Python Software Engineering

Guido van Rossum – Python Creator

See also: Python, Python Bibliography and Bibliography of Python Libraries and Web Frameworks, Python Programming Courses

Guido van Rossum (Dutch: [ˈɣido vɑn ˈrɔsʏm, -səm]; born 31 January 1956) is a Dutch programmer best known as the creator of the Python programming language, for which he was the “Benevolent dictator for life” (BDFL) until he stepped down from the position in July 2018.[5][6] He remained a member of the Python Steering Council through 2019, and withdrew from nominations for the 2020 election.[7]” (WP)


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Bibliography of the History of Technology, Computing, IT, Internet and Programming

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Alexander, Charles C. Holding the Line: The Eisenhower Era, 1952–1961. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975.

Baran, Paul.“Packet Switching.” In Fundamentals of Digital Switching. 2d ed. Edited by John C. McDonald. New York: Plenum Press, 1990.

Barry, John A. Technobabble. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991.

Bell, C. Gordon, Alan Kotok, Thomas N. Hastings, and Richard Hill. “The Evolution of the DEC System-10.” In Computer Engineering: A DEC View of Hardware Systems Design. Edited by C. Gordon Bell, J. Craig Mudge, and John E. McNamara. Bedford, Mass.: Digital Equipment Corporation, 1978.

Bell, C. Gordon, Gerald Butler, Robert Gray, John E. McNamara, Donald Vonada, and Ronald Wilson. “The PDP-1 and Other 18-Bit Computers.” In Computer Engineering: A DEC View of Hardware Systems Design. Edited by C. Gordon Bell, J. Craig Mudge, and John E. McNamara. Bedford, Mass.: Digital Equipment Corporation, 1978.

Bergaust, Erik. Wernher von Braun. Washington, D.C.: National Space Institute, 1976.

Blanc, Robert P., and Ira W. Cotton, eds. Computer Networking. New York: IEEE Press, 1976.

Brendon, Piers. Ike: His Life and Times. New York: Harper & Row, 1986.

Brooks, John. Telephone: The First HundredYears. New York: Harper & Row, 1976.

Brucker, Roger W., and Richard A. Watson. The Longest Cave. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976.

Clarke, Arthur C., et al. The Telephone’s First Century—And Beyond: Essays on the Occasion of the 100th Anniversary of Telephone Communication. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1977

Computer Science, Numerical Analysis and Computing. National Physical Laboratory, Engineering Sciences Group, Research 1971. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1972.

Froehlich, Fritz E., Allen Kent, and Carolyn M. Hall, eds. “ARPANET, the Defense Data Network, and Internet.” In The Froehlich/Kent Encyclopedia of Telecommunications. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1991.

Goldstein, Jack S. A Different Sort of Time: The Life of Jerrold R. Zacharias. Cambridge MIT Press, 1992.

Halberstam, David. The Fifties. New York:Villard Books, 1993.

Hall, Mark, and John Barry. Sunburst: The Ascent of Sun Microsystems. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1990.

Hammond, William M. Public Affairs: The Military and the Media, 1962–1968. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, U.S. Army, Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1968.

Hamner, W. Clay. “The United States Postal Service: Will It Be Ready for the Year 2000?” In The Future of the Postal Service. Edited by Joel L. Fleishman. New York: Praeger, 1983.

Holzmann, Gerard J., and Björn Pehrson. The Early History of Data Network. Los Alamitos, Calif.: IEEE Computer Society Press, 1995.

Kidder, Tracy. The Soul of a New Machine. Boston: Little, Brown, 1981.

Killian, James R., Jr. Sputnik, Scientists, and Eisenhower: A Memoir of the First Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1977.

———. The Education of a College President: A Memoir. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1985.

Kleinrock, Leonard. Communication Nets: Stochastic Message Flow and Delay. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964.

———. Queueing Systems. 2 vols. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1974–1976.

Langdon-Davies, John. NPL: Jubilee Book of the National Physical Laboratory. London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1951.

Lebow, Irwin. Information Highways & Byways: From the Telegraph to the 21st Century. New York: IEEE Press, 1995.

Licklider, J. C. R. “Computers and Government.” In The Computer Age: A Twenty-Year View, edited by Michael L. Dertouzos and Joel Moses. MIT Bicentennial Series. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1979.

———. Libraries of the Future. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1965.

Padlipsky, M. A. The Elements of Networking Style and Other Essays & Animadversions of the Art of Intercomputer Networking. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1985.

Proceedings of the Fifth Data Communications Symposium. IEEE Computer Society, Snowbird, Utah, September 27–29, 1977.

Pyatt, Edward. The National Physical Laboratory: A History. Bristol, England: Adam Hilger Ltd., 1983.

Redmond, Kent C., and Thomas M. Smith. The Whirlwind Project: The History of a Pioneer Computer. Bedford, Mass.: Digital Press, 1980.

Rheingold, Howard. The Virtual Community. New York: Harper Perennial, 1994.

———. Tools for Thought: The People and Ideas Behind the Next Computer Revolution. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988.

Roberts, Lawrence G. “The ARPANET and Computer Networks.” In A History of Personal Workstations, edited by Adele Goldberg. Reading, Mass.: ACM Press (Addison-Wesley), 1988.

Rose, Marshall T. The Internet Message: Closing the Book with Electronic Mail. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: PTR Prentice Hall, 1993.

Sherman, Kenneth. Data Communications: A User’s Guide. Reston,Virginia: Reston Publishing Company, 1981.

Smith, Douglas K., and Robert C. Alexander. Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, then Ignored, the First Personal Computer. New York: William Morrow, 1988.

Udall, Stewart L. The Myths of August: A Personal Exploration of Our Tragic Cold War Affair with the Atom. New York: Pantheon, 1994.

Wildes, Karl L., and Nilo A. Lindgren. A Century of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, 1882–1982. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1985.

Winner, Langdon. The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.Edit

Journal, Magazine, and Newspaper Articles

Abramson, Norman. “Development of the Alohanet.” IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, January 1985.

Anderson, Christopher. “The Accidental Superhighway.” The Economist, 1 July 1995.

Baran, Paul. “On Distributed Communications Networks.” IEEE Transactions on Communications Systems, 1 March 1964.

———.“Reliable Digital Communications Systems Using Unreliable Network Repeater Nodes.” RAND Corporation Mathematics Division Report No. P-1995, 27 May 1960.

Boggs, David R., John F. Shoch, Edward A. Taft, and Robert M. Metcalfe. “PUP: An Internetwork Architecture.” IEEE Transactions on Communications, April 1980.

“Bolt Beranek Accused by Government of Contract Overcharges.” Dow Jones News Service–Wall Street Journal combined stories, 27 October 1980.

“Bolt Beranek and Newman: Two Aides Plead Guilty to U.S. Charge.” Dow Jones News Service–Wall Street Journal combined stories, 12 November 1980.

“Bolt Beranek, Aides Accused of Cheating U.S. on Several Jobs.” The Wall Street Journal, 28 October 1980.

Bulkeley, William M. “Can He Turn Big Ideas into Big Sales?” The Wall Street Journal, 12 September 1994.

Bush,Vannevar. “As We May Think.” Atlantic Monthly, July 1945.

Campbell-Kelly, Martin. “Data Communications at the National Physical Laboratory: 1965–1975.” Annals of the History of Computing 9, no. 3/4, 1988.

Cerf,Vinton G., and Peter T. Kirstein. “Issues in Packet-Network Interconnection.” Proceedings of the IEEE, November 1979.

Cerf, Vinton G., and Robert E. Kahn. “A Protocol for Packet-Network Intercommunication.” IEEE Transactions on Communications, May 1974.

Cerf, Vinton. “PARRY Encounters the Doctor: Conversation Between a Simulated Paranoid and a Simulated Psychiatrist.” Datamation, July 1973.

Clark, David D. “The Design Philosophy of the DARPA Internet Protocols.” Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery Sigcomm Symposium on Data Communications, August 1988.

Clark, David D., Kenneth T. Pogran, and David P. Reed. “An Introduction to Local Area Networks.” Proceedings of the IEEE, November 1979.

Comer, Douglas. “The Computer Science Research Network CSNET: A History and Status Report.” Communications of the ACM, October 1983.

Crowther, W. R., F. E. Heart, A. A. McKenzie, J. M. McQuillan, and D. C. Walden.“Issues in Packet Switching Networking Design.” Proceedings of the 1975 National Computer Conference, 1975.

Denning, Peter J. “The Science of Computing: The ARPANET After Twenty Years.” American Scientist, November-December 1989.

Denning, Peter J., Anthony Hearn, and C. William Kern. “History and Overview of CSNET. “Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery Sigcomm Symposium on Data Communications, March 1983.

“Dr. J. C. R. Licklider Receives Biennial Award at State College Meeting.” The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, November 1950.

Engelbart, Douglas C. “Coordinated Information Services for a Discipline-or Mission-Oriented Community.” Proceedings of the Second Annual Computer Communications Conference, January 1972.

———. “Intellectual Implications of Multi-Access Computer Networks.” Proceedings of the Interdisciplinary Conference on Multi-Access Computer Networks, Austin, Texas, April 1970.

Ericson, Raymond. “Philharmonic Hall Acoustics Start Rumors Flying.” The NewYork Times, 4 December 1962.

Finucane, Martin. “Creators of the Internet Forerunner Gather in Boston.” Reading (Mass.) Daily Times Herald, 12 September 1994.

Fisher, Sharon. “The Largest Computer Network: Internet Links UNIX Computers Worldwide.” InfoWorld, 25 April 1988.

Hines, William. “Mail.” Chicago Sun-Times, 29 March 1978.

Haughney, Joseph F. “Anatomy of a Packet-Switching Overhaul.” Data Communications, June 1982.

Holusha, John. “Computer Tied Carter, Mondale Campaigns: The Bethesda Connection.” Washington Star, 21 November 1976.

Jacobs, Irwin M., Richard Binder, and EstilV. Hoversten. “General Purpose Packet Satellite Networks.” Proceedings of the IEEE, November 1978.

Jennings, Dennis M., Lawrence H. Landweber, Ira H. Fuchs, David J. Farber, and W. Richards Adrion. “Computer Networking for Scientists.” Science, 22 February 1986.

Kahn, Robert E. “The Role of Government in the Evolution of the Internet.” Communications of the ACM, August 1994.

Kahn, Robert E., Steven A. Gronemeyer, Jerry Burchfiel, and Ronald C. Kunzelman. “Advances in Packet Radio Technology.” Proceedings of the IEEE, November 1978.

Kantrowitz, Barbara, and Adam Rogers. “The Birth of the Internet.” Newsweek, 8 August 1994.

Kleinrock, Leonard. “Principles and Lessons in Packet Communications.” Proceedings of the IEEE, November 1978.

Landweber, Lawrence H., Dennis M. Jennings, and Ira Fuchs. “Research Computer Networks and Their Interconnection.” IEEE Communications Magazine, June 1986.

Lee, J. A. N., and Robert F. Rosin.“The CTSS Interviews.” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 14, no. 1, 1992.

———.“The Project MAC Interviews.” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 14, no. 2, 1992.

Licklider, J. C. R. “A Gridless, Wireless Rat-Shocker.” Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 44, 1951.

———. “Man-Computer Symbiosis.” Reprint. In Memoriam: J. C. R. Licklider. Digital Equipment Corporation Systems Research Center, 7 August 1990.

Licklider, J. C. R., and Albert Vezza. “Applications of Information Networks.” Proceedings of the IEEE, November 1978.

Licklider, J. C. R., and Robert W. Taylor. “The Computer as a Communication Device.” Reprint. In Memoriam: J. C. R. Licklider. Digital Equipment Corporation Systems Research Center, 7 August 1990.

Markoff, John. “Up from the Computer Underground.” The NewYork Times, 27 August 1993.

McKenzie, Alexander A., and B. P. Cosell, J. M. McQuillan, M. J. Thrope. “The Network Control Center for the ARPA Network.” Proceedings of the IEEE, 1972.

Mier, Edwin E. “Defense Department Readying Network Ramparts.” Data Communications, October 1983.

Mills, Jeffrey. “Electronic Mail.” Associated Press, 4 January 1976.

———.“Electronic Mail.” Associated Press, 19 June 1976.

———. “Postal Service Tests Electronic Message Service.” Associated Press, 28 March 1978.

Mills, Kay.“The Public Concern: Mail.” Newhouse News Service, 27 July 1976.

Mohl, Bruce A. “2 Bolt, Beranek Officials Collapse in Federal Court.” The Boston Globe, 31 October 1980.

Pallesen, Gayle. “Consultant Firm on PBIA Faces Criminal Charges.” Palm Beach (Florida) Post, 8 November 1980.

Pearse, Ben. “Defense Chief in the Sputnik Age.” The NewYork Times Magazine, 10 November 1957.

Pool, Bob. “Inventing the Future: UCLA Scientist Who Helped Create Internet Isn’t Done Yet.” Los Angeles Times, 11 August 1994.

Quarterman, John S., and Josiah C. Hoskins. “Notable Computer Networks.” Communications of the ACM, October 1986.

Roberts, Lawrence G. “ARPA Network Implications.” Educom, Bulletin of the Interuniversity Communications Council, fall 1971.

Salus, Peter. “Pioneers of the Internet.” Internet World, September 1994.

“Scanning the Issues,” IEEE Spectrum, August 1964.

Schonberg, Harold C. “4 Acoustics Experts to Urge Revisions in Auditorium.” The NewYork Times, 4 April 1963.

———.“Acoustics Again: Philharmonic Hall Has Some Defects, But Also Has a Poetry of Its Own.” The NewYork Times, 9 December 1962.

Selling It. Consumer Reports, June 1977.

Space Agencies. “ARPA Shapes Military Space Research.” Aviation Week, 16 June 1958.

Sterling, Bruce. “Internet.” Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1993.

Swartzlander, Earl. “Time-Sharing at MIT.” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 14, no. 1, 1992.

“Transforming BB&N: ARPANET’s Architect Targets Non-Military Networks.” Data Communications, April 1984.

Wilson, David McKay. “BBN Executives Collapse in Court.” Cambridge (Mass.) Chronicle, 6 November 1980.

———. “Consulting Co. Admits Overcharge.” Cambridge (Mass.) Chronicle, 30 October 1980.

Zitner, Aaron. “A Quiet Leap Forward in Cyberspace.” The Boston Globe, 11 September 1994.

Zuckerman, Laurence.“BBN Steps Out of the Shadows and into the Limelight.” The NewYork Times, 17 July 1995.Edit

Unpublished Papers, Interviews from Secondary Sources, and Other Documents

”Act One.” Symposium on the history of the ARPANET held at the University of California at Los Angeles, 17 August 1989. Transcript.

ARPA Network Information Center, Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, Calif. “Scenarios for Using the ARPANET.” Booklet. Prepared for the International Conference on Computer Communication, Washington, D.C., October 1972.

Baran, Paul. Interview by Judy O’Neill. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 5 March 1990.

Barlow, John Perry. “Crime and Puzzlement.” Pinedale, Wyo., June 1990.

BBN Systems and Technologies Corporation. “Annual Report of the Science Development Program.” Cambridge, Mass., 1988.

Bhushan, A. K. “Comments on the File Transfer Protocol.” Request for Comments 385. Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, Calif., August 1972.

———.“The File Transfer Protocol.” Request for Comments 354. Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, Calif., July 1972.

Bhushan, Abhay, Ken Pogran, Ray Tomlinson, and Jim White. “Standardizing Network Mail Headers.” Request for Comments 561. MIT, Cambridge, Mass., 5 September 1973.

Blue, Allan. Interview by William Aspray. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 12 June 1989.

Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc. “ARPANET Completion Report: Draft.” Cambridge, Mass., September 1977.

———.“BBN Proposal No. IMP P69-IST-5: Interface Message Processors for the ARPA Computer Network.” Design proposal. Submitted to the Department of the Army, Defense Supply Service, in response to RFQ No. DAHC15 69 Q 0002. Washington, D.C., 6 September 1968.

———. “BBN Report No. 1763: Initial Design for Interface Message Processors for the ARPA Computer Network.” Design proposal. Submitted to the Advanced Research Projects Agency under contract no. DAHC 15-69-C-0179. Washington, D.C., 6 January 1969.

———. “BBN Report No. 1822: Interface Message Processor.” Technical report. Cambridge, Mass., 1969.

———.“Interface Message Processors for the ARPA Computer Network.” Quarterly technical reports. Submitted to the Advanced Research Projects Agency under contract no. DAHC 15-69-C-0179 and contract no. F08606-73-C-0027. Washington, D.C., 1969–1973.

———. “Operating Manual for Interface Message Processors: 516 IMP, 316 IMP, TEP.” Revised. Submitted to the Advanced Research Projects Agency under ARPA order no. 1260, contract no. DAHC15-69-C-0179. Arlington,Va., April 1973.

———. “Report No. 4799: A History of the ARPANET: The First Decade.” Submitted to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Arlington,Va., April 1981.

———.“The Four Cities Plan.” Draft proposal and cost analysis for maintenance of IMPs and TIPs in Boston, Washington, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Papers of BBN Division 6. Cambridge, Mass., April 1974.

———. Internal memoranda and papers relating to the work of Division 6. Cambridge, Mass., 1971–1972.

Carr, C. Stephen, Stephen D. Crocker, and Vinton G. Cerf. “HOST-HOST Communication Protocol in the ARPA Network.” Paper presented at the Spring Joint Computer Conference of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, 1970.

Catton, Major General, USAF, Jack. Letter to F. R. Collbohm of RAND Corporation, 11 October 1965. Referring the preliminary technical development plan for message-block network to the Defense Communications Agency.

Cerf,Vinton G.“Confessions of a Hearing-Impaired Engineer.” Unpublished.

———.“PARRY Encounters the Doctor.” Request for Comments 439 (NIC 13771). Network Working Group, 21 January 1973.

Cerf, Vinton G., and Jonathan B. Postel. “Specification of Internetwork Transmission Control Protocol: TCP Version 3.” Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California, January 1978.

Cerf, Vinton G. Interview by Judy O’Neill. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/ IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 24 April 1990.

Cerf, Vinton G., and Robert Kahn. “HOST and PROCESS Level Protocols for Internetwork Communication.” Notes of the International Network Working Group 39, 13 September 1973.

Clark, Wesley. Interview by Judy O’Neill. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 3 May 1990.

Crocker, David H. “Standard for the Format of ARPA Internet Text Messages.” Request for Comments 822. Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Delaware, 13 August 1982.

Crocker, David H., John J. Vittal, Kenneth T. Pogran, and D. Austin Henderson Jr. “Standard for the Format of ARPA Network Text Messages.” Request for Comments 733. The RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif., 21 November 1977.

Crowther, William. Interview by Judy O’Neill. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 12 March 1990.

Crowther, William, and David Walden. “CurrentViews of Timing.” Memorandum to Frank E. Heart, Cambridge, Mass., 8 July 1969.

Davies, Donald W. “Further Speculations on Data Transmission.” Private papers. London, 16 November 1965.

———.“Proposal for a Digital Communication Network.” Private papers, photocopied and widely circulated. London, June 1966.

———. “Proposal for the Development of a National Communications Service for On-Line Data Processing.” Private papers. London, 15 December 1965.

———. “Remote On-line Data Processing and Its Communication Needs.” Private papers. London, 10 November 1965.

Davies, Donald W. Interview by Martin Campbell-Kelly. National Physical Laboratory, U.K., 17 March 1986.

Davies, Donald W., Keith Bartlett, Roger Scantlebury, and Peter Wilkinson. “A Digital Communications Network for Computers Giving Rapid Response at Remote Terminals.” Paper presented at the Association for Computing Machinery Symposium on Operating System Principles, Gatlinburg, Tenn., October 1967.

Davis, Ruth M. “Comments and Recommendations Concerning the ARPA Network.” Center for Computer Sciences and Technology, U.S. National Bureau of Standards, 6 October 1971.

Digital Equipment Corporation. “Interface Message Processors for the ARPA Computer Network.” Design proposal. Submitted to the Department of the Army, Defense Supply Service, in RFQ no. DAHC15 69 Q 002, 5 September 1968.

Frank, Howard. Interview by Judy O’Neill. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 30 March 1990.

Goldstein, Paul. “The Proposed ARPANET Divestiture: Legal Questions and Economic Issues.” Working Paper, Cabledata Associates, Inc., CAWP no. 101, 27 July 1973.

Hauben, Michael, and Ronda Hauben. The Netizens Netbook page can be found at∼hauben/netbook/. The Haubens’ work has also appeared in the Amateur Computerist Newsletter, available from

Heart, F. E., R. E. Kahn, S. M. Ornstein, W. R. Crowther, and D. C. Walden. “The Interface Message Processor for the ARPA Computer Network.” Paper presented at the Spring Joint Computer Conference of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, 1970.

Heart, Frank E. Interview by Judy O’Neill. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 13 March 1990.

Herzfeld, Charles. Interview by Arthur Norberg. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 6 August 1990.

Honeywell, Inc. “Honeywell at Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc.” Brochure. Published for the ARPA Network demonstration at the International Conference on Computer Communication, Washington, D.C., October 1972.

Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California. “DOD Standard Transmission Control Protocol.” Request for Comments 761. Prepared for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Information Processing Techniques Office, Arlington,Va., January 1980.

International Data Corporation. “ARPA Computer Network Provides Communications Technology for Computer/Computer Interaction Within Special Research Community.” Industry report and market review. Newtonville, Mass., 3 March 1972.

Kahn, Robert. Interview by Judy O’Neill. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 24 April 1990.

Kahn, Robert. Interview by William Aspray. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 22 March 1989.

Kleinrock, Leonard. Interview by Judy O’Neill. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 3 April 1990.

Kryter, Karl D. “Lick as a Psychoacoustician and Physioacoustician.” Presentation honoring J. C. R. Licklider at the Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Baltimore, Md., 30 April 1991.

———. Obituary of J. C. R. Licklider, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, December 1990.

Licklider, J. C. R., and Welden E. Clark. “On-Line Man-Computer Communication.” Paper presented at the Spring Joint Computer Conference of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, 1962.

Licklider, J. C. R. Interview by William Aspray. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 28 October 1988.

Lukasik, Stephen. Interview by Judy O’Neill. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 17 October 1991.

Marill, Thomas, and Lawrence G. Roberts. “Toward a Cooperative Network of Time-Shared Computers.” Paper presented at the Fall Joint Computer Conference of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, 1966.

McCarthy, J., S. Boilen, E. Fredkin, and J. C. R. Licklider. “A Time-Sharing Debugging System for a Small Computer.” Paper presented at the Spring Joint Computer Conference of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, 1963.

McKenzie, Alexander A. “The ARPA Network Control Center.” Paper presented at the Fourth Data Communications Symposium of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, October 1975.

McKenzie, Alexander A. Interview by Judy O’Neill. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 13 March 1990.

Message Group. The full text of more than 2,600 e-mail messages sent by members of the Message Group (or MsgGroup), one of the first electronic mailing lists, relating to the development of e-mail. The Computer Museum, Boston, Mass., June 1975–June 1986. Electronic document. (

Metcalfe, Robert. “Some Historic Moments in Networking.” Request for Comments 89. Network Working Group, 19 January 1971.

Myer, T. H., and D. A. Henderson. “Message Transmission Protocol.” Request for Comments 680. Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, Calif., 1975.

National Research Council, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems. “Transport Protocols for Department of Defense Data Networks.” Report to the Department of Defense and the National Bureau of Standards, Board on Telecommunication and Computer Applications, 1985.

Neigus, N.J. “File Transfer Protocol.” Request for Comments 542. Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc., Cambridge, Mass., 12 July 1973.

Norberg, Arthur L., and Judy E. O’Neill. “A History of the Information Processing Techniques Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.” Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., 1992.

Ornstein, Severo M., F. E. Heart, W. R. Crowther, H. K. Rising, S. B. Russell, and A. Michel. “The Terminal IMP for the ARPA Network.” Paper presented at the Spring Joint Computer Conference of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Atlantic City, N.J., May 1972.

Ornstein, Severo. Interview by Judy O’Neill. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 6 March 1990.

Pogran, Ken, John Vittal, Dave Crowther, and Austin Henderson. “Proposed Official Standard for the Format of ARPA Network Messages.” Request for Comments 724. MIT, Cambridge, Mass., 12 May 1977.

Postel, Jonathan B. “Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.” Request for Comments 821. Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California, August 1982.

———. “Specification of Internetwork Transmission Control Protocol: TCP Version 4.” Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California, September 1978.

———. “TCP and IP Bake Off.” Request for Comments 1025. Network Working Group, September 1987.

Pouzin, Louis. “Network Protocols.” Notes of the International Network Working Group 50, September 1973.

———.“Presentation and Major Design Aspects of the Cyclades Computer Network.” Paper presented at the IEEE Third Data Communications Symposium (Data Networks: Analysis and Design), November 1973.

———. “Experimental Communication Protocol: Basic Message Frame.” Notes of the International Network Working Group 48, January 1974.

———.“Interconnection of Packet Switching Networks.” Notes of the International Network Working Group 42, October 1973.

———. “Network Architecture and Components.” Notes of the International Network Working Group 49, August 1973.

RAND Corporation. “Development of the Distributed Adaptive Message-Block Network.” Recommendation to the Air Staff, 30 August 1965.

RCA Service Company, Government Services Division. “ARPANET Study Final Report.” Submitted under contract no. F08606-73-C-0018. 24 November 1972.

Richard J. Barber Associates, Inc. “The Advanced Research Projects Agency: 1958–1974.” A study for the Advanced Research Projects Agency under contract no. MDA-903-74-C-0096. Washington, D.C., December 1975. Photocopy.

Roberts, Lawrence G. “Extensions of Packet Communications Technology to a Hand-Held Personal Terminal.” Paper presented at the Spring Joint Computer Conference of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, May 1972.

———. “Multiple Computer Networks and Intercomputer Communication.” Paper presented at the Association for Computing Machinery Symposium on Operating System Principles, October 1967.

Roberts, Lawrence G., and Barry D. Wessler. “Computer Network Development to Achieve Resource Sharing.” Paper presented at the Spring Joint Computer Conference of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, 1970.

Roberts, Lawrence G. Interview by Arthur Norberg. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 4 April 1989.

Ruina, Jack. Interview by William Aspray. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 20 April 1989.

Sutherland, Ivan. Interview by William Aspray. Charles Babbage Institute DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 1 May 1989.

Taylor, Robert. Interview by William Aspray. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 28 February 1989.

U.S. Postal Service. “Electronic Message Systems for the U.S. Postal Service.” Report of the U.S.P.S. Support Panel, Committee on Telecommunications, Washington, D.C., January 1977.

Walden, David C. “Experiences in Building, Operating, and Using the ARPA Network.” Paper presented at the Second USA-Japan Computer Conference, Tokyo, Japan, August 1975.

Walden, David. Interview by Judy O’Neill. Charles Babbage Institute, DARPA/IPTO Oral History Collection, University of Minnesota Center for the History of Information Processing, Minneapolis, Minn., 6 February 1990.

Walker, Stephen T. “Completion Report: ARPA Network Development.” Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Information Processing Techniques Office, Washington, D.C., 4 January 1978.

Weik, Martin H. “A Third Survey of Domestic Electronic Digital Computing Systems.” Ballistic Research Laboratories, report no. 1115, March 1961.

White, Jim. “Proposed Mail Protocol.” Request for Comments 524. Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, Calif., 13 June 1973.

Zimmermann, H., and M. Elie. “Proposed Standard Host-Host Protocol for Heterogeneous Computer Networks: Transport Protocol.” Notes of the International Network Working Group 43, December 1973.Edit

Electronic Archives

Charles Babbage Institute, Center for the History of Information Processing, University of Minnesota. Large archival collection relating to the history of computing. More information can be obtained via the CBI Web site at or via e-mail addressed to

Computer Museum, Boston, Massachusetts. Large collection relating to the history of computing, including the archives of the Message Group concerning the early development of e-mail. The archive is available via the homepage at

Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California. Collection includes up-to-date indexes and tests of Internet standards, protocols, Requests for Comments (RFCs), and various other technical notes available via the ISI Web site: Some of the earlier RFCs are not available electronically, but are archived off-line in meticulous fashion by RFC editor Jon Postel. A searchable archive is maintained at

Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science. The CIS Web Server offers access to RFCs and various other technical and historical documents related to the Internet via http://www.cis.

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Where Wizards Stay Up Late – The Origins Of The Internet

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Fair Use Source: B000FC0WP6

Where Wizards Stay Up Late – The Origins Of The Internet by Matthew Lyon and Katie Hafner

by Matthew Lyon and Katie Hafner

“Twenty five years ago, it didn’t exist. Today, twenty million people worldwide are surfing the Net. Where Wizards Stay Up Late is the exciting story of the pioneers responsible for creating the most talked about, most influential, and most far-reaching communications breakthrough since the invention of the telephone.”

“In the 1960’s, when computers where regarded as mere giant calculators, J.C.R. Licklider at MIT saw them as the ultimate communications devices. With Defense Department funds, he and a band of visionary computer whizzes began work on a nationwide, interlocking network of computers. Taking readers behind the scenes, Where Wizards Stay Up Late captures the hard work, genius, and happy accidents of their daring, stunningly successful venture.”Edit

Book Details

  • Print length: 304 pages
  • Publication date: August 19, 1999
  • ASIN: B000FC0WP6
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • ISBN: 0684832674

Table of Contents

  • Prologue
  • 1. The Fastest Million Dollars
  • 2. A Block Here, Some Stones There
  • 3. The Third University
  • 4. Head Down in the Bits
  • 5. Do It to It Truett
  • 6. Hacking Away and Hollering
  • 7. E-Mail
  • 8. A Rocket on Our Hands
  • Epilogue
  • Chapter Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index


To the memory of J. C. R. Licklider and to the memory of Cary Lu

Los Alamos’ lights where wizards stay up late, (Stay in the car, forget the gate), To save the world or end it, time will tell” — James Merrill, “Under Libra: Weights and Measures

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Hardware and Electronics History

Tandy RadioShack TRS-80 Computer (Model I)

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Tandy/RadioShack TRS-80 Model I[note 1]

The TRS-80 Micro Computer System (TRS-80, later renamed the Model I to distinguish it from successors) is a desktop microcomputer launched in 1977 and sold by Tandy Corporation through their RadioShack stores. The name is an abbreviation of Tandy/RadioShack, Z80 microprocessor.[3] It is one of the earliest mass-produced and mass-marketed retail home computers.[4]

The TRS-80 has a full-stroke QWERTY keyboard, the Zilog Z80 processor (rather than the more common Intel 8080), 4 KB DRAM standard memory (when many 8-bit computers shipped with only 1 KB RAM), small size and desk footprint, floating-point Level I BASIC language interpreter in ROM, 64-character per line video monitor, and a starting price of US$600[1] (equivalent to US$2500 in 2019).

A cassette tape drive for program storage was included in the original base package, but it proved slow and fiddly in practice. While the software environment was stable and capable, the fiddly program load/save process combined with keyboard bounce issues and a troublesome expansion interface contributed to the Model I’s widespread reputation as something fun to tinker with for computer enthusiasts, but not well suited to serious use. As with many small computers of the era, it lacked full support for the ASCII character set, e.g. no lowercase letters, which also hampered business adoption.

An extensive line of upgrades and add-on hardware peripherals for the TRS-80 was developed and marketed by Tandy/RadioShack. The basic system can be expanded with up to 48 KB of RAM (in 16 KB increments), and up to four floppy disk drives and/or hard disk drives. Tandy/RadioShack provided full-service support including upgrade, repair, and training services in their thousands of stores worldwide.

By 1979, the TRS-80 had the largest selection of software in the microcomputer market.[5] Until 1982, the TRS-80 was the best-selling PC line, outselling the Apple II series by a factor of five according to one analysis.[3]

The TRS-80 Model I pictured alongside the Apple II and the Commodore PET 2001-8. These three computers constitute what Byte Magazine called the “1977 Trinity” of home computing.

In mid-1980, the broadly compatible TRS-80 Model III was released. The Model I was discontinued shortly thereafter, primarily due to stricter FCC regulations on radio-frequency interference to nearby electronic devices.[6][7] In April 1983, the Model III was succeeded by the compatible TRS-80 Model 4.

Following the original Model I and its compatible descendants, the TRS-80 name later became a generic brand used on other technically unrelated computer lines sold by Tandy, including the TRS-80 Model IITRS-80 Model 2000TRS-80 Model 100TRS-80 Color Computer and TRS-80 Pocket Computer.

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Hardware and Electronics History

Commodore PET Computer – 1977 AD

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Commodore 2001 Series-IMG 0448b.jpg
A Commodore PET 2001

The Commodore PET is a line of home/personal computers produced starting in 1977 by Commodore International.[3] The system combined a MOS 6502 microprocessorCommodore BASIC in read only memory (ROM), a keyboard, a computer monitor and (in early models) a cassette deck for data and program storage in a single all-in-one case.

Development of the system began in 1976 and a prototype was demonstrated in January 1977 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).[1][4] A series of problems meant that production versions did not begin to arrive until December 1977, by which time the TRS-80 and Apple II had already begun deliveries. The close release dates of the three machines led Byte Magazine to refer to them collectively as the “1977 trinity”.

The TRS-80 Model I pictured alongside the Apple II and the Commodore PET 2001-8. These three computers constitute what Byte Magazine called the “1977 Trinity” of home computing.

The original PET design underwent a series of significant updates, adding more memory, a better keyboard, larger screens and other modifications. The systems were a top-seller in the Canadian and United States educational markets, as well as European business uses. The PET formed the basis for Commodore’s entire 8-bit product line, including the Commodore 64.

The name was suggested by Andre Souson after he saw the Pet Rock in Los Gatos, and stated they were going to make the “pet computer”.[5] It was backronymed to Personal Electronic Transactor.

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Cloud History

HP Hewlett-Packard – 1939 AD

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The Hewlett-Packard Company, commonly shortened to Hewlett-Packard or HP, (/ˈhjuːlɪt ˈpækərd/ HEW-lit PAK-ərd), was an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, that developed and provided a wide variety of hardware components, as well as software and related services to consumers, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health and education sectors. The company was founded in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California by Bill Hewlett and David Packard in 1939, and initially produced a line of electronic test and measurement equipment. The HP Garage at 367 Addison Avenue is now designated an official California Historical Landmark, and is marked with a plaque calling it the “Birthplace of ‘Silicon Valley‘”.

HP is the third oldest IT company after IBM and Fujitsu.

The company got its first big contract in 1938, providing its test and measurement instruments for production of Walt Disney‘s hugely successful animated film Fantasia. This success led Hewlett and Packard to formally establish their Hewlett-Packard Company on January 1, 1939. The company grew into a multinational corporation widely respected for its products, and its management style and culture known as the HP Way, which was adopted by other businesses worldwide. HP was the world’s leading PC manufacturer from 2007 until the second quarter of 2013, when Lenovo moved ahead of HP.[1][2][3] HP specialized in developing and manufacturing computing, data storage, and networking hardware, designing software and delivering services. Major product lines included personal computing devices, enterprise and industry standard servers, related storage devices, networking products, software and a diverse range of printers and other imaging products. HP directly marketed its products to households, small- to medium-sized businesses and enterprises as well as via online distribution, consumer-electronics and office-supply retailers, software partners and major technology vendors. HP also offered services and a consulting business for its products and partner products.

In 1999, Hewlett-Packard Company spun off its electronic and bio-analytical test and measurement instruments business as Agilent Technologies; HP retained focus on its later products, including computers and printers. It merged with Compaq in 2002, and acquired EDS in 2008, leading to combined revenues of $118.4 billion that year and a Fortune 500 ranking of 9 in 2009. In November 2009, HP announced its acquisition of 3Com,[4] with the deal closing on April 12, 2010.[5] On April 28, 2010, HP announced its buyout of Palm, Inc. for $1.2 billion.[6] On September 2, 2010, HP won its bidding war for 3PAR with a $33 a share offer ($2.07 billion), which Dell declined to match.[7]

On November 1, 2015, the company spun off its enterprise products and services business Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Hewlett-Packard retained the personal computer and printer businesses and was renamed HP Inc.[8]

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Sun Microsystems – 1982 AD

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Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Sun for short) was an American company that sold computerscomputer componentssoftware, and information technology services and created the Java programming language, the Solaris operating systemZFS, the Network File System (NFS), and SPARC microprocessors. Sun contributed significantly to the evolution of several key computing technologies, among them UnixRISC processorsthin client computing, and virtualized computing. Sun was founded on February 24, 1982.[2] At its height, the Sun headquarters were in Santa Clara, California (part of Silicon Valley), on the former west campus of the Agnews Developmental Center.

On April 20, 2009, it was announced that Oracle Corporation would acquire Sun for US$7.4 billion. The deal was completed on January 27, 2010.[3]

Sun products included computer servers and workstations built on its own RISC-based SPARC processor architecture, as well as on x86-based AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon processors. Sun also developed its own storage systems and a suite of software products, including the Solaris operating system, developer tools, Web infrastructure software, and identity management applications. Technologies included the Java platform and NFS. In general, Sun was a proponent of open systems, particularly Unix. It was also a major contributor to open-source software, as evidenced by its $1 billion purchase, in 2008, of MySQL, an open-source relational database management system.[4][5] At various times, Sun had manufacturing facilities in several locations worldwide, including Newark, CaliforniaHillsboro, Oregon; and Linlithgow, Scotland. However, by the time the company was acquired by Oracle, it had outsourced most manufacturing responsibilities.

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Hacker Culture – Late 20th Century

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Hacker Culture.

Where Did Hacker Culture Come From?

Builder culture: Model building, Radio controlled airplanes.

Greg Hartrell, Product Leader @ Google. Top Quora Writer.Updated August 27, 2017 · ForbesApple News and Observer · 

How hacker culture originated is an interesting story. Here’s a set of perspectives that I found interesting many years after I realized I was pulled into this culture at a young age.

The origins of hacker culture are most attributed to early computer science departments, specifically MIT, in the 1960s. That said, the MIT Tech Model Railroad Club seems to be ground zero, starting with elaborate efforts to automate model trains, and later moved into tinkering with mainframe computing. Hacker culture emerged from a fusion of intellectual curiosity, counter-culture and a hate-on for any technology that you couldn’t easily get access to or tamper with.

An insight I’ll call out is that the culture of self-repair and openness in products was normal in America prior to early computing… people expected to fix and tinker with cars, appliances and every day things, and if you were a kid, you probably grew up with a parent who tinkered with those every day things all the time. When computing in universities was first introduced, they were expensive mainframe systems. The high cost of early computing meant limited access to a few access terminals and restrictive rules on what you could and couldn’t do with those million dollar systems. Other technologies then emerged (more advanced phone systems for example, later personal computers) that continued a trend of being expensive, inaccessible and off limits to the average person. This rubbed up against the old culture of openness and self-repair.

So, hacker culture was a bit of a protest to the trend to centralize, make everything proprietary and hide the way things worked from people. If you couldn’t repair something, you didn’t really own it. If the way something worked was hidden from you, you ought to be suspicious of creator’s intentions. Most importantly, automation and technology offered (and still offers) so much promise to help improve our lives that everyone should be able to use it. So those who felt that way found like-minded folks to come together and tinker with stuff, understand it deeply and teach others around them how to do it.

Each generation since then has found it’s own “authority” or “centralization movement” to push back against, gain back control and and make the technologies around us more open. Early “phreakers” tampered with opaque phone systems to see how the system that helped us communicate really worked. The personal computing era had people assembling bootleg systems in their garages and homes with spare parts. Modems emerged and spawned fragmented communication networks and bulletin board services (BBSes) for sharing knowledge and socializing. And of course, we saw the emergence of the Internet (and it’s open protocol) and open source software culture (massive collaboration and the culture code sharing and open review).

The book “Hackers – Heroes of the Computer Revolution” (Levy) has the best historical summary of the principles of these early groups, which stands the test of time to this day.

I would paraphrase and summarize them this way:

  • Access to computers and anything that may teach you how the world works should be unlimited and total (a.k.a. The hands-on imperative.)
  • All information should be free (later elaborated on as all information also wants to be expensive.)
  • Mistrust authority and promote decentralization, closed systems and bureaucracies are anti-patterns.
  • You should be judged only by your abilities and skill, not “bogus criteria” like demographic traits.
  • You can create art and beauty on a computer. (i.e. computing isn’t purely mechanical in nature… it sits next to the other methods of creativity that we enjoy as humans. Indeed simple code that does great things is akin to a music composition or a poem.)
  • Computers can change your life for the better (i.e. believe in the power of computing to change and enrich people’s lives, and spreading access, and this ethic, can make the world a better place.)

I see a lot of today’s Silicon Valley product development culture continues in these traditions. We have only begun to harness the power of computing to change our lives for the better, and I think we’ll do so through open systems, radical inclusiveness and spreading our knowledge to the many.”

“Mondo 2000 and Wired were instrumental in moving technology to the lifestyle of young college-educated people. They served, and helped grow, the hacker culture created in the 1980s. Hacker conferences multiplied, notably Defcon, started in Las Vegas in 1993 by Jeff Moss, and HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth), founded in New York in 1994 by the hacker magazine 2600.”

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The Enigma Machine – Circa 1930 AD

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The Enigma Machine, Circa 1930 – Fair Use Source: B085FW7J86

“The Enigma machine used electric-powered mechanical rotors to both encrypt and decrypt text-based messages sent over radio waves. The device had German origins and would become an important technological development during the Second World War.”

“The device looked like a large square or rectangular mechanical typewriter. On each key press, the rotors would move and record a seemingly random character that would then be transmitted to all nearby Enigma machines. However, these characters were not random, and were defined by the rotation of the rotor and a number of configuration options that could be modified at any time on the device. Any Enigma machine with a specific configuration could read or “decrypt” messages sent from another machine with an identical configuration. This made the Enigma machine extremely valuable for sending crucial messages while avoiding interception.”

“While a sole inventor of the rotary encryption mechanism used by the machine is hard to pinpoint, the technology was popularized by a two-man company called Chiffriermaschinen AG based in Germany. In the 1920s, Chiffriermaschinen AG traveled throughout Germany demonstrating the technology, which led to the German military adopting it in 1928 to secure top-secret military messages in transit.”

“The ability to avoid the interception of long-distance messages was a radical development that had never before been possible. In the software world of today, the interception of messages is still a popular technique that hackers try to employ, often called a man-in-the-middle attack. Today’s software uses similar (but much more powerful) techniques to those that the Enigma machine used a hundred years ago to protect against such attacks.”

“While the Enigma machine was an incredibly impressive technology for its time, it was not without flaws. Because the only criterion for interception and decryption was an Enigma machine with an identical configuration to the sender, a single compromised configuration log (or private key, in today’s terms) could render an entire network of Enigma machines useless.”

“To combat this, any groups sending messages via the Enigma machine changed their configuration settings on a regular basis. Reconfiguring Enigma machines was a time-consuming process. First, the configuration logs had to be exchanged in person, as secure ways of sharing them remotely did not yet exist. Sharing configuration logs between a network of two machines and two operators might not be painful. But a larger network, say 20 machines, required multiple messengers to deliver the configuration logs — each increasing the probability of a configuration log being intercepted and stolen, or potentially even leaked or sold.”

“The second problem with sharing configuration logs was that manual adjustments to the machine itself were required for the Enigma machine to be able to read, encrypt, and decrypt new messages sent from other Enigma machines. This meant that a specialized and trained staff member had to be present in case a configuration update was needed. This all occurred in an era prior to software, so these configuration adjustments required tampering with the hardware and adjusting the physical layout and wiring of the plugboard. The adjuster needed a background in electronics, which was very rare in the early 1900s.”

“As a result of how difficult and time-consuming it was to update these machines, updates typically occurred on a monthly basis — daily for mission-critical communication lines. If a key was intercepted or leaked, all transmissions for the remainder of the month could be intercepted by a malicious actor — the equivalent of a hacker today.”

“The type of encryption these Enigma machines used is now known as a symmetric key algorithm, which is a special type of cipher that allows for the encryption and decryption of a message using a single cryptographic key. This family of encryption is still used today in software to secure data in transit (between sender and receiver), but with many improvements on the classic model that gained popularity with the Enigma machine.”

“In software, keys can be made much more complex. Modern key generation algorithms produce keys so complex that attempting every possible combination (brute forcing or brute force attack) with the fastest possible modern hardware could easily take more than a million years. Additionally, unlike the Enigma machines of the past, software keys can change rapidly.”

“Depending on the use case, keys can be regenerated at every user session (per login), at every network request, or at a scheduled interval. When this type of encryption is used in software, a leaked key might expose you for a single network request in the case of per-request regeneration, or worst-case scenario, a few hours in the case of per-login (per-session) regeneration.”

“If you trace the lineage of modern cryptography far back, you will eventually reach World War II in the 1930s. It’s safe to say that the Enigma machine was a major milestone in securing remote communications. From this, we can conclude that the Enigma machine was an essential development in what would later become the field of software security.”

“The Enigma machine was also an important technological development for those who would be eventually known as “hackers.” The adoption of Enigma machines by the Axis Powers during World War II resulted in extreme pressure for the Allies to develop encryption-breaking techniques. General Dwight D. Eisenhower himself claimed that doing so would be essential for victory against the Nazis.”

“In September of 1932, a Polish mathematician named Marian Rejewski was provided a stolen Enigma machine. At the same time, a French spy named Hans-Thilo Schmidt was able to provide him with valid configurations for September and October of 1932. This allowed Marian to intercept messages from which he could begin to analyze the mystery of Enigma machine encryption.”

“Marian was attempting to determine how the machine worked, both mechanically and mathematically. He wanted to understand how a specific configuration of the machine’s hardware could result in an entirely different encrypted message being output.”

“Marian’s attempted decryption was based on a number of theories as to what machine configuration would lead to a particular output. By analyzing patterns in the encrypted messages and coming up with theories based on the mechanics of the machine, Marian and two coworkers, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski, eventually reverse engineered the system. With the deep understanding of Enigma rotor mechanics and board configuration that the team developed, they were able to make educated guesses as to which configurations would result in which encryption patterns. They could then reconfigure a board with reasonable accuracy and, after several attempts, begin reading encrypted radio traffic. By 1933 the team was intercepting and decrypting Enigma machine traffic on a daily basis.”

“Much like the hackers of today, Marian and his team intercepted and reverse engineered encryption schemes to get access to valuable data generated by a source other than themselves. For these reasons, I would consider Marian Rejewski and the team assisting him as some of the world’s earliest hackers.”

“In the following years, Germany would continually increase the complexity of its Enigma machine encryption. This was done by gradually increasing the number of rotors required to encrypt a character. Eventually the complexity of reverse engineering a configuration would become too difficult for Marian’s team to break in a reasonable time frame. This development was also important, because it provided a look into the ever-evolving relationship between hackers and those who try to prevent hacking.”

“This relationship continues today, as creative hackers continually iterate and improve their techniques for breaking into software systems. And on the other side of the coin, smart engineers are continually developing new techniques for defending against the most innovative hackers.”

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Artificial Intelligence Cloud Data Science - Big Data DevSecOps-Security-Privacy History Networking Software Engineering

IBM History

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“Nobody ever lost their job for recommending the purchase of IBM products.” —COMPUTER INDUSTRY FOLK WISDOM

“More than any other company since World War II, IBM has shaped the way the modern world goes about its business. Large corporations and governments began to use IBM’s products before 1900. Its computers served as global computing gearboxes for decades before the public “discovered” the Internet in the 1990s. Many of IBM’s computers had been part of the Internet since the early 1970s and part of even older networks since the 1960s. The US census of 1890 was the first in the world to be done using automation tools — the punch card — and that too came from what would come to be IBM. For a long time, the company has been at the center of much of what makes a modern society function.” Fair Use Source: B08BSXJCBP

“By working in conference rooms and data centers for over a century, IBM made this achievement possible. For that reason, few people outside those two places knew what it did, or how. They just knew that it was big, important, and usually well run. What they understood was largely the product of a century-long marketing and public relations campaign by IBM to manage carefully what we imagine when thinking about the firm. Its influence proved so powerful for so long that whenever there were problems at IBM — and there always seemed to be — the information technology world was affected, including the operation of large enterprises and government agencies, stock markets, and even how national governments armed themselves for global wars.” (B08BSXJCBP)

“So what? We live in an increasingly dangerous world, profoundly influenced by computing, so understanding the role of one of the world’s most important providers of such technologies is crucial and urgent. We face three problems: ongoing acts of terrorism; a cyberwar involving the United States, Russia, and China but also affecting other countries caught in the crossfire, evidenced by cyber attacks on German elections, Chinese hacking of companies, and” hoax of “Russian influence on the U.S. presidential election in 2016, for example; and a global political and economic environment that is becoming increasingly uncertain as nations flirt with trade restrictions and efforts to keep jobs from migrating to other countries.” (B08BSXJCBP)

IBM has been at the heart of outsourcing most of its American and European jobs to low cost “slave wages” of Communist China and India.

“In the thick of all these conditions, information processing plays a profound role, and in the middle of that role stands a few technology companies, notably IBM. Which would be more important for the security of a nation under a cyberattack, IBM or Netflix, IBM or Apple? For decades, commercial enterprises and government agencies in the United States and in other nations considered IBM a national treasure.” (B08BSXJCBP)

This is no longer true that IBM is a so-called “national treasure” since IBM with the help of the UniParty of Democrats and Republicans outsourced the vast majority of their American jobs to “slave wage” countries like India and Communist China.

“When the West needed computing for national defense, it turned to IBM. In World War II, IBM provided the Allies with machines to organize national economies for the war effort; in the Cold War, it implemented a national air defense system, assisted in making “space travel” possible, and did intelligence work. IBM has nearly a century of experience dealing with Russian counterintelligence operations—today’s hacking and intelligence operations are not new to it.” (B08BSXJCBP)

IBM like the rest of Big Tech (Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook), at best ignores and is indirectly and sometimes directly complicit with the military hacking and intelligence operations of Communist China and their ChiCom state-sponsored companies. This is due to Big Tech’s close embedded work with the Chinese Communist government and its “companies”.

“We again face a time when many countries need the skills long evident at IBM. Nevertheless, it is a company that has suffered chronic problems, a malaise that while it tries to shake it off leaves open questions about its long-term viability. Understanding what this company is capable of doing begins by appreciating its history. Such insight helps employees, citizens, companies, and entire industries and nations understand what they can do to ensure that IBM is there when they need it. The company is too important to do otherwise. That is what led me to write this book.” (B08BSXJCBP)

“IBM is a company that has a century-long history of not being generous in explaining how it interacts with the world. Like most large multinational corporations, it works to control what the public knows about it, including its global practices. Why, for example, several years ago, was IBM willing to share with China the guts of some of its critical software in exchange for being allowed to sell in that country?” (B08BSXJCBP)

Big Tech, especially Google and IBM, is completely in bed with the Chinese Communist Party and their apparatchiks and nomenklatura.

“Why does it have a history of also doing confidential work for the U.S. intelligence and military communities? During World War II, when it was a ‘tiny company’, the Allies and the Axis” (IBM helped the National Socialists or Nazis) “used its products. Is IBM as American a company as it was 30 or 50 years ago? With an estimated 75 percent of its workforce now located outside the United States, some tough questions have to be asked. Such national security interests are addressed in this book and head-on in the last chapter, because this company may be one of those too critical to allow to fail.” (B08BSXJCBP)

To Big to Fail: Too critical to the Chinese Communists and India?

“Business historians, economists, and business management professors have their own concerns as well. Scholars and journalists have studied IBM for decades. Historians are interested in how large corporations function, why they exist for decades, their effects on national economies, and how they influence their own industries. A crucial question raised by IBM’s experience is how it became an iconic company yet also experienced periods of severe business crises that nearly killed it. Across all of IBM’s history, nearly lethal troubles accompanied its successes. How could that be? What lessons for other firms can IBM’s story teach? What can be learned that scholars and managers can apply in their explorations of how other firms flourished, failed, or are floundering? Answering such questions is central to this book.” (B08BSXJCBP)

“IBM’s influence on our lives is significant, but the company remains little appreciated. Occasionally we hear about it, such as when its stock goes up or down, in the 1980s when it introduced the world to the term “Personal Computer” and in the process made it now “O.K.” for corporations, not just geeks and commercial artists, to use PCs. Did you know that selling computers is now the tiniest piece of IBM’s business?” (B08BSXJCBP)

Especially after IBM sold its PC business to the Chinese Communist Beijing-based Lenovo.

“Did you know that it is the world’s largest software firm, or that it operates in 178 countries? Did you know that it almost went out of business several times, including as recently as 1993? Or that as this book was being written in 2017, observers thought IBM was on a slow march to extinction while still generating billions of dollars in profits each year? It is time to pull aside the veil to see how this fascinating and powerful company was able to thrive for over a century while being both respected and disliked, and to understand what essentially has been its positive impact on the world while at the same time it demonstrated toughness against its enemies and in its constant battle to survive and thrive.” (B08BSXJCBP)

“Today IBM functions under ugly storm clouds, but let a blogger friendly to it describe what I mean: “International Business Machines might be the most iconic company in the entire multitrillion-dollar tech industry. For decades, its name was synonymous with technology, to the point where ‘IBM’ was all but shorthand for computing hardware. Its century-plus history might even make it the oldest tech company in a world where tech titans rise and fall every few years. It’s also one of the world’s largest tech companies, trailing only a handful of others in the global market-cap rankings.” Here is the clincher: “But it’s probably bound to be the worst-performing tech stock on the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the foreseeable future. High performance isn’t a requirement to remain in the Dow, but if IBM can’t do something about its flatlining revenue, it might eventually force the Dow’s handlers to do the unthinkable and replace it with a more appropriate company.”1 What is going on?” (B08BSXJCBP)

“One of the important, little understood findings presented in this book is the profound influence of prior events on what the company does today. Some of its long-serving senior executives are aware, for example, that our grandparents received Social Security payments because of IBM, since nobody else at the time could calculate and print checks quickly enough, or in the millions needed, permanently assisting millions of older Americans out of poverty. Many are aware that IBM could radically define and then build computers that do what one expected of them, thanks to a “bet your company” life-threatening decision in the 1960s that led the majority of the world’s large organizations to finally start using computers. IBM employees wrote software and managed its implementation so that humans could “go to the moon” for the first time and be brought safely back to earth. They are aware that it was IBM’s introduction of the PC in 1981, not Apple’s introduction of the Macintosh, that led the world to finally embrace this technology by the hundreds of millions. It is a company taking the half-century promise of artificial intelligence and turning it into actions that smartly do things humans cannot do, such as advise a doctor based on all human knowledge of a medical condition or calculate more precise weather forecasts. This is happening now, and IBM is making millions of dollars providing such capabilities. We do not know whether IBM is going to be around in 20 or 100 years, but we do know that it is a large, technologically muscular company in the thick of what is going on with computing. Generations of managers, economists, and professionals, and tens of millions of customers, knew about the role of this company during the twentieth century. Now the rest of us should, too.” (B08BSXJCBP)

“What made IBM iconic included technological prowess, enormous business success, massive visibility, and hundreds of thousands of aggressive, smart, ambitious men and women used to success and always fearful of failure. It was the “IBM Way.” For over a half century, it was said no worker ever lost their job for recommending that their firm acquire IBM’s products, because those products normally worked. IBMers would make them work, and “everyone” seemed to think IBM was one of the best-run firms in the world. They joked about IBMers as too serious, focused, polished in their presentations, and facile in dealing with all manner of technology. Competitors feared and hated them; customers accepted them as the safe bet.” (B08BSXJCBP)

“IBM’s iconic role thus left IBMers, their customers, and the public in dozens of countries ill prepared for its near-death experience in the early 1990s. A fired CEO, John F. Akers, almost went into hiding; he never spoke publicly of IBM for the rest of his life. His successor, Louis V. Gerstner Jr., observed the IBM culture as a customer and now had to face a depressed yet combative workforce. He had worked at Nabisco as a turnaround leader and came into IBM as the butt of cookie jokes but with the hope that he could save the firm. He brought the company back to iconic status. Afterward he reported that the biggest problem he faced was IBM’s culture, invented by Thomas Watson Sr. and his son Thomas Watson Jr., remade partly by Charlie Chaplin’s character the “Little Tramp,” and battered by hundreds of competitors, including Steve Jobs at Apple. To any IBM employee, the company always felt small, because it was a firm filled with characters, more a collection of fantastic personalities than a faceless corporation, an ecosystem with its own culture.” (B08BSXJCBP)

“IBM’s corporate culture is central in understanding much about “Big Blue.” That is also a clue for answering a central question about IBM: How is it that a company viewed as so stable and reliable for decades had so many ups and downs over the course of its 130-year history? The company’s history from its origins in the 1880s to the 1970s was essentially a story of repeated successes, despite enormous difficulties. By the end of the 1970s, however, the company had entered a new era in which it was now large, difficult to run, and slow to make decisions and to take timely actions, and so its subsequent history took on a very different tone. It continued to grow, shrink, reconfigure itself, grow again, and spin off vast sums of profitable revenue while laying off tens of thousands of employees almost without the public hearing about it. How could that be? Observers had been predicting its demise since the mid-1960s, loudly in the early 1990s, and again after 2012. Yet there it stood as this book was being published: bloodied, anemic, slow to move, and grey around the cultural temples but also vigorous, employing vast numbers of young employees around the world while having shed tens of thousands of older ones” (B08BSXJCBP), (Meaning IBM, like all of Big Tech, especially Facebook and Google, is focused on using young “wage slaves” from Communist China and India) “financially sound, and still a major player in one of the world’s most important industries. Again, how could that be? Our purpose is to answer that question.” (B08BSXJCBP)

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Bibliography History

IBM – The Rise and Fall and Reinvention of a Global Icon

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by James W. Cortada

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IBM – The Rise and Fall and Reinvention of a Global Icon

A history of one of the most influential American companies of the last century.

“Nobody ever lost their job for recommending the purchase of IBM products.” —COMPUTER INDUSTRY FOLK WISDOM

For decades, IBM shaped the way the world did business. IBM products were in every large organization, and IBM corporate culture established a management style that was imitated by companies around the globe. It was “Big Blue, ” an icon. And yet over the years, IBM has gone through both failure and success, surviving flatlining revenue and forced reinvention. The company almost went out of business in the early 1990s, then came back strong with new business strategies and an emphasis on artificial intelligence. In this authoritative, monumental history, James Cortada tells the story of one of the most influential American companies of the last century.

Cortada, a historian who worked at IBM for many years, describes IBM’s technology breakthroughs, including the development of the punch card (used for automatic tabulation in the 1890 census), the calculation and printing of the first Social Security checks in the 1930s, the introduction of the PC to a mass audience in the 1980s, and the company’s shift in focus from hardware to software. He discusses IBM’s business culture and its orientation toward employees and customers; its global expansion; regulatory and legal issues, including antitrust litigation; and the track records of its CEOs. The secret to IBM’s unequaled longevity in the information technology market, Cortada shows, is its capacity to adapt to changing circumstances and technologies.

The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Cortada, James W., author.

Title: IBM : the rise and fall and reinvention of a global icon / James W. Cortada.

Description: Cambridge, MA : The MIT Press, [2019] | Series: History of computing | Includes bibliographical references and index.

Identifiers: LCCN 2018023090 | ISBN 9780262039444 (hardcover : alk. paper)

Subjects: LCSH: International Business Machines Corporation—History. | Computer industry—United States—History.

Classification: LCC HD9696.2.U6 C67 2019 | DDC 338.7/61004—dc23

LC record available at



  I   From Birth to Identity: IBM in Its Early Years, 1880s–1945

  1   Origins, 1880s–1914

  2   Thomas J. Watson Sr. and the Creation of IBM, 1914–1924

  3   The Emergence of IBM and the Culture of THINK

  4   IBM and the Great Depression

  5   IBM in World War II, 1939–1945

 II   IBM the Computer Behemoth, 1945–1985

  6   IBM Gets into the Computer Business, 1945–1964

  7   How Customers, IBM, and a New Industry Evolved, 1945–1964

  8   System 360: One of the Greatest Products in History?

  9   “The IBM Way”: How It Worked, 1964–1993

10   “The IBM Way”: What the World Saw, 1964–1993

11   IBM on the Global Stage

12   Two Decades of Antitrust Suits, 1960s–1980s

13   Communist Computers

14   “A Tool for Modern Times”: IBM and the Personal Computer

III   A Time of Crisis, 1985–1994

15   Storms, Crisis, and Near Death, 1985–1993

16   IBM’s Initial Response, 1985–1993

17   How IBM Was Rescued, 1993–1994

IV   IBM in the New Century

18   A New IBM, 1995–2012

19   Hard Times, Again, and Another Transformation

20   THINK: IBM Today and Its Legacy

Author’s Note: In the Spirit of Transparency

Bibliographic Essay


“The purpose of this book is to introduce a new generation to IBM’s role by telling the story of its long history, its culture and values, and, most important, explain how it helped to shape the world in which we live, a process still unfolding. I argue that it is essential to understand its corporate culture, one that academics and reporters found difficult to describe but that they recognized was essential to describe. Published accounts of IBM offer insufficient insights. IBM is also a multinational company operating around the world, so we need to understand its role in international disputes. Is it an American corporation or is it so globalized that only its senior leaders are U.S. citizens? What are the implications for Russia, China, Germany, the United States, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Australia, and so many other countries?”

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Scouts: Electrical-Nuclear Engineering and the U.S. Navy – A Culture of Innovation – 1925-1940 AD

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Scouts: Electrical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, the Navy, and a Culture of Innovation (1925-40)

  • Stanford and Electrical Engineering – Early 20th Century
  • Berkeley and Nuclear Engineering
  • NACA National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
  • San Francisco Bay Area Culture and Society – 1920 to 1940 AD
  • Stanford and US Industry
  • Progress in Electronic Computation
  • High-tech Construction
  • The Aerospace Industry in Los Angeles

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Stanford and Electrical Engineering – Early 20th Century

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“A pivotal event in the history of the Bay Area’s high-tech industry took place in 1925: Harris Ryan’s student, Frederick Terman (a ham radio fan who had also studied at MIT in Boston with Vannevar Bush, joined Stanford University to work at Ryan’s pioneering radio-communications laboratory. Terman was the son of a Stanford professor, so he represented a highly educated generation that had been raised in the Bay Area, a step forward from the immigrants of previous decades. Within two years, the young apprentice became a visionary on his own, fostering a new science on the border between wireless communications and vacuum-tube electronics. Terman didn’t just perfect the art of radio engineering. The Bay Area offered precious few opportunities for employment, and during the Great Depression that started in 1929 virtually none. Terman encouraged his students to start their own businesses rather than wait for jobs to be offered to them. After all, Stanford had perfected a number of engineering technologies that could potentially be of general interest (one being the resistance-capacity oscillator built by Bill Hewlett in 1935). Many of those students were coming from the East Coast. He encouraged them to start businesses in the Bay Area. He viewed the university as an incubator of business plans. It was a step up from Harris Ryan’s philosophy of encouraging cooperation between academia and industry.

A vibrant industry was taking hold around Stanford University by the time Ryan retired in 1931 and Cyril Elwell’s Federal Telegraph Corporation (FTC) moved east. Several startups were spin-offs of the early radio companies.

Stanford’s student Ralph Heintz, a former radio amateur and employee of Earle Ennis, had started a business to install short-wave radios on ships and airplanes. In 1926 he founded Heintz & Kaufmann in San Francisco; but soon had to start manufacturing their own vacuum tubes to compete with RCA, for which they hired radio hobbyists Bill Eitel and Jack McCullough.

Litton Engineering Laboratories had been founded in 1932 by ham-radio hobbyist, Stanford student, and FTC manager Charlie Litton at his parents’ Redwood City home to manufacture tools for vacuum tube manufacturers (the same job he had at FTC). Litton invented the glass lathe that mechanized the process of making vacuum tubes. Eitel-McCullough (later Eimac) was formed in 1934 in San Bruno by Heintz’s employees Bill Eitel and Jack McCullough to develop better vacuum tubes for the amateur or ham radio market (which would become the Armed Forces’ favorite tubes during the war). Another FTC employee, German-born Gerhard Fisher invented the metal detector in 1928, and founded Fisher Research Laboratories in 1931 in his home’s garage in Palo Alto. Many of these independents who scouted the market for radio communications and electronics had started out as ham radio amateurs, some of them at a very early age.

At the time, Stanford was a minor university, and not many scholars of international standing were willing to join its ranks. The world sent many Europeans (especially Jews) to the USA, but almost all to the universities of the East Coast. The head of the department of Mathematics at Stanford, Hans Blichfeldt, was the son of Danish peasants who immigrated to the USA. Admitted to Stanford despite his lack of formal education, he had to spend a year in Germany (Leipzig) in order to finish his dissertation: German universities had a far better reputation than Stanford, especially in mathematics. After he retired in 1938, he was succeeded by the Austro-Hungarian Jew Gabor Szego, who had fled Europe after the rising of Nazism and in 1940 convinced his friend Gyorgy Polya to join him. “George” Polya would go on to become the world’s expert in heuristics, the rules of thumb that mathematicians use to find solutions, a topic on which he published an influential book, “How to Solve it” (1945), originally written in German in Switzerland but rejected by European publishers. While all of these mathematicians were brilliant, none compared with the likes of John VonNeumann and Kurt Goedel who flocked to the East Coast universities (not to mention Albert Einstein).

Stanford’s “Engineering Corner” (2010)

The local tradition of radio engineering led an immigrant to settle in San Francisco to conduct his experiments. In 1927 Philo Farnsworth, a stereotypical amateur who had been discovered in Utah by San Francisco venture capitalists Leslie Gorrell and George Everson, carried out the first all-electronic television broadcast. It was based on a theory that he had conceived as a teenager. Farnsworth’s team included the young Russ Varian and Ralph Heintz. In 1931 the investors decided to cash in. They sold the company to the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company (later renamed Philco). At the time, Philco was the main maker of home radios in the US and therefore in a much better position to mass-manufacture television sets. The power of RCA, however, was such that the Russian-born scientist Vladimir Zworkyn of their New Jersey laboratories was credited by the media with inventing television. Farnsworth’s reputation was saved by his good San Francisco friend, Donald Lippincott, formerly a Magnavox engineer and now an attorney, who in 1930 defended the young inventor’s intellectual property against RCA. Lippincott exemplified a tradition of heavy intellectual-property litigation in the Bay Area that would be crucial to the development of the high-tech industry run by young inventors.”

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The Prehistory of Office Automation – IBM-NCR-Burroughs 1910s – 1930s AD

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The Prehistory of Office Automation

“Elsewhere (mainly in New York and Detroit) the frantic growth in statistical and bookkeeping activities, bootstrapped by the Census Bureau of the US government, was fueling a new industry: calculating machines. In 1924 Hollerith’s Tabulating Machine Company of New York changed its name to International Business Machines (IBM). Other inventors created useful business machines too. In 1922 National Cash Register (NCR) of Ohio sold more than two million electrical cash registers (about 90% of the market). In 1925 Burroughs of Detroit introduced a portable adding machine (still weighing quite a bit but “portable” by a strong man).”

“The Bay Area had its share of glory during the boom of office calculators. In 1911 Rodney and Alfred Marchant of Oakland began selling one of the many clones of the Odhner arithmometer, and in 1918 their chief engineer, the Swedish-born Carl Friden, built an original model that established the company as one of the most innovative in calculators. In 1934 Friden would start building his own electromechanical calculators, some of the most sophisticated and most expensive on the market.”

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San Francisco Bay Area Culture and Society – 1849 to 1919 AD

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Culture and Society

“In the 1890s most of California was still unexplored. A vast area of the state, the Sierra Nevada, was virtually inaccessible. The fascination for finding out what lay inside drew men from all backgrounds but especially scientists. In 1860 (just a few years after becoming a state of the USA) California had created the Office of State Geologist and had hired Josiah Whitney, professor of geology at Harvard University, to lead it. Between 1863 and 1864 Whitney had led expeditions that had included botanists, zoologists, paleontologists and topographers to explore the High Sierra, “discovering” what today are known as Yosemite and King’s Canyon national parks. Another geologist, Clarence King, who had traveled overland to California in 1863 from Yale, had become the first white man to spot Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the USA outside of Alaska. The mountains were largely explored by the least documented of all explorers: the European shepherds, who probably created many of the trails used today by mountaineers. The High Sierra was an ideal terrain for sheep, thanks to its many meadows and relatively mild climate. One such shepherd was John Muir, originally from Scotland, a nomadic sawyer who had reached San Francisco in 1868, having traveled by steamship from Florida via Cuba and Panama. He settled in Yosemite for a few years and eventually became influential enough to convince the USA to create Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks in 1890, but never actually hiked what is today North America’s most famous trail, the John Muir Trail from Yosemite to Mt Whitney. The idea for that trail must be credited to Theodore Solomons, born and raised in San Francisco, who in 1892 set out to independently explore regions of the Sierra Nevada that no white man had seen before. The 1890s were the golden age of Sierra exploration.”

“San Francisco was still living with the legacy of the “Gold Rush” of 1849. The “Barbary Coast,” as the red-light district was known, was a haven for brothels and nightclubs. The thousands of Chinese immigrants who had been lured to California to build railways, mine gold and grow food had fathered a new generation that settled in “Chinatown,” the largest Chinese community outside Asia. The port served steamers bound for the coast or Asia as well as ferry traffic to the bay and the Sacramento River, and supported a large community of teamsters and longshoremen that also made it the most unionized city in the US.”

“Dubious characters still roamed the landscape: the career of despised media tycoon William Randolph Hearst got its start in 1887 when his father handed him the San Francisco Examiner. But there were also honest enterprising men, such as Amadeo Giannini, who founded the Bank of Italy in 1904 to serve the agricultural economy of the Santa Clara Valley (it was later renamed Bank of America). At the turn of the century one could already sense San Francisco’s predisposition towards rebellion: John Muir’s Sierra Club (formed in 1892) led the first environmental protest when the state planned a dam in Yosemite; the American Anti-Imperialist League (formed in 1898) organized the first anti-war movement when the US went to war against Spain (a war largely architected by Hearst” and the New York Times “to sell more copies of his newspapers); and the Union Labor Party (formed in 1901) became the first pseudo-socialist party to win a mayoral election in a US city. In 1871 Susan Mills and her husband Cyrus founded Mills College in Oakland, the first women’s college in the western states.”

“Most of this was irrelevant to the rest of the nation. San Francisco made the national news in 1906 because of the earthquake and fire that leveled most of it.”

“California was also blessed with some of the most reformist governors in the country, notably Hiram Johnson (1911-1917), who democratized California and reduced the power of the political barons, and William Stephens (1917-1923), who did something similar to curb the political power of unions. Their policies focused on raising the living standards of the middle class, and therefore of the suburbs.”

“Immigration made San Francisco a cosmopolitan city. There had already been Italians when California was still under Mexican rule. They were fishermen and farmers. By the turn of the century, old and new Italians had created an Italian quarter in North Beach. Then came the Japanese, who replaced the Chinese in agriculture. At the beginning of the century San Francisco boasted two Japanese-language newspapers: “The New World” and the “Japanese American.” Mexicans immigrated from 1910 to 1930, following the Mexican revolution and the construction of a railway.”

“San Francisco was also becoming friendly toward the arts. In 1902 the California Society of Artists was founded by a cosmopolitan group that included the Mexican-born painter Xavier Martinez and the Swiss-born painter and muralist Gottardo Piazzoni. At the California School of Design, many students were influenced by muralist and painter Arthur Mathews, one of the founders of the American Arts and Crafts Movement that tried to reconcile craftsmanship with industrial consumerism (a major national trend after the success of Boston’s 1897 American Arts and Crafts Exhibition). A symbolic event took place after the 1906 earthquake when Mathews opened his own shop (both as a craftsman and a painter) and started publishing one of the earliest art magazines in town, the Philopolis. Another by-product of the American Arts and Crafts Movement was Oakland’s California College of the Arts and Crafts founded in 1907 by one of the movement’s protagonists, Frederick Meyer.”

“More and more artists were moving to San Francisco. They created the equivalent of Paris’ Montmartre artistic quarter at the four-story building called “Montgomery Block” (also nicknamed “Monkey Block”), the epicenter of San Francisco’s bohemian life. Another art colony was born in the coastal city of Carmel, about two hours south of San Francisco. Armin Hansen opened his studio there in 1913. Percy Gray located there in 1922 and impressionist master William Merritt Chase taught there in 1914.”

“Architects were in high demand both because of the fortunes created by the railway and because of the reconstruction of San Francisco after the earthquake (for example, Willis Polk). Mary Colter studied in San Francisco before venturing into her vernacular architecture for the Southwest’s desert landscape. The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915, held in San Francisco, for which Bernard Maybeck built the exquisite Palace of Fine Arts, symbolized the transformation that had taken place in the area: from emperors and gold diggers to inventors and investors (and, soon, defense contractors). A major sculptor was Ralph Stackpole, who in 1913 founded the California Society of Etchers and in 1915 provided sculptures for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, notably the Palace of Varied Industries (demolished after the exposition). Influenced by the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, during the 1920s Maynard Dixon created an original Western style of painting. It was at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition that the painters of the “Society of Six” (August Gay, Bernard von Eichman, Maurice Logan, Louis Siegriest, and William Clapp) were seduced by impressionism. Last but not least, in 1921 Ansel Adams began to publish his photographs of Yosemite. It was another small contribution to changing the reputation of that part of California and the birth of one of the most vibrant schools of photography in the world. Literature, on the other hand, lagged behind, represented by Frank Pixley’s literary magazine the “Argonaut,” located at Montgomery Block.”

“Classical music was represented by its own school of iconoclasts. From 1912 to 1916, Charles Seeger taught unorthodox techniques such as dissonant counterpoint at UC Berkeley. Starting with “The Tides of Manaunaun” (1912), pianist Henry Cowell, a pupil of Seeger, began exploring the tone-cluster technique. That piece was based on poems by John Osborne Varian, the father of Russell and Sigurd Varian, who had moved to Halcyon, a utopian community founded in 1903 halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles by the theosophists William Dower and Francia LaDue. Varian’s sons Russell and Sigurd later became friends with Ansel Adams through their mutual affiliation with the Sierra Club.”

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