History Java Software Engineering

AspectJ Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) Extension for Java Invented – 2001 AD

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AspectJ is an aspect-oriented programming (AOP) extension created at PARC for the Java programming language. It is available in Eclipse Foundation open-source projects, both stand-alone and integrated into Eclipse. AspectJ has become a widely used de facto standard for AOP by emphasizing simplicity and usability for end users. It uses Java-like syntax, and included IDE integrations for displaying crosscutting structure since its initial public release in 2001.

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History Software Engineering

Smalltalk Programming Language Invented by Alan Kay of Xerox PARC – Second ever Object-Oriented – First IDE – 1972 AD

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Smalltalk was the second ever object-oriented programming language and the first true IDE, developed by Alan Kay and others at Xerox PARC in 1972.

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See also Xerox Alto from Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) – 1973 AD

Artificial Intelligence History Software Engineering

TRON Movie – 1982 AD

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Steven Lisberger (b. 1951), Bonnie MacBird (b. 1951), Alan Kay (b. 1940)

“Like a modern Alice in Wonderland, game designer Kevin Flynn is kidnapped and beamed into computer company ENCOM’s mainframe, where he is forced to fight for his life as a player in the games he created.

The video-arcade craze was in full swing when Walt Disney Productions released TRON in the summer of 1982. The movie resonated with an audience enamored with the world of technology, just as “high-tech” became accessible to the masses. While the look and feel of the movie worked brilliantly for some, the story was simply too ahead of its time for others. Critical reviews were mixed. With its glowing space-age combat suits and high-concept narrative about a regular guy doing battle with anthropomorphized software, the movie was celebrated by technophiles and panned by many critics as a stunning visual display without a credible plot.

TRON broke ground in computer animation. It was the first movie to include whole scenes that were synthetically generated, totaling about 20 minutes of the movie, as well as scenes that seamlessly mapped live-action actors into a computer-generated world. Several animators refused to work on TRON, fearful that digital animation would soon put conventional, hand-drawn animation out of business. At the time, the technique was considered so radical that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences disqualified the movie as a contender for a special effects award nomination because it felt that computer-aided visuals were a cheat.

Computer pioneer Alan Kay from Xerox PARC was a consultant on the film and helped to edit the movie script on the “Alto”—a prototype personal computer. Written by Bonnie MacBird and directed by Steven Lisberger, the film did not do well at the box office. The arcade games based upon the movie were incredibly popular, however, and out-grossed the movie — a harbinger of things to come. The film went on to develop a cult following among computer game geeks and spawned a franchise including the sequel TRON: Legacy, released in 2010.”

SEE ALSO Rossum’s Universal Robots (1920), Star Trek Premieres (1966), Xerox Alto (1973)

Poster from the movie TRON, written by Bonnie MacBird and directed by Steven Lisberger.

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Hardware and Electronics History Networking

Ethernet Commercially Available Invented by Bob Metcalfe of 3Com – 1980 AD

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Commercially Available Ethernet

Robert Metcalfe (b. 1946), David Boggs (b. 1950), Chuck Thacker (1943–2017), Butler Lampson (b. 1943)

“While working on his PhD thesis, Robert Metcalfe ran across a paper on the ALOHANET wireless computer network that had been developed at the University of Hawaii. Eager to find out more, he flew to Hawaii to learn from ALOHANET’s inventors.” (B07C2NQSPV)

“Whereas ALOHANET sent data packets through the air, Metcalfe’s design sent radio frequency energy through coaxial cables that had multiple taps, one for each computer, and a “terminator” at each end. Called Ethernet, after the nonexistent “ether” that many 19th-century scientists thought was the medium through which light propagated, the network proved to be a simple, cheap, and fast way to connect computers within a room or a building—a local area network (LAN).” (B07C2NQSPV)

“Although Metcalfe is sometimes called the inventor of the Ethernet, the actual patent was filed by Xerox, where Metcalfe worked during and after graduate school, with David Boggs, Chuck Thacker, and Butler Lampson listed as co-inventors. Metcalfe left Xerox in 1979 and formed 3Com, which worked with DEC, Intel, and Xerox to make Ethernet a computing-industry standard. The Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) adopted Ethernet as the IEEE 802.3 standard in June 1983.” (B07C2NQSPV)

“The Ethernet standard specifies both the physical connection between computers and the logical structure of the packets that the network carries. But Ethernet doesn’t specify the higher-level network protocols. As a result, DEC and Xerox invented their own network layers—DECNet and XNS (Xerox Network Systems). All of these proprietary networking technologies eventually lost out to Internet Protocol (IP) running over Ethernet.” (B07C2NQSPV)

“By the end of the 1980s, companies were introducing versions of Ethernet that could run over twisted-pair wiring instead of coaxial cable. Eventually standardized as 10Base-T, twisted pair dramatically reduced wiring costs and increased reliability, because each computer had its own wire that led back to an Ethernet “hub.” The original Ethernet ran at 10 megabits per second, but in 1995 so-called “fast Ethernet” running over twisted pair at speeds of 100 megabits per second was introduced, followed by a gigabit in 1999, and 10 gigabits per second (running over optical cables) in 2002.” (B07C2NQSPV)

SEE ALSO: First Wireless Network (1971)

Ethernet cables and network switches.

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