100 episodes

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 the History of Computing. Let's get our nerd on!

The History of Computing Charles Edge

    • Technology

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 the History of Computing. Let's get our nerd on!

    Before the iPhone Was Apple's Digital Hub Strategy

    Before the iPhone Was Apple's Digital Hub Strategy

    Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1996, just as humanity was waking up to a new, digital lifestyle. But the industries were fragmented.  Jobs and the team continued the work begun under Gil Amelio to reduce the number of products down from 350 to about a dozen. They made products that were pretty and functional and revitalized Apple. And centered the next stage of growth around digital media and the digital lifestyle. We take this for granted today, but mostly because Apple made it ubiquitous...

    • 24 min
    The WELL, an Early Internet Community

    The WELL, an Early Internet Community

    The Whole Earth ‘lectronic Link, or WELL, was started by Stewart Brand and Larry Brilliant in 1985, and is still available at well.com. We did an episode on Stewart Brand: Godfather of the Interwebs and he was a larger than life presence amongst

    • 19 min
    Tesla: From Startup To... Startup...

    Tesla: From Startup To... Startup...

    The reason we’re covering Tesla in a podcast about the history of computers is at the heart of it, it’s a story about the startup culture clashing head-on with decades-old know-how in an established industry. This happens with nearly every new company: there are new ideas, an organization is formed to support the new ideas, and as the organization grows, the innovators are forced to come to terms with the fact that they have greatly oversimplified the world...

    • 29 min
    PayPal Was Just The Beginning

    PayPal Was Just The Beginning

    Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, and former Netscaper Luke Nosek had this idea in 1998. Levchin and Nosek has worked together on a startup called SponsorNet New Media while at the University of Illinois Champagne-Urbana where PLATO and Mosaic had come out of. And SponsorNet was supposed to sell online banner ads but would instead be one of four failed startups before zeroing in on this new thing, where they would enable digital payments for businesses and make it simple for consumers to buy things online...

    • 17 min
    Playing Games and Learning on PLATO: 1960 to 2015

    Playing Games and Learning on PLATO: 1960 to 2015

    PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations) was an educational computer system that began at the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana in 1960 and ran into the 2010s in various flavors. Beginning on ILLIAC in 1960 - a large classic vacuum tube mainframe in the cornfields of Champaign, the orange glow of the 1970s plasma displays would...

    • 33 min
    So Long, Fry's Electronics

    So Long, Fry's Electronics

    I used to live a couple of miles from a Fry’s and it was a major part of furthering my understanding of arcane, bizarre, sometimes emergent, and definitely dingy areas of computing. And if those adjectives don’t seem to have been included lovingly, they most certainly are. You see every trip to Fry’s was strange. And I've always loved strange...

    • 16 min

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