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)

Kodachrome Dying: The Fading Away of the Analogue?

Tuesday morning. Guardian read of the day... And a shocking news - for me: Kodak is taking its 'Kodachrome' product range off the market . Kodak's decision is quite understandable. That type of film, which most of those among us below 30 do not really remember, does not sell any more with the rise of ever better equipment and tools...

Those Anniversaries We Love ... And Those We Avoid...

A quick glance at the calendar reminded me the other day that my family birthdays' season is starting up in as every year... This got me to think about the computing birthdays passed during the last decade or so... A quick stroll on-line and so we have had so far, at least, those of: - the transistor , born 1948,...

Geocities

By now you have probably heard that Yahoo! is shutting down its Geocities site. There has been a lot of coverage in the press about this, usually relating to two themes. The first is that it illustrates the worst of the dot.com bubble, as Yahoo! bought Geocities for way too much money, at the height of the bubble, and then...

Pirate Bay, pirates of the modern virtual world

So the verdict is in. After being indicted in February for copyright infringement and the promotion of illegal file-sharing, The Pirate Bay has finally - maybe not so surprisingly - lost its case against the Swedish government. That means one year imprisonment for the four leaders of The Pirate Bay, and a load of cash - 3 millions dollars or...

Computers in Moving Pictures, Then and Now

As part of a search for material for an animation for the local popular science festival, I went back looking out for videos and films usable for computing history. Returning, hopeful, to the on-line prelinger Internet Archive, three videos emerged out, one was On Guard! The Story of SAGE , a film commissioned by the IBM Military Products Division in...

From Berkeley's 'Giant Brains' to Chess Playing Computers...

A couple of weeks ago, Evan Koblentz , president of MARCH, non-profit user group for vintage computer collectors, asked the SIGCIS members ' opinion as regards to E.C. Berkeley's paternity of the expression 'Giant Brains'. Given his famous eponymous 1949 Giant Brains or Machines that Think , of which typescripted draft was sold out for $ 16,000 at the 2005...

Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

Last week Palm introduced a new smartphone , designed to compete with Apple's iPhone. It is an amazing device, with all sorts of features that you could hardly imagine could fit on something that small. But there's a price--and it is a lot more than the retail price of the phone. In coming out with the new phone, Palm abandoned...

New Year Thoughts

By now you've all heard about the Microsoft Zune bug that was caused by its software having difficulty dealing with a leap year. On at least one other post I talked about the problems the Gregorian calendar gives computer programmers (actually it was Church officials, which is sort of the same thing). We need calendar reform now! Make every month...

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...

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