "it's ready." But it probably isn't ready,...

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