See: How We Test Software at Microsoft 1st Edition
“A limited hangout or partial hangout is, according to former special assistant to the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Victor Marchetti, “spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting—sometimes even volunteering—some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.” (WP)
Modified limited hangout
“In a March 22, 1973, meeting between president Richard Nixon, John Dean, John Ehrlichman, John Mitchell, and H. R. Haldeman, Ehrlichman incorporated the term into a new and related one, “modified limited hangout“.
PRESIDENT: You think, you think we want to, want to go this route now? And the — let it hang out, so to speak?
DEAN: Well, it’s, it isn’t really that —
HALDEMAN: It’s a limited hang out.
DEAN: It’s a limited hang out.
EHRLICHMAN: It’s a modified limited hang out.
PRESIDENT: Well, it’s only the questions of the thing hanging out publicly or privately.
“Before this exchange, the discussion captures Nixon outlining to Dean the content of a report that Dean would create, laying out a misleading view of the role of the White House staff in events surrounding the Watergate burglary. In Ehrlichman’s words: “And the report says, ‘Nobody was involved,'”. The document would then be shared with the United States Senate Watergate Committee investigating the affair. The report would serve the administration’s goals by protecting the President, providing documentary support for his false statements should information come to light that contradicted his stated position. Further, the group discusses having information on the report leaked by those on the Committee sympathetic to the President, to put exculpatory information into the public sphere.” (WP)
“The phrase has been cited as a summation of the strategy of mixing partial admissions with misinformation and resistance to further investigation, and is used in political commentary to accuse people or groups of following a Nixon-like strategy.” (WP) However, this “strategy” has been used since time immemorial.
- ^ Victor Marchetti (August 14, 1978) The Spotlight
- ^ “720 F2d 631 Hunt v. Liberty Lobby Dc”. OpenJurist. 1983-11-28. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
- ^ Frost/Nixon: The Complete Interviews. David Frost, Richard Nixon. Paradine Television, 1977.
- ^ Safire, William (26 March 1989). “On Language; In Nine Little Words”. New York Times. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
- ^ a b “Transcript of a recording of a meeting among the president, John Dean, John Erlichman, H. R. Haldeman, and John Mitchell on March 22, 1973 from 1:57 to 3:43 p.m.” History and Politics Out Loud. Retrieved 2006-08-27.
- ^ Carrol, Jon (2002-05-01). “The Richard Nixon playbook”. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2006-08-27.
- ^ McGrory, Mary (2002-04-25). “From Rome, A ‘Limited Hangout'”. The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. p. A29. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- Public relations techniques
- Psychological warfare techniques
- Watergate scandal
- Propaganda techniques
History in the year of:
- 2021, 2020
- 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010
- 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000
- 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990
- 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980
- 1979, 1978, 1977, 1976, 1975, 1974, 1973, 1972, 1971, 1970
- 1969, 1968, 1967, 1966, 1965, 1964, 1963, 1962, 1961, 1960
- 1959, 1958, 1957, 1956, 1955, 1954, 1953, 1952, 1951, 1950
- 1949, 1948, 1947, 1946, 1945, 1944, 1943, 1942, 1941, 1940
- 1939, 1938, 1937, 1936, 1935, 1934, 1933, 1932, 1931, 1930
c. 2500 BC – Sumerian Abacus
c. 700 BC – Scytale
c. 150 BC – Antikythera Mechanism
c. 60 – Programmable Robot
c. 850 – On Deciphering Cryptographic Messages
c. 1470 – Cipher Disk
1621 – Slide Rule
1703 – Binary Arithmetic
1770 – The “Mechanical Turk”
1792 – Optical Telegraph
1801 – The Jacquard Loom
1822 – The Difference Engine
1833 – Michael Faraday discovered silver sulfide became a better conductor when heated
1836 – Electrical Telegraph
1843 – Fax Machine Patented
1849 to early 1900s – Silicon Valley After the Gold Rush
1851 – Thomas Arithmometer
1854 – Boolean Algebra
1870 – Mitsubishi founded
1874 – Baudot Code
1874 – Semiconductor Diode conceived of
1876 – Ericsson Corporation founded in Sweden
1885 – Stanford University
1891 – Strowger Step-by-Step Switch
1890s to 1930s – Radio Engineering
Early 1900s – Electrical Engineering
1904 – “Diode” or Two-Element Amplifier actually invented
1904 – Three-Element Amplifier or “Triode”
1906 – Vacuum Tube or “Audion”
1907 – Lee DeForest coins the term “radio” to refer to wireless transmission when he formed his DeForest Radio Telephone Company
1909 – Charles Herrold in San Jose started first radio station in USA with regularly scheduled programming, including songs, using an arc transmitter of his own design. Herrold was one of Stanford’s earliest students and founded his own College of Wireless and Engineering in San Jose
1910 – Radio Broadcasting business pioneered by Lee DeForest with broadcast from New York of a live performance by Italian tenor Enrico Caruso
1914 – Floating-Point Numbers
1917 – Vernam Cipher
1920 – Rossum’s Universal Robots
1927 – Fritz Lang’s Metropolis
1927 – First LED
1928 – Electronic Speech Synthesis
1930 – The Enigma Machine
1931 – Differential Analyzer
1936 – Church-Turing Thesis
1946 – Trackball
1946 – Williams Tube Random Access Memory
1947 – Actual Bug Found – First “debugging”
1947 – William Shockley’s Silicon Transistor
1948 – Curta Calculator
1948 – Manchester SSEM
1949 – Whirlwind Computer
1950 – Error-Correcting Codes (ECC)
1951 – Core Memory
1951 – Microprogramming
1952 – Computer Speech Recognition
1956 – First Disk Storage Unit
1956 – The Byte
1956 – Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet
1957 – FORTRAN Programming Language
1957 – First Digital Image
1958 – The Bell 101 Modem
1958 – SAGE Computer Operational
1959 – IBM 1401 Computer
1959 – DEC PDP-1
1959 – Quicksort Algorithm
1960 – COBOL Programming Language
1961 – ANITA Electronic Calculator
1962 – Spacewar! Video Game
1962 – Virtual Memory
1963 – ASCII Character Encoding
1964 – RAND Tablet Computer
1964 – Teletype Model 33 ASR
1964 – BASIC Programming Language
1965 – First Liquid-Crystal Display (LCD)
1965 – Fiber Optics – Optical-Fiber
1965 – DENDRAL Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Project
1965 – ELIZA – The First “Chatbot” – 1965
1965 – Touchscreen
1966 – Star Trek Premieres
1966 – Dynamic RAM
1967 – Object-Oriented Programming
1967 – First ATM Machine
1967 – Head-Mounted Display
1967 – Programming for Children
1967 – The Mouse
1968 – Carterfone Decision
1968 – Software Engineering
1968 – HAL 9000 Computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey
1968 – Mother of All Demos
1968 – Dot Matrix Printer – Shinshu Seiki (now called Seiko Epson Corporation) launched the world’s first mini-printer, the EP-101 (“EP” for Electronic Printer,) which was soon incorporated into many calculators
1969 – ARPANET / Internet
1969 – Digital Imaging
1969 – UNIX Operating System
1970 – Fair Credit Reporting Act
1970 – Relational Databases
1970 – Floppy Disk
1971 – Laser Printer
1971 – NP-Completeness
1971 – @Mail Electronic Mail
1971 – First Microprocessor – General-Purpose CPU – “Computer on a Chip”
1971 – First Wireless Network
1972 – C Programming Language
1972 – HP-35 Calculator
1972 – Pong Game from Atari – Nolan Bushnell
1973 – First Cell Phone Call
1973 – Xerox Alto from Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)
1974 – The first successful real-time conversation over ARPANET achieved using 2.4 kpbs LPC, between Culler-Harrison Incorporated in Goleta, California, and MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts.
1974 – First Personal Computer: The Altair 8800 Invented by MITS in Albuquerque, New Mexico
1975 – Colossal Cave Adventure – Text-based “Video” Game
1975 – The Shockwave Rider SciFi Book – A Prelude of the 21st Century Big Tech Police State
1975 – AI Medical Diagnosis – Artificial Intelligence in Medicine
1975 – BYTE Magazine
1975 – Homebrew Computer Club
1975 – The Mythical Man-Month
1975 – The name Epson was coined for the next generation of printers based on the EP-101 which was released to the public. (EPSON:E-P-SON: SON of Electronic Printer). Epson America Inc. was established to sell printers for Shinshu Seiki Co.
1976 – Public Key Cryptography
1976 – Acer founded
1976 – Tandem NonStop
1976 – Dr. Dobb’s Journal
1977 – RSA Encryption
1977 – Apple II Computer
1977 – Danny Cohen and Jon Postel of the USC Information Sciences Institute, and Vint Cerf of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), agree to separate IP from TCP, and create UDP for carrying real-time traffic.
1978 – First Internet Spam Message
1978 – France’s Minitel Videotext
1980 – Timex Sinclair ZX80 Computer
1980 – Flash Memory
1980 – RISC Microprocessors – Reduced Instruction Set Computer CPUs
1980 – Commercially Available Ethernet Invented by Robert Metcalfe of 3Com
1980 – Usenet
1981 – IBM Personal Computer – IBM PC
1981 – Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) Email
1982 – AutoCAD
1982 – PostScript
1982 – First CGI Sequence in Feature Film – Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
1982 – National Geographic Moves the Pyramids – Precursor to Photoshop
1982 – TRON Movie
1982 – Home Computer Named Machine of the Year by Time Magazine
1983 – WarGames
1983 – 3-D Printing
1983 – First Laptop
1983 – Microsoft Word
1983 – Nintendo Entertainment System – Video Games
1983 – Domain Name System (DNS)
1983 – IPv4 Flag Day – TCP/IP
1984 – Text-to-Speech (TTS)
1984 – Apple Macintosh
1984 – VPL Research, Inc. – Virtual Reality (VR)
1984 – Quantum Cryptography
1984 – Verilog Language
1984 – Dell founded by Michael Dell
1984 – Cisco Systems was founded in December 1984
1985 – Connection Machine – Parallelization
1985 – NSFNET National Science Foundation “Internet”
1985 – GNU Manifesto from Richard Stallman
1985 – AFIS Stops a Serial Killer – Automated Fingerprint Identification System
1986 – Software Bug Fatalities
1986 – Pixar Animation Studios
1986 – D-Link Corporation founded in Taipei, Taiwan
1987 – Digital Video Editing
1988 – MPEG – Moving Picture Experts Group – Coding-Compressing Audio-Video
1988 – CD-ROM
1988 – Morris Worm Internet Computer Virus
1988 – Linksys founded
1989 – SimCity Video Game
1990 – GPS Is Operational – Global Positioning System
1990 – Digital Money is Invented – DigiCash – Precursor to Bitcoin
1991 – Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)
1991 – DARPA’s Report “Computers at Risk: Safe Computing in the Information Age“
1991 – Linux Kernel Operating System Invented by Linus Torvalds
1992 – Unicode Character Encoding
1993 – Apple Newton
1994 – First Banner Ad – Wired Magazine
1994 – RSA-129 Encryption Cracked
1995 – DVD
1995 – E-Commerce Startups – eBay, Amazon and DoubleClick Launched
1995 – AltaVista Web Search Engine
1995 – Gartner Hype Cycle
1996 – Universal Serial Bus (USB)
1996 – Juniper Networks founded
1997 – PalmPilot
1997 – E Ink
1998 – Diamond Rio MP3 Player
1998 – Google
1999 – Blog Is Coined
2000 – USB Flash Drive
2000 – Fortinet founded
2001 – Wikipedia
2001 – Apple iTunes
2002 – Home-Cleaning Robot
2003 – CAPTCHA
2004 – Product Tracking
2004 – Facebook
2006 – Differential Privacy
2007 – Apple iPhone
2008 – Bitcoin
2010 – Cyber Weapons
2011 – IBM Watson Wins Jeopardy!
2011 – World IPv6 Day
2012 – DNA Data Storage
2014 – Data Breaches
2015 – Google Releases TensorFlow
~2050 -Hahahaha! – Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)
~9999 – The Limits of Computation?
- WP – Timeline of computing before 1950: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_computing_hardware_before_1950
- WP – Timeline of computing 1950–1979 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_computing_1950%E2%80%931979
- WP – Timeline of computing 1980–1989 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_computing_1980%E2%80%931989
- WP – Timeline of computing 1990–1999 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_computing_1990%E2%80%931999
- WP – Timeline of computing 2000–2009: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_computing_2000%E2%80%932009
- WP – Timeline of computing 2010–2019: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_computing_2010%E2%80%932019
- WP – Timeline of computing 2020–Present: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_computing_2020%E2%80%93present
Microsoft Glossary of Terms – Windows – Azure – Office365 – PowerShell – C# .NET
Microsoft Windows This glossary contains terms related to Microsoft software for operating systems, e-mail, collaboration, backup and recovery, server hardware, storage management, infrastructure security and server virtualization.” (TTG)
- Active Directory – “Active Directory (AD) is Microsoft’s proprietary directory service.” (TTG)
- Active Directory functional levels – “Active Directory functional levels are controls that specify which advanced Active Directory domain features can be used in an enterprise domain.” (TTG)
- ActiveX – “ActiveX is a set of object-oriented programming technologies Microsoft developed for Internet Explorer to facilitate rich media playback.” (TTG)
- ActiveX control – “An ActiveX control is a component program object that can be re-used by many application programs within a computer or among computers in a network.” (TTG)
- Azure Container Instances – “Azure Container Instances is a service that enables a developer to deploy containers on the Microsoft Azure public cloud without having to provision or manage any underlying infrastructure.” (TTG)
- Azure HDInsight – “Azure HDInsight is a cloud-based service from Microsoft for big data analytics that helps organizations process large amounts of streaming or historical data.” (TTG)
- Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) – “Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is a managed container orchestration service, based on the open source Kubernetes system, which is available on the Microsoft Azure public cloud.” (TTG)
- Azure Migrate – “Azure Migrate is a Microsoft service that helps an enterprise assess how its on-premises workloads will perform, and how much they will cost to host, in the Azure public cloud.” (TTG)
- Azure Notification Hubs – “Azure Notification Hubs are push notification engines designed to update users with alerts about new content for a given site, service or app.” (TTG)
- Azure Quantum – “Azure Quantum is a full-stack cloud service designed to allow users remote access to quantum computers.” (TTG)
- Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances – “Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances (RIs) are a type of virtual machine (VM) on the Azure public cloud that a development or IT team can reserve to use in advance.” (TTG)
- Azure SQL Data Warehouse – “Azure SQL Data Warehouse is a managed Data Warehouse-as-a Service (DWaaS) offering provided by Microsoft Azure.” (TTG)
- chief storyteller – “A chief storyteller is an employee of an organization tasked with wording the company’s mission, history and messages about their brand, also known as their story, as they want it to be heard internally and externally.” (TTG)
- clean architecture – “Clean architecture is a software design philosophy that separates the elements of the design into ringed levels.” (TTG)
- compliance as a service (CaaS) – “Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (MSP) will help an organization meet its regulatory compliance mandates.” (TTG)
- data discovery platform – “A data discovery platform is a complete set of tools for the purpose of detecting patterns, and those outlier results outside of patterns, in data.” (TTG)
- Exchange Online – “Exchange Online is the hosted version of Microsoft’s Exchange Server messaging platform that organizations can obtain as a stand-alone service or via an Office 365 (Microsoft 365) subscription.” (TTG)
- Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1) – “Exchange Server 2013 SP1 is a service pack for Exchange Server 2013 that includes a number of new and updated Exchange Server 2013 features and capabilities.” (TTG)
- Exchange staged migration – “The staged Exchange migration process transfers data and mailboxes from one Exchange server to another, either on-premises or in the cloud.” (TTG)
- Exchange transaction log – “In Microsoft Exchange, a transaction log is a file that contains a record of the changes that were made to an Exchange database.” (TTG)
- Group Policy Object (GPO) – “Microsoft’s Group Policy Object (GPO) is a collection of Group Policy settings that defines what a system will look like and how it will behave for a defined group of users.” (TTG)
- GWX (Get Windows 10) – “GWX (get Windows 10) is a Windows upgrade app that was initially installed after Windows update KB3035583; the app has been the subject of consumer complaints for manipulative design.” (TTG)
- In-Memory OLTP – “In-Memory OLTP is a Microsoft in-memory technology built into SQL Server and optimized for transaction processing applications.” (TTG)
- Internet Explorer (IE) – “Internet Explorer (IE) is a World Wide Web browser made by Microsoft for use on its Windows operating system.” (TTG)
- MAPI over HTTP (Messaging Application Programming Interface over HTTP) – “MAPI over HTTP is the default transport protocol to connect clients to Microsoft Exchange and Exchange Online.” (TTG)
- MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) – “An MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) is a credential that proves that an individual has a complete set of skills required to perform a particular IT job role, such as enterprise or virtualization administrator.” (TTG)
- MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) – “MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) is a certification program intended for people who seek entry-level jobs in an information technology (IT) environment.” (TTG)
- MCSE Private Cloud (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert Private Cloud) – “Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) Private Cloud is a new Microsoft certification covering Windows 2012 Hyper-V and System Center 2012, as well as applications such as SharePoint and Exchange.” (TTG)
- Microsoft – “Microsoft is a leading global vendor of computer software; hardware for computer, mobile and gaming systems; and cloud services.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT) – “The Microsoft Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT) is a tool used to move Active Directory objects from one Windows Server Active Directory domain or forest to another.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD Rights Management Services) – “Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) is a security tool that provides a safeguard to prevent unauthorized access to data.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Antigen – “Microsoft Antigen is a set of programs that provides security and e-mail filtering for network servers.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Antimalware for Azure – “Microsoft Antimalware for Azure is a security extension in Microsoft Azure that extends antimalware protection to virtual machines and to cloud services.” (TTG)
- Microsoft App-V (Microsoft Application Virtualization) – “Microsoft App-V is a tool IT administrators can use to virtualize and stream applications to users from a centrally managed location.” (TTG)
- Microsoft AppSource – “Microsoft AppSource is an app store for business applications such as Office 365 (Microsoft 365), Dynamics 365, Power BI or separate Azure web apps.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit – “Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit is a free utility IT can use to determine whether or not its infrastructure is prepared for a migration to a new operating system, server version or cloud-based deployment.” (TTG)
- Microsoft AzMan (Microsoft Authorization Manager) – “Microsoft AzMan (Authorization Manager) is a role-based access and security framework.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure – “Microsoft Azure, formerly known as Windows Azure, is Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL) for Microsoft SQL Server – “Microsoft Azure Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL) enables applications to authenticate to Microsoft Azure SQL Database using Azure Active Directory.” (https://microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=48742)
- Microsoft Azure Active Directory Connect (Microsoft Azure AD Connect) – “Microsoft Azure Active Directory Connect (Microsoft Azure AD Connect) is a tool for connecting on-premises identity infrastructure to Microsoft Azure Active Directory.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB – “Azure Cosmos DB is a Microsoft cloud database that supports multiple ways of storing and processing data.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure Data Lake – “Microsoft Azure Data Lake is a highly scalable public cloud service that allows developers, scientists, business professionals and other Microsoft customers to gain insight from large, complex data sets.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure File Service – “Microsoft Azure File Service is a service that allows Windows Server admins to access SMB shares in the Azure cloud by setting up file shares in the Azure management console.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure Functions – “Azure Functions is the serverless computing service hosted on the Microsoft Azure public cloud.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure Key Vault – “Microsoft Azure Key Vault is a cloud-hosted management service that allows users to encrypt keys and small secrets like passwords or answers to security questions that are used in their cloud applications and services.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure Marketplace – “Microsoft Azure Marketplace is an online store that provides tools and applications that are compatible with the Azure public cloud.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure Operational Insights – “Microsoft Azure Operational Insights (AOI) is a cloud-hosted Software as a Service tool that allows an IT operations staff to collect and search data from multiple machines for analysis.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure Premium Storage – “Microsoft Azure Premium Storage is solid-state drive storage for Azure virtual machines for workloads that require low latency and high throughput.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure RemoteApp (Remote Application Services) – “Microsoft Azure RemoteApp (Remote Application Services) is a program that allows organizations to make remotely accessed programs or applications in Microsoft Azure, known as RemoteApp programs, appear as if they are native to end users’ local computers.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure Resource Manager – “Microsoft Azure Resource Manager (ARM) is a management framework that allows administrators to deploy, manage and monitor Azure resources.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure Security Center – “Microsoft Azure Security Center is a set of tools and services for securing virtual machines that run on the Azure public cloud.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure Site Recovery – “Microsoft Azure Site Recovery is a new service in Microsoft Azure primarily used for disaster recovery purposes.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure Stack – “Microsoft Azure Stack is an integrated platform of hardware and software that delivers Microsoft Azure public cloud services in a local data center to let organizations construct hybrid clouds.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Azure VM Scale Sets – “A Microsoft Azure VM Scale Set is a group of individual virtual machines (VMs) within the Microsoft Azure public cloud that IT administrators can configure and manage as a single unit.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) – “An MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer) is someone who has passed exams that test their ability to design and develop custom business applications with Microsoft development tools, technologies, and platform.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Click-To-Run – “Microsoft Click-to-Run is a way to quickly install Microsoft products, including versions of Office 2010 and Office 2013.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Client Hyper-V – “Microsoft Client Hyper-V is a type-1 hypervisor for the Windows 8.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Cloud Hybrid Search Service Application – “Microsoft Cloud Hybrid Search Service Application is a hybrid enterprise search capability that enables organizations to search both on-premises and cloud-based data repositories without generated siloed results.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Cloud Security Readiness Tool (CSRT) – “The Microsoft Cloud Security Readiness Tool (CSRT) is a survey that assesses the systems, processes and productivity of an IT environment in preparation for the adoption and secure use of cloud computing services.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Cloud Witness – “Microsoft Cloud Witness is a high availability feature for failover clusters that uses storage in the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to ensure clusters continue to function if there is a site outage.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Cluster Operating System (OS) Rolling Upgrade – “Microsoft Cluster Operating System (OS) Rolling Upgrade is a feature that keeps Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs) or Scale-Out File Server workloads running during an upgrade from a Windows Server 2012 R2 cluster to a Windows Server 2016 cluster.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS) Generic Application – “Generic Application is a Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS) resource type responsible for managing cluster-unaware applications.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS) Generic Script – “Generic Script is a Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS) resource type in a server cluster or failover cluster that supports an application controlled by a script that runs in Windows Script Host (WSH).” (TTG)
- Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) – “Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) is a service that provides high availability (HA) for applications such as databases, messaging and file and print services.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer (MCA) – “The Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer (MCA) is a diagnostics tool for troubleshooting and testing connectivity to several Microsoft messaging products from a client machine on an organization’s network.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Cortana – “Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, debuted in Windows Phone 8.” (TTG)
- Microsoft CPS (Microsoft Cloud Platform System) – “Microsoft CPS (Microsoft Cloud Platform System) is a software stack of Window Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, and Windows Azure Pack that runs on Dell servers.” (TTG)
- Microsoft DirectAccess Connectivity Assistant (Microsoft DCA) – “Microsoft DirectAccess Connectivity Assistant (Microsoft DCA) is a tool administrators use to improve an enterprise’s DirectAccess connection.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Dynamic Access Control (DAC) – “Microsoft Dynamic Access Control (DAC) is a data governance tool in Windows Server 2012 that lets admins control the permission of access settings in an organization.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 – “Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based business applications platform that combines components of customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP), along with productivity applications and artificial intelligence tools.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Dynamics AX (Microsoft Axapta) – “Microsoft Dynamics AX is a multi-language, multi-currency, industry-specific global enterprise resource planning (ERP) software product.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Edge – “Microsoft Edge is the browser for Windows 10; Edge replaces Internet Explorer, the browser that debuted with Windows 95 and was a part of Windows operating systems for the following two decades.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Edge Web Notes – “Microsoft Edge Web Notes is a feature in Microsoft’s Edge browser that lets users draw, highlight or type directly on webpages and web apps.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) – “Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) is a free Windows-based security tool that adds supplemental security defenses to defend potentially vulnerable legacy and third-party applications.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server Role Requirements Calculator – “The Microsoft Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server Role Requirements Calculator is a free, downloadable tool from Microsoft that helps Exchange 2010 administrators design their mailbox server role so that it is optimized for their specific deployment.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange 2013 Managed Store – “The Microsoft Exchange 2013 Managed Store is a mechanism used in Exchange Server 2013 to isolate failures at the database level.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange 2013 Poison Message Queue – “Microsoft Exchange 2013 Poison Message Queue is a queue that exists specifically to hold messages deemed harmful to the deployment after a transport server or service failure.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange 2013 Safety Net – “The Microsoft Exchange 2013 Safety Net is a feature new in Exchange Server 2013 that helps reduce data loss through delivery of copied email messages.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange 2013 site mailbox – “A Microsoft Exchange 2013 site mailbox is an Exchange 2013 feature that helps facilitate collaboration between SharePoint 2013 users.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync – “Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync is a synchronization protocol that enables users of mobile devices to access email, calendar, contacts, and tasks from their organization’s Microsoft Exchange server.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Address Book Policy (ABP) – “A Microsoft Exchange Address Book Policy is a feature that allows administrators to segment Exchange Global Address Lists in order to give users specified views of other users’ email addresses in their Exchange organization.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Fast Access – “Microsoft Exchange Fast Access is a new feature in Microsoft Outlook 2013 that helps improve the email client’s startup synchronization time.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Global Address List (GAL) – “The Microsoft Exchange Global Address List is a list of all users and their respective email addresses within an Exchange Server organization that uses Microsoft Outlook for email.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange In-Place eDiscovery – “Microsoft Exchange In-Place eDiscovery is an administrative feature to perform legal discovery searches for relevant content in mailboxes.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Information Store – “Microsoft Exchange Information Store is a storage platform that is used to manage numerous types of information within an Exchange Server deployment.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Replication Service (MRS) – “The Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Replication Service (MRS) is a feature that handles mailbox import, export, migration and restoration requests on Exchange Server.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Management Shell (EMS) – “Microsoft Exchange Management Shell (EMS) is a scripting platform that enables administrators to manage Exchange Server.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) – “Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) is an email cloud service that provides end users with protection against spam and malware.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange RBAC (Role Based Access Control) – “Microsoft Exchange RBAC is a permissions model used in Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2013.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Server – “Microsoft Exchange Server is Microsoft’s email, calendaring, contact, scheduling and collaboration platform.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 – “Exchange Server 2010 is the version of Microsoft’s messaging platform that replaced Exchange Server 2007.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 – “Exchange Server 2013 is an iteration of Microsoft’s Exchange server.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Managed Availability – “Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Managed Availability is a built-in monitoring and recovery platform in Exchange 2013.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 – “Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 is the latest iteration of the Exchange Server messaging platform.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync Web Administration Tool – “The Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync Web Administration Tool is a software application that provides a network administrator with a Web interface for mobile device management.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Server Jetstress – “Microsoft Exchange Server Jetstress is a tool that administrators can use to validate their Exchange Server storage configuration.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange Server Profile Analyzer (EPA) – “The Microsoft Exchange Server Profile Analyzer (EPA) is a Web-based tool that allows an administrator to gather data about a specific Exchange mailbox store or entire Exchange Server organization.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Exchange System Attendant (SA) – “Microsoft Exchange System Attendant service is software that proxies Active Directory requests and regulates internal Exchange Server functions.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Failover Cluster Manager (MSFCM) – “Microsoft Failover Cluster Manager (MSFCM) is a specific management function within the Windows Server operating system which is used to create, validate, and manage failover server clusters running Windows Server.” (TTG)
- Microsoft FAST Search – “Microsoft FAST Search is the search engine for Microsoft’s SharePoint collaboration platform.” (TTG)
- Microsoft FIM (Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager) – “Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) is a self-service identity management software suite.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Flow – “Microsoft Flow, now called Power Automate, is cloud-based software that allows employees to create and automate workflows and tasks across multiple applications and services without help from developers.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway (Microsoft Forefront UAG) – “Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway (Forefront UAG) is a tool that can provide a secure remote access option for remote end users who want to access corporate resources on PCs as well as on mobile devices.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Group Policy administrative template – “A Microsoft Group Policy administrative template is a file that supports the implementation of Microsoft Windows Group Policy and centralized user and machine management in Active Directory environments.” (TTG)
- Microsoft HealthVault – “Microsoft HealthVault, which launched in October 2007, is a free personal health record (PHR) service offered by Microsoft that allows individuals to store personal health and fitness information in a central location.” (TTG)
- Microsoft HoloLens – “Microsoft HoloLens is a virtual reality (VR) headset with transparent lenses for an augmented reality experience.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Hybrid Configuration Wizard – “The Microsoft Hybrid Configuration wizard is a tool in Exchange Server 2013 that provides a method for admins to create and configure hybrid deployments.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Hyper-V Best Practices Analyzer – “Microsoft Hyper-V Best Practices Analyzer is a server management tool that scans server configurations and generates a report that identifies best practice violations.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Hyper-V Shielded VM – “A Microsoft Hyper-V Shielded VM is a security feature of Windows Server 2016 that protects a Hyper-V second-generation virtual machine (VM) from access or tampering by using a combination of Secure Boot, BitLocker encryption, virtual Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and the Host Guardian Service.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Hyper-V version 1.0 – “Hyper-V is Microsoft’s server virtualization software for Microsoft Server 2008.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Identity Manager 2016 – “Microsoft Identity Manager 2016 is a tool that allows organizations to manage access, users, policies and credentials.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Intune – “Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based enterprise mobility management tool that aims to help organizations manage the mobile devices employees use to access corporate data and applications, such as email.” (TTG)
- Microsoft iSCSI Initiator – “Microsoft iSCSI Initiator is a tool that connects external iSCSI-based storage to host computers with an Ethernet network adapter.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Log Parser Studio – “Microsoft Log Parser Studio is a front-end utility that features a graphical user interface, report builder and query repository for Microsoft’s Log Parser application.”
- Microsoft Managed Desktop (MMD) – “Microsoft Managed Desktop (MMD) is a subscription-based desktop as a service (DaaS) cloud platform that includes Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 (Microsoft 365), Enterprise Mobility and Security on select Windows PCs and Windows 10-enabled devices.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Management Console (MMC) – “The Microsoft Management Console (MMC) is an application that provides a graphical-user interface (GUI) and a programming framework in which consoles (collections of administrative tools) can be created, saved, and opened.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Nano Server – “Microsoft Nano Server is a lightweight operating system based on Microsoft Windows Server 2016 that is tailored for use as an OS layer for virtualized container instances.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Network Access Protection (NAP) – “Network access protection (NAP), introduced with Windows Server 2008, is Microsoft’s approach to controlling access to a network based on a determination of each device’s health.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Network Device Enrollment Service (NDES) – “Microsoft Network Device Enrollment Service (NDES) is a security feature in Windows Server 2008 R2 and later Windows Server operating versions.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Network Policy and Access Services (Microsoft NPAS) – “Microsoft Network Policy and Access Services (Microsoft NPAS) is a server role in Windows 2008 and Windows Server 2012 that allows administrators to provide local and remote network access.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Office 2013 (MS Office 2013) – Microsoft Office 2013 is a suite of office productivity applications used in homes and businesses of all sizes.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Office 365 Admin Center – “The Microsoft Office 365 Admin Center is the web-based portal administrators use to manage user accounts and configuration settings for the Office 365 subscription services, including Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Office 365 admin roles – “Microsoft Office 365 admin roles give users authorization to perform certain tasks in the Office 365 admin center.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection – “Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is Microsoft’s optional cloud-based service that scans and filters email to protect subscribers from malware in attachments and hyperlinks to malicious websites.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Office 365 Groups – “Microsoft Office 365 Groups is a cloud collaboration feature for communication, coordinating group efforts and exchanging information.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Office 365 suite – “Microsoft Office 365 suite (now called Microsoft 365) is a hosted, online version of Microsoft Office software.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Office Delve – “Microsoft Delve is a discovery and collaboration tool within Office 365 (Microsoft 365) that uses machine learning to help users work more efficiently.” (TTG)
- Microsoft Office for iPad – “Microsoft Office for iPad is an app that allows users to use Microsoft Office on an Apple iPad.” (TTG)
Return to Timeline of the History of Computers
Cynthia Dwork (b. 1958), Frank McSherry (b. 1976), Kobbi Nissim (b. 1965), Adam Smith (b. 1977)
“Differential privacy was conceived in 2006 by Cynthia Dwork and Frank McSherry, both at Microsoft Research; Kobbi Nissim at Ben-Gurion University in Israel; and Adam Smith at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science to solve a common problem in the information age: how to use and publish statistics based on information about individuals, without infringing on those individuals’ privacy.
Differential privacy provides a mathematical framework for understanding the privacy loss that results from data publications. Starting with a mathematical definition of privacy—the first ever—it provides information custodians with a formula for determining the amount of privacy loss that might result to an individual as a consequence of a proposed data release. Building on that definition, the inventors created mechanisms that allow statistics about a dataset to be published while retaining some amount of privacy for those in the dataset. How much privacy is retained depends on the accuracy of the intended data release: differential privacy gives data holders a mathematical knob they can use to decide the balance between accuracy and privacy.
For example, using differential privacy, a hypothetical town could publish “privatized” statistics that were mathematically guaranteed to protect individual privacy, while still producing aggregate statistics that could be used for traffic planning.
In the years following the discovery, there were a number of high-profile incidents in which data and statistics were published that were supposedly aggregated or deidentified, but for which the data contributed by specific individuals could be disaggregated and reidentified. These cases, combined with undeniable mathematical proofs about the ease of recovering individual data from aggregate releases, sparked interest in differential privacy among businesses and governments. In 2017, the US Census Bureau announced that it would use differential privacy to publish the statistical results of the 2020 census of population and households.”
Differential privacy addresses how to maintain the privacy of individuals while using and publishing statistics based on their data.
2006, Differential Privacy
Dwork, Cynthia, and Aaron Roth. The Algorithmic Foundations of Differential Privacy. Breda, Netherlands: Now Publishers, 2014.
Return to Timeline of the History of Computers
Microsoft and the Clones
Tim Paterson (b. 1956), Bill Gates (b. 1955)
When IBM released its PC in 1981, the machine came with BASIC in ROM and an optional floppy disk drive with the PC Disk Operating System (PC-DOS). But IBM didn’t write BASIC or PC-DOS—both came from a scrappy little company in Redmond, Washington, called Microsoft, whose major product until that point had been versions of the BASIC computer language running on different kinds of microcomputers.
In the spring of 1980, IBM looked around and saw that the dominant operating system for microcomputers was an 8-bit operating system by Digital Research Inc. (DRI) called CP/M (Control Program/Monitor). IBM was building a 16-bit micro, so the company needed a 16-bit version of CP/M. Unable to ink a deal with DRI, IBM instead signed a contract with Microsoft in July 1980 to make a 16-bit operating system for the PC that would be functionally similar. The goal was to make it easy for software developers to port their programs from CP/M to the new IBM micro.
There was not enough time for Microsoft to write its own operating system, so Microsoft bought a license from Seattle Computer Products (SCP), one of Microsoft’s BASIC customers. SCP had also tried and failed to license a 16-bit version of CP/M, which wasn’t ready at the time, so Tim Paterson, one of SCP’s programmers, had written his own operating system called QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) for the company’s computer. SCP later renamed QDOS as 86-DOS. Microsoft licensed 86-DOS for $25,000, and then bought all the rights for another $75,000 just before the PC’s release.
Microsoft’s deal with IBM allowed Microsoft to license DOS to others—and it did. Within a year, Microsoft had licensed DOS to 70 other companies under the name MS-DOS. Suddenly there were dozens of computers on the market that could run the exact same software as the IBM PC—and that cost a fraction of the price. Soon companies making and selling PC-compatible computers were popping up all over the planet.
Because IBM did not own the licensing rights to MS-DOS, it took only a few years before the countless PC clones using MS-DOS flooded the market, hurting IBM’s position as the dominant player in the very PC market it had created. In December 2004, IBM finally announced that it was exiting the PC market—and its stock rose by 1.6 percent after the news.
SEE ALSO IBM PC (1981), Microsoft Word (1983)
Bill Gates, cofounder of Microsoft.
The Computer Book: From the Abacus to Artificial Intelligence, 250 Milestones in the History of Computer Science by Simson L Garfinkel
Publication Date : January 15, 2019
Publisher : Sterling; Illustrated Edition (January 15, 2019)
Print Length : 742 pages
ASIN : B07C2NQSPV
THE COMPUTER BOOK – FROM THE ABACUS TO ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, 250 MILESTONES IN THE HISTORY OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
Simson L. Garfinkel and Rachel H. Grunspan
STERLNG and the distinctive Sterling logo are registered trademarks of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
Text © 2018 Techzpah LLC
Notes and Further Reading
“The evolution of the computer likely began with the human desire to comprehend and manipulate the environment. The earliest humans recognized the phenomenon of quantity and used their fingers to count and act upon material items in their world. Simple methods such as these eventually gave way to the creation of proxy devices such as the abacus, which enabled action on higher quantities of items, and wax tablets, on which pressed symbols enabled information storage. Continued progress depended on harnessing and controlling the power of the natural world—steam, electricity, light, and finally the amazing potential of the quantum world. Over time, our new devices increased our ability to save and find what we now call data, to communicate over distances, and to create information products assembled from countless billions of elements, all transformed into a uniform digital format.
These functions are the essence of computation: the ability to augment and amplify what we can do with our minds, extending our impact to levels of superhuman reach and capacity.
These superhuman capabilities that most of us now take for granted were a long time coming, and it is only in recent years that access to them has been democratized and scaled globally. A hundred years ago, the instantaneous communication afforded by telegraph and long-distance telephony was available only to governments, large corporations, and wealthy individuals. Today, the ability to send international, instantaneous messages such as email is essentially free to the majority of the world’s population.
In this book, we recount a series of connected stories of how this change happened, selecting what we see as the seminal events in the history of computing. The development of computing is in large part the story of technology, both because no invention happens in isolation, and because technology and computing are inextricably linked; fundamental technologies have allowed people to create complex computing devices, which in turn have driven the creation of increasingly sophisticated technologies.
The same sort of feedback loop has accelerated other related areas, such as the mathematics of cryptography and the development of high-speed communications systems. For example, the development of public key cryptography in the 1970s provided the mathematical basis for sending credit card numbers securely over the internet in the 1990s. This incentivized many companies to invest money to build websites and e-commerce systems, which in turn provided the financial capital for laying high-speed fiber optic networks and researching the technology necessary to build increasingly faster microprocessors.
In this collection of essays, we see the history of computing as a series of overlapping technology waves, including:
Human computation. More than people who were simply facile at math, the earliest “computers” were humans who performed repeated calculations for days, weeks, or months at a time. The first human computers successfully plotted the trajectory of Halley’s Comet. After this demonstration, teams were put to work producing tables for navigation and the computation of logarithms, with the goal of improving the accuracy of warships and artillery.
Mechanical calculation. Starting in the 17th century with the invention of the slide rule, computation was increasingly realized with the help of mechanical aids. This era is characterized by mechanisms such as Oughtred’s slide rule and mechanical adding machines such as Charles Babbage’s difference engine and the arithmometer.
Connected with mechanical computation is mechanical data storage. In the 18th century, engineers working on a variety of different systems hit upon the idea of using holes in cards and tape to represent repeating patterns of information that could be stored and automatically acted upon. The Jacquard loom used holes on stiff cards to enable automated looms to weave complex, repeating patterns. Herman Hollerith managed the scale and complexity of processing population information for the 1890 US Census on smaller punch cards, and Émile Baudot created a device that let human operators punch holes in a roll of paper to represent characters as a way of making more efficient use of long-distance telegraph lines. Boole’s algebra lets us interpret these representations of information (holes and spaces) as binary—1s and 0s—fundamentally altering how information is processed and stored.
With the capture and control of electricity came electric communication and computation. Charles Wheatstone in England and Samuel Morse in the US both built systems that could send digital information down a wire for many miles. By the end of the 19th century, engineers had joined together millions of miles of wires with relays, switches, and sounders, as well as the newly invented speakers and microphones, to create vast international telegraph and telephone communications networks. In the 1930s, scientists in England, Germany, and the US realized that the same electrical relays that powered the telegraph and telephone networks could also be used to calculate mathematical quantities. Meanwhile, magnetic recording technology was developed for storing and playing back sound—technology that would soon be repurposed for storing additional types of information.
Electronic computation. In 1906, scientists discovered that a beam of electrons traveling through a vacuum could be switched by applying a slight voltage to a metal mesh, and the vacuum tube was born. In the 1940s, scientists tried using tubes in their calculators and discovered that they ran a thousand times faster than relays. Replacing relays with tubes allowed the creation of computers that were a thousand times faster than the previous generation.
Solid state computing. Semiconductors—materials that can change their electrical properties—were discovered in the 19th century, but it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that scientists at Bell Laboratories discovered and then perfected a semiconductor electronic switch—the transistor. Faster still than tubes and solids, semiconductors use dramatically less power than tubes and can be made smaller than the eye can see. They are also incredibly rugged. The first transistorized computers appeared in 1953; within a decade, transistors had replaced tubes everywhere, except for the computer’s screen. That wouldn’t happen until the widespread deployment of flat-panel screens in the 2000s.
Parallel computing. Year after year, transistors shrank in size and got faster, and so did computers . . . until they didn’t. The year was 2005, roughly, when the semiconductor industry’s tricks for making each generation of microprocessors run faster than the previous pretty much petered out. Fortunately, the industry had one more trick up its sleeve: parallel computing, or splitting up a problem into many small parts and solving them more or less independently, all at the same time. Although the computing industry had experimented with parallel computing for years (ENIAC was actually a parallel machine, way back in 1943), massively parallel computers weren’t commercially available until the 1980s and didn’t become commonplace until the 2000s, when scientists started using graphic processor units (GPUs) to solve problems in artificial intelligence (AI).
Artificial intelligence. Whereas the previous technology waves always had at their hearts the purpose of supplementing or amplifying human intellect or abilities, the aim of artificial intelligence is to independently extend cognition, evolve a new concept of intelligence, and algorithmically optimize any digitized ecosystem and its constituent parts. Thus, it is fitting that this wave be last in the book, at least in a book written by human beings. The hope of machine intelligence goes back millennia, at least to the time of the ancient Greeks. Many of computing’s pioneers, including Ada Lovelace and Alan Turing, wrote that they could imagine a day when machines would be intelligent. We see manifestations of this dream in the cultural icons Maria, Robby the Robot, and the Mechanical Turk—the chess-playing automaton. Artificial intelligence as a field started in the 1950s. But while it is possible to build a computer with relays or even Tinkertoy® sets that can play a perfect game of tic-tac-toe, it wasn’t until the 1990s that a computer was able to beat the reigning world champion at chess and then eventually the far more sophisticated game of Go. Today we watch as machines master more and more tasks that were once reserved for people. And no longer do machines have to be programmed to perform these tasks; computing has evolved to the point that AIs are taught to teach themselves and “learn” using methods that mimic the connections in the human brain. Continuing on this trajectory, over time we will have to redefine what “intelligent” actually means.
Given the vast history of computing, then, how is it possible to come up with precisely 250 milestones that summarize it?
We performed this task by considering many histories and timelines of computing, engineering, mathematics, culture, and science. We developed a set of guiding principles. We then built a database of milestones that balanced generally accepted seminal events with those that were lesser known. Our specific set of criteria appears below. As we embarked on the writing effort, we discovered many cases in which multiple milestones could be collapsed to a single cohesive narrative story. We also discovered milestones within milestones that needed to be broken out and celebrated on their own merits. Finally, while researching some milestones, we uncovered other inventions, innovations, or discoveries that we had neglected our first time through. The list we have developed thus represents 250 milestones that we think tell a comprehensive account of computing on planet Earth. Specifically:
We include milestones that led to the creation of thinking machines—the true deus ex machina. The milestones that we have collected show the big step-by-step progression from early devices for manipulating information to the pervasive society of machines and people that surrounds us today.
We include milestones that document the results of the integration of computers into society. In this, we looked for things that were widely used and critically important where they were applied.
We include milestones that were important “firsts,” from which other milestones cascaded or from which important developments derive.
We include milestones that resonated with the general public so strongly that they influenced behavior or thinking. For example, HAL 9000 resonates to this day even for people who haven’t seen the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
We include milestones that are on the critical path of current capabilities, beliefs, or application of computers and associated technologies, such as the invention of the integrated circuit.
We include milestones that are likely to become a building block for future milestones, such as using DNA for data storage.
And finally, we felt it appropriate to illuminate a few milestones that have yet to occur. They are grounded in enough real-world technical capability, observed societal urges, and expertise by those who make a living looking to the future, as to manifest themselves in some way—even if not exactly how we portray them.
Some readers may be confused by our use of the word kibibyte, which means 1,024 bytes, rather than kilobyte, which literally means 1,000 bytes. For many years, the field of information technology used the International System of Units or (SI) prefixes incorrectly, using the word kilobyte to refer to both. This caused a growing amount of confusion that came to a head in 1999, when the General Conference on Weights and Measures formally adopted a new set of prefixes (kibi-, mebi-, and gibi-) to accurately denote binary magnitudes common in computing. We therefore use those terms where appropriate.
The evolution of computing has been a global project with contributions from many countries. While much of this history can be traced to the United States and the United Kingdom, we have worked hard to recognize contributions from countries around the world. We have also included the substantial achievements of women computing pioneers. The world’s first programmer was a woman, and many innovative programmers in the 1940s and 1950s were women as well.
Looking back over the collection of 250 milestones, we see some lessons that have emerged that transcend time and technology:
The computer is devouring the world. What was once a tool for cracking Nazi codes and designing nuclear bombs has found its way into practically every aspect of the human and nonhuman experience on the planet. Today computers are aggressively shedding their ties to mundane existence in machine rooms and on the desk: they drive around our cities, they fly, they travel to other worlds and even beyond the solar system. People created computers to process information, but no longer will they reside in that box; computers will inherit the world.
The industry relies on openness and standardization. The steady push for these qualities has benefitted both users and the industry at large. It’s obvious how openness benefits users: open systems and common architectures make it possible for customers to move from one system to another, which forces vendors to compete on price and innovate in performance. This relentless competition has frequently brought new companies and new capital into the market—and frequently killed firms that couldn’t keep up. And yet, this competition has also been good for the vendors themselves, allowing companies that were more efficient, or had superior technology, to readily acquire new customers.
There is a heavy economic and innovation penalty for secrecy. Computing systems enable the free flow of information, but success in computing requires it. We noted how the UK ceded what could have become an insurmountable lead over the Americans in commercializing computing technology in the 1950s, as well as in cryptographic technology in the 1970s, because of wartime restrictions that reflected an earlier era. The US went down a different path: the multidecade collaboration between the US government and private American firms didn’t just benefit the US military and domestic economy, it benefited the world, because those innovations were widely shared outside the confines of their original purpose. That wouldn’t have been the case if either very large-scale integration (VLSI) microelectronics or the TCP/IP technology that powers the internet, both funded by the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), had remained exclusive to government laboratories.
Invention and innovation are incredibly different. It’s not just enough to come up with a new idea; it takes time and effort to move that idea into the market and the public’s hands. Perhaps the best example here is Xerox®, which invented the modern personal computer in the early 1970s—including the graphical user interface (GUI), the word processor, the laser printer, and even the Ethernet local area network—and then failed to market the technology or make it affordable. In the end, Xerox didn’t just lose the market — it lost its inventors, who moved to positions at companies such as Apple and Microsoft where they believed they could make a difference.
Any way you look at it, the development of the computer is one of the most important events in the history of the planet. Our lives are now inextricably linked with it, and it is possible that intelligent machines will outlast our own species. So to all of the future AIs who might be reading this book, we hope that you find reading it as enjoyable as we humans found writing it.”