59 episodes

Welcome to Advent of Computing, the show that talks about the shocking, intriguing, and all too often relevant history of computing. A lot of little things we take for granted today have rich stories behind their creation, in each episode we will learn how older tech has lead to our modern world.

Advent of Computin‪g‬ Sean Haas

    • History
    • 5.0 • 21 Ratings

Welcome to Advent of Computing, the show that talks about the shocking, intriguing, and all too often relevant history of computing. A lot of little things we take for granted today have rich stories behind their creation, in each episode we will learn how older tech has lead to our modern world.

    8086: The Unexpected Future

    8086: The Unexpected Future

    The Intel 8086 may be the most important processor ever made. It's descendants are central to modern computing, while retaining an absurd level of backwards compatibility. For such an important chip it had an unexpected beginning. The 8086 was meant as a stopgap measure while Intel worked on bigger and better projects. This episode we are looking at how Intel was trying to modernize, how the 8086 fit into that larger plan, and it's pre-IBM life.
    Like the show? Then why not head over and support me on Patreon. Perks include early access to future episodes, and bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/adventofcomputing

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Numeric Control and Digital Westerns

    Numeric Control and Digital Westerns

    Saga II was a program developed in 1960 that automatically wrote screenplays for TV westerns. Outwardly it looks like artificial intelligence, but that's not entirely accurate. Saga has much more in common with CNC software than AI. This episode we take a look at how the same technology that automated manufacturing found it's way into digital westerns, and how numerically controlled mills are remarkably similar to stage plays.
    Clips drawn from The Thinking Machine: https://techtv.mit.edu/videos/10268-the-thinking-machine-1961---mit-centennial-film
    Like the show? Then why not head over and support me on Patreon. Perks include early access to future episodes, and bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/adventofcomputing

    • 59 min
    Electric Ping-Pong

    Electric Ping-Pong

    Sometimes an idea is so good it keeps showing up. Electronic ping-pong games are one of those ideas. The game was independently invented at least twice, in 1958 and then in 1966. But, here's the thing, PONG didn't come around until the 70s. What were theses earlier tennis games? Did Atari steel the idea for their first hit? Today we go on an analog journey to find some answers.
    Like the show? Then why not head over and support me on Patreon. Perks include early access to future episodes, and bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/adventofcomputing

    • 57 min
    Lars Brinkhoff Interview, Preserving ITS

    Lars Brinkhoff Interview, Preserving ITS

    Lars Brinkhoff has been spearheading the effort to keep the incompatible Timesharing System alive. Today we sit down to talk about the overall ITS restoration project, software preservation, and how emulation can help save the past.
    You can find the full restoration project at github: https://github.com/PDP-10/its
    And follow Lars on twitter: @larsbrinkhoff

    • 21 min
    ITS: Open Computing

    ITS: Open Computing

    Modern operating systems adhere to a pretty rigid formula. They all have users with password-protected accounts and secure files. They all have restrictions to keep programs from breaking stuff. That design has been common for a long time, but that doesn't make it the best solution. In the late 60s ITS, the Incompatible Timesharing System, was developed as a more exciting alternative. ITS was built for hackers to play, there were no passwords, any anyone who could find ITS was welcome to log in.
    Like the show? Then why not head over and support me on Patreon. Perks include early access to future episodes, and bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/adventofcomputing

    • 51 min
    Hacker Folklore

    Hacker Folklore

    Hacker hasn't always been used to describe dangerous computer experts will ill intent. More accurately it should be sued to describe those enamored with computers, programming, and trying to push machines to do interesting things. The values, ethics, morals, and practices around those people make up what's known as hacker culture. Today we are digging into the Jargon File, a compendium of all things hackish and hackable, to take a look at hacker culture through its folklore.
     

    Huge thanks to some of my fellow podcasters for doing readings for me this episode. In order of appearance they are:
     

    Randall Kindig of the FloppyDays Vintage Computing Podcast(floppydays.com)

    Charles Edge from The History of Computing(thehistoryofcomputing.libsyn.com)

    Sebastian Major of Our Fake History(ourfakehistory.com)
     
    Like the show? Then why not head over and support me on Patreon. Perks include early access to future episodes, and bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/adventofcomputing

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

Rodantheman ,

I remember those times fondly.

Great podcast as usual. In the early 80s I lived in Columbia MD, home of Columbia data products. We used to get motherboards from their dumpster. They were one of the super early clones made right in MD. My first clone was bought at the Howard county Ham Fest in 1982. It was a turbo XT clone with 512 mb ram, 2 half height floppies, a composite video card and a orange screen composite monitor. I think I paid 499 at the time. It’s was very lose those days. Many if the cheap clone hardware was coming straight from the orient without documentation. Many of the dealers were straight off the boat and spoke little English. You brought back so many memories.

karasmannequin ,

Great Podcast

This is the podcast that I didn’t know that I needed in my life but it is incredibly insightful and interesting way to absorb computing and tech history!

sunnyr10111 ,

Great work :)

I just got done listening to the Unix episodes - A . Excited to get through the rest.

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