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)

Doomsday Scenarios-Big Science Discussion @ Computer History Museum (CHM) in Mt View, CA on October 27, 2012

Several very provocative doomsday scenarios were discussed, but then refuted by subject matter experts called up to the stage to engage in conversation with the program hosts. For each scenario top scientists were called on stage to discuss and refute several spectacular predictions about the end of the world as well as scientific theories about how it might end. This...

Shockley Semiconductor Reunion at CHM + Brief History of Shockley, Fairchild Semiconductor & Intel

A handful of former Shockley Semiconductor Labs employees recently got together at the Computer History Museum in Mt View, CA to tour a semiconductor exhibit on silicon. http://www.computerhistory.org/semiconductor/timeline/1956-Silicon.html 1. Here's the reunion story from today's San Jose Mercury: http://www.siliconvalley.com/mike-cassidy/ci_21854588/cassidy-shockley-semiconductor-alumni-remember-where-silicon-valley 2. Oral history is at: http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/accession/102658033 3. And how Shockley Labs gave birth to the semiconductor industry in Santa Clara Valley...

Microsoft's Chief Research Officer Rick Rashid in Conversation with NYT's John Markoff @CHM

On October 16th, Rick Rashid, Microsoft Research's first employee and now its Chief Research Officer, engaged in a spirited conversation with NY Times science & technology journalist John Markoff at the Computer History (CHM) museum in Mt View, CA. The discussion was part of the museum’s “Revolutionaries” series, which is not to be confused with the "Revolutions exhibit." The former...

Exciting New Happenings at Computer History Museum: Blog, Social Media, Digital Repository, Exhibits & Events!

1. The venerable Computer History Museum (CHM) in Mt View, CA recently launched a multimedia blog, with contributors from their seasoned staff of curators and subject matter experts. CHM Prez John Holla r told me, "This has been one of the most important initiatives CHM has taken in the area of digital content and distribution. It is and will continue...

Ken Segall at CHM: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success

A Sell Out/SRO crowd of over 400 people attended an outstanding Computer History Museum (CHM) talk by Ken Segall, author of the book, Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success . Mr. Segall was interviewed by Harry McCracken of Time magazine about his his experiences with Steve Jobs and other executivess at Apple. Mr. Segal named the iMAC personal...

The future of computers ain't what it used to be

Back in a previous century — when I was a doctoral student and aspiring academic — I met some interesting researchers who were then trying to contradict (or at least temper) some of the wild claims made about the first mover advantage. Anyone knows the computer industry knows that IBM didn’t invent the mainframe, Sun the workstation or Apple† the...

It's a trap!

I listened to a radio program on the subject of trap streets. Fictitious streets, towns and other pieces of geography added to a map made copying detectable, since if the other map had been independently created it could not contain these inventions, a trap. This phenomenon has come into sharp relief because of the rise of computer map systems, either...

Bell Labs

The Computer History Museum rececntly hosted a forum with John Gertner, the author of a new book about Bell Labs. Here is the link. Gertner discusses the many world-changing inventions and innovations that came out of the Labs, especially during its peak years of innovation from the late 1920s through the 1980s. Among the innovations mentioned is the active communications...

The Sweet Spot

PC World recently ran an interesting piece about vintage DP equipment still being used on a daily basis, for practical purposes. They even found someone using punched card accounting equipment. I don't go back that far, but the other day I got a chuckle from a co-worker when I needed to do a simple calculation. I pulled out my HP-41C...

Another Historic Plaque

By now you must know that I am fond of historic plaques, especially ones that have to do with the District of Columbia or Northern Virginia . Here's another one, from Arlington: The full text reads: The ARPANET, a project of the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense, developed the technology that became the foundation for the...

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