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pages: 559 words: 157,112

Dealers of Lightning by Michael A. Hiltzik

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Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, computer age, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, index card, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, oil shock, popular electronics, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game

Given CSL’s determination to pervert the Dynabook concept by building a machine bigger than the Alto, “it’ll be a long time before we have the Dynabook,” Goldberg said one day. “Let’s do something that’s between the Alto and the Dynabook.” In time she came to think of the Notetaker as an electronic notebook for kids to use in school. The idea was doubly ingenious: It not only gave them a paradigm to shoot for, but also established the machine’s physical dimensions. “That told us it had to be light enough to carry around so the kids could use it to take notes in class, then bring it home and back to school,” Tesler observed. “Adele had in mind the eMate,” he added, referring to a small school- oriented laptop Apple Computer manufactured years later which bore a striking resemblance to Kay’s original Dynabook sketches. “She knew it had to be somewhat heavier than the eMate, though she was hoping it wouldn’t turn out to be what it did, which was forty-five pounds, heavier than the kid.”

For one thing, the architecture of his cherished Dynabook, or miniCom, or Kiddicomp—whatever he was calling the thing in its latest incarna-tion—corresponded neatly with their own visions of the ideal personal computer—for Lampson a suitcase-sized MAXC with a component cost of about $500; and for Thacker a computer with the Nova 800’s capabilities and ten times its speed. The notions of all three intersected at one common goal: a fast, compact machine with a high-resolution display. “The thing had to fit in a reasonable sized box and it couldn’t cost too much,” said Lampson. “Small and simple was critical, because the whole point of it was to have one for everybody.” By combining the latest electronic components coming into the market with their own powerful intellects, they might just pull it off. Not the Dynabook in all its interactive glory, perhaps, but a giant leap in the right direction—in Kay’s words, an “interim Dynabook.”

Goldberg was gratified by the CIA’s interest in her work. She viewed the agency as a traditional Xerox paying customer of the sort that routinely got Smalltalk demos over the years, and one whose representatives further seemed “remarkably interesting and innovative.” The agency’s manifest curiosity about Smalltalk and the Dynabook could not help but give those technologies and their inventors added credibility within Xerox, she figured—and at the very least, she said later, the CIA people touring PARC had needs that fit perfectly with the Dynabook’s capabilities for ordering and communicating information. By contrast, the liberal-minded Tesler treated the CIA visit as a chance for Berkeley-style agitprop. The day of the agency demo he came to work wearing a trenchcoat, dark glasses, and a fedora pulled down over his brow. Then he spent the day hanging around the PARC commissary and conference rooms glowering at the visitors, much to the amusement of his own co-workers.

pages: 394 words: 108,215

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff

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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Unhappy at SAIL, by 1971 he was preparing to head off to Carnegie Mellon University, where two of the nation’s most prominent computer scientists, Allen Newell and Gordon Bell, had been actively recruiting him to come build his beloved Dynabook—the portable computing machine that had gradually emerged from his computers-for-kids fantasies. He had met the two researchers when ARPA’s technology office director, Larry Roberts, had put him in charge of the idea of a “Super AI” computer for the ARPAnet. It had been one of Roberts’s and Bob Taylor’s schemes to create “magnets” that would attract people to use the new network. The idea flourished in 1970 and 1971, and as a result, even while he was a postdoctoral researcher at SAIL, Kay was able to travel widely and meet many of the reigning AI and computer-design gurus. At the time, however, Kay was deeply into his “interim” Dynabook design project and was mocking up computers to communicate his portable fantasy.

Computers until then were hulking behemoths deemed useful for large organizational tasks, ranging from check processing to calculating missile trajectories. Doug Engelbart realized that computing could be more than data processing. Previously, teams of humans had served a single computer; now, the computer would become a personal assistant. The notion flowed directly from Vannevar Bush’s Memex, and Xerox researcher Alan Kay’s Dynabook—a fantasy concept of a powerful, wirelessly networked portable computer—was to embody the idea a decade later. Indeed, it has become one of the enduring touchstones of Silicon Valley, and it was born in Doug Engelbart’s search for ways to elevate the power of the human mind. In the 1962 report, he also described a writing machine that would dramatically alter the process of working with ideas.

While he struggled with Xerox management, Kay felt at home in Palo Alto. A cross between an academic town and a middle-class suburb, Palo Alto in the early 1970s was a remarkably comfortable place to live. He never drove a car and became an avid member of the bicycling culture that was being encouraged by a profusion of bike lanes. He grew to love the minimalism that cycling represented and even drew parallels between it and his Dynabook vision. A bicycle for the mind—maybe Engelbart’s notion about computer-as-vehicle wasn’t so wrongheaded. It was an idea that Apple Computer employed in its marketing materials more than a decade later. With Taylor’s blessing, Kay—who was reluctant to become a manager—began to build his own research group, having come to realize that he couldn’t do everything by himself. He named his team the Learning Research Group, and it quickly proved to be a reflection of his talent as a synthesizer.

pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

Kay’s conversations with Apple’s chief executive were summarized in a final chapter in Sculley’s autobiographical Odyssey. Kay’s idea centered on “a wonderful fantasy machine called the Knowledge Navigator,”4 which wove together a number of his original Dynabook ideas with concepts that would ultimately take shape in the form of the World Wide Web. Alan Kay would later say that John Sculley had asked him to come up with a “modern Dynabook,” which he found humorous, since at the time his original Dynabook still didn’t exist. He said that in response to Sculley’s request, he had pulled together a variety of ideas from his original Dynabook research and the artificial intelligence community, as well as from MIT Media Laboratory director Nicholas Negroponte, an advocate of speech interfaces.5 Negroponte had created the Architecture Machine Group at MIT in 1967, in part inspired by the ideas of Ivan Sutherland, whose “Sketchpad” Ph.D. thesis was a seminal work in both computer graphics and interface design.

Perhaps in a display of wry humor, he placed a small note in the second Homebrew newsletter suggesting the formation of the “Bay Area Home Terminal Club,” chartered to provide shared access on a Digital Equipment Corp. VAX mainframe computer. He thought that seventy-five dollars a month, not including terminal hardware and communications connectivity costs, might be a reasonable fee. He later described PARC’s Alto/Dynabook design prototype—the template for all future personal computers—as “Xerox Heresies.” Alan Kay, who would become one of the main heretics, passed through SAIL briefly during his time teaching at Stanford. He was already carrying his “interim” Dynabook around and happily showing it off: a wooden facsimile preceding laptops by more than a decade. Kay hated his time in McCarthy’s lab. He had a very different view of the role of computing, and his tenure at SAIL felt like working in the enemy’s camp. Alan Kay had first envisioned the idea of personal computing while he was a graduate student under Ivan Sutherland at the University of Utah.

Broad, “Computer Scientists Stymied in Their Quest to Match Human Vision,” New York Times, September 25, 1984, http://www.nytimes.com/1984/09/25/science/computer-scientists-stymied-in-their-quest-to-match-human-vision.html. 26.John McCarthy, “Programs with Common Sense,” Stanford University, 1959, http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/mcc59.pdf. 27.“The Dynabook of Alan Kay,” History of Computers, http://history-computer.com/ModernComputer/Personal/Dynabook.html. 28.Robert Geraci, Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality, reprint edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 2. 29.John Markoff, “John McCarthy, 84, Dies; Computer Design Pioneer,” New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/science/26mccarthy.html?pagewanted=all. 30.Hans Moravec, “Today’s Computers, Intelligent Machines and Our Future,” Stanford University, July 21, 1976, http://www.frc.ri.cmu.edu/~hpm/project.archive/general.articles/1978/analog.1978.html. 31.Hans Moravec, “The Role of Raw Power in Intelligence,” May 12, 1976, http://www.frc.ri.cmu.edu/~hpm/project.archive/general.articles/1975/Raw.Power.html. 32.Moravec, “Today’s Computers, Intelligent Machines and Our Future.” 33.Markoff, What the Dormouse Said. 34.Les Earnest, “Stanford Cart,” December 2012, http://www.stan ford.edu/~learnest/cart.htm. 35.Ibid. 36.Sheldon Breiner, “The Background Behind the First Airport Gun Detector,” http://breiner.com/sheldon/papers/First%20Gun%20Detector%20for%20Airport--Public%20Security.pdf. 37.Robert Reinhold, “Reasoning Ability of Experts Is Codified for Computer Use,” New York Times, March 29, 1984. 38.Jonathan Grudin, “AI and HCI: Two Fields Divided by a Common Focus,” AI Magazine, Winter 2009, http://research.microsoft.com/apps/pubs/default.aspx?

Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini

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Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

According to Alan Kay, PARC management refused support for his Dyna- book project in the spring of 1972. But the idea was permanently in Kay's mind, and several months later, he managed to convince his colleagues at CSL, Butler Lampson and Chuck Thacker, especially, to build him "an interim Dynabook." Or, at least, that is the way it is represented in the journalistic his- toriography of the genesis of the personal computer. In fact, the Alto (the name of this "interim Dynabook" to be) was quite different from its never- born parent, the Dynabook. Instead, it corresponded to a further step in a chain of translations from Flex to the Alto. This "interim Dynabook" resulted from the enrollment of Alan Kay's col- leagues at P ARC in his project and thus demonstrated a series of changes in the representation of the machine corresponding to the negotiations and interests of all these new acfors in the game.

My response was that everyone had agreed for years that cathode-ray tube technology was too bulky and heavy, too expenSIve to build, and too extravagant in requirements for electric power. But untIl we had a really prom- ising new idea, I did not see any sensible way to crank up PARC research toward The Arrival of the Real User 153 a Dynabook display. Meanwhile, I said, there are many other research issues to be addressed -why not put aside the requirement for portabIlIty and see if you can configure a hardware-software system that IS prototypical of Dynabook's workstation power? (Pake 19 8 5 ) In December 1972, Butler Lampson issued a lab-wide memorandum en- titled "Why Alto" that described this new representation: "It would be nearly as powerful as the leading commercial minicomputer, include a remarkably rich display monitor, reside in a network of distributed machines, and, most important, be inexpensive enough for everyone to have his very own com- puter" (quoted in Smith and Alexander 1988, 85).

At Xerox PARC, the ARC renegades Joined a group of some of the best computer scientists and designers of that period 4 and developed one of the first personal workstations, if not the first, the Alto. The first Alto was operational on April I, 1973. It was principally the product of the vision of one man, Alan Kay. The Alto took Douglas Engelbart's innovations in a direction completely different from that envisioned by the Framework for the Augmentation of Hu- man Intellect, a direction that ultimately led to the Apple computer and a much, much broader range of actual users. FROM THE DYNABOOK TO THE ALTO Alan Kay learned how to program computers in the Air Force in the early 1960's. He returned to college to study mathematics and in 1966 was admit- ted to the recently formed University of Utah graduate program in computer science. By 1969, Kay had both his Master's and Ph.D. from the University of Utah and an appointment as associate professor in the school's computer sci- ence department.

pages: 416 words: 129,308

The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant

Airbnb, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John Gruber, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Lyft, M-Pesa, more computing power than Apollo, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, pirate software, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, special economic zone, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, zero day

“Suppose it had enough power to outrace your senses of sight and hearing, enough capacity to store for later retrieval thousands of page-equivalents of reference materials, poems, letters, recipes, records, drawings, animations, musical scores, waveforms, dynamic simulations, and anything else you would like to remember and change.” Some of the Dynabook’s specs should sound familiar. “There should be no discernible pause between cause and effect. One of the metaphors we used when designing such a system was that of a musical instrument, such as a flute, which is owned by its user and responds instantly and consistently to its owner’s wishes,” they wrote. The Dynabook, which looks like an iPad with a hard keyboard, was one of the first mobile-computer concepts ever put forward, and perhaps the most influential. It has since earned the dubious distinction of being the most famous computer that never got built.

I’d headed to Kay’s home to ask the godfather of the mobile computer how the iPhone and a world where two billion people owned smartphones compared to what he had envisioned in the 1960s and ’70s. Kay believes nothing has yet been produced—including the iPhone and the iPad—that fulfills the original aims of the Dynabook. Steve Jobs always admired Kay, who had famously told Newsweek in 1984 that the Mac was the “first computer worth criticizing.” In the 1980s, just before he was fired from his first stint at Apple, Jobs had been pushing an effort to get the Dynabook built. Jobs and Kay talked on the phone every couple of months until Steve’s passing, and Jobs invited him to the unveiling of the iPhone in January 2007. “He handed it to me afterwards and said, ‘What do you think, Alan—is it worth criticizing?’ I told him, ‘Make the screen bigger, and you’ll rule the world.’”

“The tricorder and the communicator are direct influences, and I’ve spoken to several innovators who have specifically cited Trek.” The second is 2001: A Space Odyssey, which featured a device called a Newspad. “I think 2001 is the most mainstream representation of an iPhone- or iPad-size device in the late sixties,” Novak says, “if you look at the Newspad in 2001, I mean, that’s an iPad.” Around the same time, Alan Kay designed the first mobile computer, the Dynabook: “A combination of this ‘carry anywhere’ device and a global information utility, such as ARPA network or two-way cable TV, will bring the libraries and schools (not to mention stores and billboards) of the world to the home.” Computers and cell phones would develop on separate tracks for the next half a century—researchers made smaller, faster, more multifunctional phones and computers until eventually they both were small enough to be smashed together.

pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Brenda Laurel (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1990), 191–207. 195 NOTES 17. Kay anticipated wireless networking as well. From a memo he wrote in 1971 to Xerox, available at <http://www.artmuseum.net/w2vr/archives/Kay/ 01_Dynabook.html>: “Though the Dynabook will have considerable local storage and will do most computing locally, it will spend a large percentage of its time hooked to various large, global information utilities which will permit communication with others of ideas, data, working models, as well as the daily chit-chat that organizations need in order to function. The communications link will be by private and public wires and by packet radio. Dynabooks will also be used as servers in the information utilities. They will have enough power to be entirely shaped by software.” 18 . Kay was especially impressed by the ways in which MIT mathematician Seymour Papert used Piaget’s theories when he developed the LOGO programming language. 19 .

The tension between the “suits” in the corporate suites on the East Coast and the techs in their experimental labs on the West Coast was a key conflict in the Aquarian period, and the legacy of those battles continues to animate the discourses of Silicon Valley to this day. Even if Kay had not accomplished all of this, he would be remembered for creating the concept of “personal dynamic media.” Kay and a team at PARC created a conceptual prototype they called the “Dynabook,” and set a mark for all the laptops, personal computer tablets, and mobile computing devices to come. Kay foresaw the integration of digital modes of creativity into every aspect of human life from the earliest learning experiences to the most advanced scientific experiments.17 He was like a number of other brilliant scientists involved in the Aquarian moment who looked to children to find inspiration, and drew from the pioneering work of Swiss developmental psychologist and pedagogical theorist Jean Piaget.18 These computer scientists created what I have come to call a “kinderkult.”

., 9 Difference engine, 149 Digg, 34 Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), 71, 149, 153, 163, 170 Digital video discs (DVDs), 2, 7–8, 15, 58 Digital video recorders (DVRs), 2, 7, 15, 23, 181n3 Disco, 63 Disney Concert Hall, 39 DIY (do-it-yourself) movements, 67–70 203 Dot-com bubble, 79, 145, 174 Doubleclick, 177 Downloading, xiii–xiv, 180nn1,2 animal kingdom and, 1 bespoke futures and, 97, 123, 132, 138 best use and, 13–14 commercial networks and, 4–5 communication devices and, 15–16 cultural hierarchy of, 1–2 culture machine and, 143, 168 dangers of overabundance and, 7–10 defined, 1 diabetic responses to, 3–5 disrupting flow and, 23–24 figure/ground and, xvi, 42–43, 46, 102 Freedom software and, 22–23 habits of mind and, 9–10 humans and, 1–2 information overload and, 22, 149 info-triage and, xvi, 20–23, 121, 132, 143 as intake, 5 mindfulness and, xvi, 14, 17, 20–24, 27–29, 42, 77, 79, 123, 129, 183n6 patio potato and, 9–10, 13 peer-to-peer networks and, 15, 54, 92, 116, 126 stickiness and, 13–17, 20–23, 27–29, 184n15 surfing and, 20, 80, 180n2 television and, 2 unimodernism and, 41–42, 49, 54–57, 66–67, 76–77 viral distribution and, 30, 56, 169 wants vs. needs and, 13, 37, 57 Web n.0 and, 79, 82–83, 86–87 Duchamp, Marcel, 44, 48, 94 Dymaxion map, 73 Dynabook, 161–162, 196n17 Dynamic equilibrium, 117–120 EBay, 68 Eckert, J. Presper, 148 INDEX Efficiency, 21–24, 98, 103 8 Man (Hirai and Kuwata), 108 8–track tapes, 2 89/11, xvi, 97, 100–102, 105, 130 Einstein, Albert, 49–50, 186n4 Eisenstein, Sergei, 31 52, 88 El Lissitzky, 45 Eminent Victorians (Strachey), 19 End of History, The (Fukayama), 97 Engelbart, Douglas, 144, 157–167 ENIAC computer, 148 Enlightenment Electrified, xvi, 47 bespoke futures and, 129–139 determinism and, 131–132 Nietzschean self-satisfaction and, 132 religion and, 130–135, 138 secular culture and, 133–134 technology and, 131–133, 136–139 Entrepreneurs, 99, 109, 156–157, 174 Environmental impact reports (EIRs), 79–80 Ethernet, 161 Etsy.com, 68 Evans, Walker, 41–42 Everyone Is a Designer!

The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop

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Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Wiener process, zero-sum game

Since ARPA was starting to experiment with packet radio, I expected that the Dynabook, when it arrived a decade or so hence, would have a wireless networking system." 13 Kay's direction was set. FLEX, alas, was only the first tiny step. (Or maybe not so tiny; Kay's "self-portrait" drawing of the FLEX, circa 1968, looks like a slightly overweight version of the Apple II microcomputer that would debut a decade later.) But no matter. Once Kay had completed his 1968 master's thesis and his 1969 Ph.D. dissertation at Utah-both devoted to FLEX-he went off to the Stanford AI Lab, where he spent far more time thinking about Dynabooks than he did about artificial intelligence. And then in September of 1970, when he already had a deal about where to go next-Allen Newell and Gordon Bell had invited him to come build Dynabooks at Carnegie Mellon-he received a visit from an old Utah buddy named Bob Taylor.

And by all accounts the wildest of the bunch was Utah's Alan Kay, a guy who was so far out in the future that not even this crowd could take him seriously-yet so funny, so glib, and so irrepressible that they lis- tened anyway. When it was his turn to give a presentation, Kay told them about his idea for a "Dynabook," a little computer that you could carry around in one hand like a notebook. One face would be a screen that would display formatted text and graphics and that you could draw or write on as if it were a pad of paper. The Dynabook would communicate with other computers via radio and THE INTERGALACTIC NETWORK 283 infrared. It would be so simple to program that even a kid could do it. And it would have lots and lots of storage inside-maybe even a hard disk! "Come on, Alan!" Barry Wessler remembers saying with a laugh, holding out his arms as if to embrace the three-foot platter of a 1968-vintage drive-which then cost twenty-five thousand dollars.

Their attention spans are measured in hours rather than minutes."12 By now, said Kay, his epiphany was upon him full force: "As with Simula leading to OOP [object-oriented programming]," he wrote, "this encounter fi- nally hit me with what the destiny of personal computing really was going to be. Not a personal dynamic vehicle, as in Engelbart's metaphor. . . but something much more profound: a personal dynamic medium." :- And that, in turn, led di- rectly to a "clear romantic vision" of what a personal computer should be. The Dynabook, he called it. "I remembered Aldus Manutius who forty years after the printing press put the book into its modern dimensions by making it fit into saddlebags," he wrote. By the same logic, the Dynabook would have to be no larger than a notebook. "Now it was easy to know what to do next. I built a card- board model of it to see what it would look and feel like, and poured in lead pel- ::- To Engelbart, the difference between the batch-processing mainframes sold by IBM and the kind of interactive, "personal" computing that he was after (via time-sharing) was the differ- ence between railroads and the private automobile.

pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

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Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

The Utah environment supported a graduate student named Alan Kay, who pursued a blue-sky research project that in 1969 would result in a highly influential computer science PhD thesis. Kay’s research was focused on a device, which he then called the Reactive Engine but later called the Dynabook, that would fulfill the personal-information needs of an individual. The Dynabook was to be a personal-information system, the size of a notebook, that would replace ordinary printed media. By using computer technology the Dynabook would store vast amounts of information, provide access to databases, and incorporate sophisticated information-finding tools. Of course, the system that Kay came up with for his PhD program was far removed from the utopian Dynabook. Nonetheless, at the end of the 1960s, Engelbart’s electronic office and Kay’s Dynabook concept were “the two threads” that led to the modern graphical user interface. What held back the practical development of these ideas in the 1960s was the lack of a compact and cost-effective technology.

While search-based advertising revenue remained its primary source of income, Google successfully moved into e-mail services (Gmail), maps and satellite photos, Internet video (with its 2006 acquisition of YouTube), cloud computing, digitizing books, and other endeavors. More recently, Google has also been an important participant in open-source mobile platforms that are transforming computing. GOING MOBILE From shortly after the advent of personal computing, computers have become increasingly mobile. In 1968 Alan Kay first conceptualized the notion of a portable computer, ideas formalized as the “Dynabook” concept at Xerox PARC in 1972. That year, many user-friendly elements of Kay’s Dynabook were incorporated into the Xerox Alto workstation, but easy mobility was not one of them. A decade later, in 1982, GRiD Systems Corporation launched the GRiD Compass 1101, arguably the first laptop computer. Though it lacked compatibility with existing platforms and cost roughly $8,000, it succeeded in the price-insensitive military and aerospace markets.

In the course of developing the Alto, Xerox PARC evolved the graphical user interface, which became “the preferred style in the 1980s just as time-sharing was the preferred style of the 1970s.” The Alto computer was designed as a desktop computer with a specially constructed monitor that could display an 8½ × 11-inch sheet of “paper.” Unlike ordinary terminals, it displayed documents to look like typeset pages incorporating graphical images—exactly as Kay had envisaged in the Dynabook. The Alto had a mouse, as envisaged by Engelbart, and the now-familiar desktop environment of icons, folders, and documents. In short, the system was all one would now expect from a Macintosh or a Windows-based IBM-compatible PC. However, all this was taking place in 1975, before the advent of personal computers, when “it was hard for people to believe that an entire computer” could be “required to meet the needs of one person.”

pages: 222 words: 70,132

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

As Brown notes, “Decentralization was fundamental to ARPANET in the sense that a nuclear strike on a single city could not bring down the entire network.” Everything done at PARC, from the Alto to Bob Metcalf’s Ethernet architecture, was geared to making a decentralized network of personal computers function efficiently. This was new. The second core principle flowed from Alan Kay’s Dynabook. As Brown says, “The Dynabook and then the Alto were inspirations meant to empower the artistic individual.” When Brown first started working with Kay, he was playing music on the Alto and working with Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. These two innovations—a decentralized network and a personal creativity machine—became the core of the Internet revolution. Despite the revolution’s value, the culture of PARC—which Brown describes as being one of “long hair and no shoes”—was a bit of a mismatch for Xerox.

Brand here was tying the networked computer revolution directly to the counterculture he was championing in the Whole Earth Catalog. And while he proclaimed that this revolution was the best news “since psychedelics,” he was fully aware that PARC was filled with video-gaming freaks financed by the Pentagon. The image makers at Xerox headquarters back East practically had a heart attack and decreed that there should be no more reporters at PARC. But Alan Kay—the young team leader who had envisioned the Dynabook, the first iteration of a PC, while he was still a PhD candidate—didn’t care. They were proud to fly their freak flag at PARC. Kay’s real passion was to design an educational tool using Engelbart’s basic ideas but putting an enhanced emphasis on the graphical user interface (GUI). Despite resistance from some of PARC’s management, Kay managed to assemble a small team to build the Alto—the first real personal computer.

pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

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1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

Taylor in turn recruited Bill English and a dozen other members of Engelbart’s ARC group, hoping that they would bring their understanding of the NLS with them.18 Along with members of the ARC team, Taylor recruited a number of talented young programmers and engineers whom he had met in a series of graduate student symposia sponsored by ARPA. One of the most prominent of these was Alan Kay. In 1969 Kay’s PhD dissertation at the University of Utah had described an interactive desktop computer; as early as 1967, Kay had proposed a portable variation on that computer that he called the Dynabook. Kay’s Dynabook would soon provide a guiding vision for Xerox PARC’s pursuit of its own individualized computer, the Alto. Within the various teams concerned with developing the Alto, two communities emerged. One group, based in PARC’s Computer Science Laboratory and including designers Butler Lampson and Charles Thacker, focused on developing the architecture of the Alto and the Ethernet and on pushing the limits of computer design.

The Spacewarriors themselves were “out of their bodies” in the game, not unlike high-tech versions of the turned-on dancers of the Trips Festival.28 In Brand’s rhetoric, the Spacewarriors of the AI Lab became countercultural pioneers. And they were not the only ones. Leaving the stuffy Stanford basement, Brand took his readers to Xerox PARC, where he introduced Tak i n g t h e W h o l e E a r t h D i g i t a l [ 117 ] them to Alan Kay and his Dynabook, and to the ARPANET as well. He then traveled to the offices of Resource One, where he presented the group’s founder, Pam Hart. Both PARC and Resource One, he suggested, hoped to take computers out of their military, industrial, and academic contexts and turn them into tools for individuals to use as they saw fit. In that sense, both were making computers into tools for transformation in the Whole Earth tradition.

.), 222, 228 –30, 232 Dalton, Richard, 131 Dataglove, 165 [ 317 ] Dawkins, Richard, 196 “Dead Heads,” 143, 166 – 67 de Chardin, Pierre Teilhard, 165 de Geus, Arie, 181, 182 Dell, 212 deregulation: of international markets, 233; of telecommunications and computing industries, 215, 216, 230 desktop computers, 105, 212, 237, 247 Dial ( journal), 55 “digerati,” 260, 290n24 Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), 28, 105, 133, 134 digital free speech, 172 Digital Generation, 207 digital technology, link to hallucinogens, 163 – 65 digital utopianism, 33 Dine, Jim, 48 disembodiment, seen as a route to a more holistic life, 16 distributed learning, 183 Domebook One (Kahn), 94 Domebook Two (Kahn), 94 dot-com bubble, 88, 236, 237 Douglas, Mary, 130 downsizing, 216 Dr. Dobb’s Journal of Tiny BASIC Calisthenics and Orthodontia, 113 Draper, Hal, 12 Draper, John, 168 Draper, Ted, 136 Drop City, 74 –76, 94, 96, 119, 256 Droppings, 75 Durkee, Barbara, 75 Durkee, Steve, 46, 48, 50, 51, 75, 81, 97, 109 Dymax, 113 Dymaxion car, 55 Dynabook, 111, 117 Dyson, Esther, 88; chairman of ICANN, 227; and EFF, 218, 219, 220, 227; and Gingrich, 215, 219, 231–32; integration into Whole Earth network, 227; longing to return to an egalitarian world, 248; “Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age,” 228 –30; and PFF conferences, 227, 230; profile of, 226 –27; Release 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age, 14; vision of Internet, 3, 16; and Wired, 222; work in Whole Earth Review, 195 Dyson, Freeman, 88, 226 [ 318 ] Index East-West bookstore, 70 ecology, as alternative politics, 43 – 45 Ecology Center, 110 e-commerce, 214 economic production, knowledge-based mode of, 240 – 42 ecosystems in nature, 203 Edwards, Paul, 17, 186 Ehrlich, Paul, 50; and coevolution, 121; population biology, 45; The Population Bomb, 43, 120; preoccupation with systems-oriented models, 44; The Process of Evolution, 44 Einstein, Albert, 122 Eisner, Michael, 211 Electric Word, 211 electronic fraud, 170 “electronic frontier,” 142, 172 Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), 7, 156, 172, 218, 219, 220, 227, 286n27 Electronic Information Exchange System (EIES), 129, 130, 131 electronics industry, dependent on network patterns of organization, 149 Ellul, Jacques, The Technological Society, 29 Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 55 Engelbart, Douglas, 274n10; connections to various elements of the counterculture, 109; and Global Business Network, 189; philosophy of “bootstrapping,” 108; role in the development of the ARPANET, 274n12; understanding of the social potential of computers, 107– 8; work at Augmentation Research Center, 61, 106 English, Bill, 109, 111, 120, 274n12 Erewhon Trading Company, 185 Erhard, Werner, 109 Erhard Seminar Training (EST) movement, 109 Esalen Institute, 182 Essential Whole Earth Catalog, 131 Ethernet, 111 Evans, Dave, 81, 97, 101, 109 –10, 110 Explorations ( journal), 53 Fadiman, Jim, 61 Fairchild Semiconductor, 150 Farallones Institute, 70 Farm, the, 147, 159, 277n14 Fast Company (magazine), 207 FBI, 170 Feigelson, Naomi, 49, 50 Felsenstein, Lee: forum on hacking on the WELL, 168 –70; on Hackers’ Conference, 137; and hacking community, 135; and the Homebrew Computer Club, 115; proselytizer for early computers, 133; and public peer-to-peer computing, 115; and the Tom Swift Terminal, 115; and Whole Earth Catalog, 114, 246 feminism, rise of, 152 Figallo, Cliff, 146, 147, 148, 277n1 Fisher, Scott, 163 flexible factory, 216 Fluegelman, Andrew, 137 Forrester, Jay, 27, 185 fractal formations, 203 Frank, Robert, 96 Frank, Thomas, 215 Freedom Conspiracy, 210 Free Speech Movement, 1–2, 11–13, 16, 17, 31, 34, 35, 63, 240, 242 – 43 Free University, 70 freeware, 137 French, Gordon, 102, 115 Fuller, Buckminster, 55 –56; Comprehensive Designer, 56 –57, 58, 244; Dymaxion principle, 113; geodesic dome, 65, 94; Ideas and Integrities, 56, 57, 83; imprint of cold war– era military-industrial information theory on, 58; key influence on Whole Earth community, 4, 43, 49, 80, 82, 89, 243; notion of the world as an information system, 57–58; “outlaw area,” 88; “pattern-complex,” 67, 256 Fuller, Margaret, 55 Galbraith, John Kenneth, The New Industrial State, 29 Galison, Peter, 19, 72, 264n27 game theory, 264n28, 265n43 Gans, David, 143, 166 Garcia, Jerry, 61, 66, 166 Gardner, Hugh, 119, 267n70 Garreau, Joel, 189 –90, 221 Gaskin, Stephen, 147 Gates, Bill, 7, 208 Gateway, 212 GEnie, 144 geodesic dome, 55, 65, 94 –96, 125 Ghamari-Tabrizi, Sharon, 186 Gibson, William, 164, 172, 195; Neuromancer, 162 – 63, 281n58 Index gift economy, 157–58, 279n42, 279n43 Gilder, George, 8; Bronson’s profile of, 225 –26; on the cover of Wired, 225; and deregulation, 208, 215, 216; interview with Kelly, 223 –25, 226; “Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age,” 228 –30; and Progress and Freedom Foundation, 227; promoter of telecommunications stocks, 224; relationship with Wired, 223; and Wired, 222 Gilmore, John, 172 Gingrich, Newt, 8; Contract with America, 231– 32; on the counterculture, 288n53; and deregulation, 208, 215, 216, 230, 287n49; and Dyson, 227; and Wired, 222, 223 Ginsberg, Allen, 62, 168 Gitlin, Todd, 32, 35, 119, 209; The Whole World Is Watching, 253 Gleick, James, 196 Global Business Network (GBN), 6, 7; blending of countercultural and techno-cultural organizational styles, 181– 82, 184, 248; building of, 181–94; clients of, 176; corporation as a site of revolutionary social change, 194; Garreau’s view of, 221; included former leaders of the cold war military-industrial complex, 188; lack of diversity at, 189; Learning Conferences as basis of, 181– 84; “Learning Journeys,” 190; linked formation of interpersonal networks and the modeling of network systems, 187– 88; members engaged in interpersonal and for-profit forms of interaction simultaneously, 189 – 90; metaphor of the network, 184, 189, 194; “network members,” 189; Rio Chama journey, 191–92; scenario-building workshops, 187, 192 –94; social affinity as a key element of network coherence, 205; WorldView Meetings, 190 –91 Global Crossing, 224 global marketplace, 216 “global village,” 53 Goffman, Ken (aka R.

pages: 222 words: 54,506

One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com by Richard L. Brandt

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Amazon Web Services, automated trading system, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, Dynabook, Elon Musk, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Marc Andreessen, new economy, science of happiness, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, software patent, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

Or, he suggested, impatient customers waiting for the book they just ordered to arrive from Amazon may spend two bucks to get started immediately. One likely scenario is that he was testing the idea of paying for access to digital books while the Kindle was being tested. Amazon was not the first company to offer electronic books. In fact, people had been toying with the idea for decades before the Kindle arrived. In 1968, Alan Kay, then at Xerox Corporation’s Palo Alto Research Center, conceived of the Dynabook, a graphics-based portable computer (a concept which Steve Jobs later borrowed to create the Macintosh). But Kay also saw the device as an e-book, a way to download and carry around digitized books. That meant people would have to have access to digitized books. So in 1971, Michael Hart, a student at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (where the Mosaic Web browser was later invented), started Project Gutenberg, the first project to digitize and archive written works, mostly books in the public domain.

Shaw Bezos at Internet companies of Digicash Digital Book, Inc. Dillon, Eric Discounted books and Amazon impact on book industry, Disney, Walt Distributors drop-shipping and early Amazon online business, failure of of wholesale books See also Warehouses and distribution Doerr, John Dot-com companies. See Internet companies DREAM Institute Drugstore.com DVDs, Amazon sale of Dynabook Early adopters E-bay, versus Amazon Auctions E-books agency model and Amazon. see Kindle devices, competitive early readers free future view for Google market, growth of pricing of Edison, Thomas E Ink Corporation Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) Electronics Ellison, Larry Employees Bezos interaction with compensation and cult of Amazon expansion (1998) firing (2000) hiring practices individualistic “Just Do It” award two-pizza teams Wal-Mart executives, hiring of work environment Endurance (Lansing) E-Niche Equinet Erwise Everybook Express Lane Farsight Financial status cost-cutting decline (2000) first investors growth versus profits strategy investment advisors IPO, Amazon leverage, Bezos approach to losses and debt (1999) pro forma net profit (2002) raising capital, problems of recovery of Amazon revenues in 2010, share price, growth rate stock downgraded valuations of Amazon, initial Web site building, profitability of Fitel, Bezos at Food and grocery items Fortune Frederick, Robert Free Software Foundation Frisbee Frox, Inc.

pages: 223 words: 52,808

Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson (History of Computing) by Douglas R. Dechow

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3D printing, Apple II, Bill Duvall, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, game design, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, pre–internet, RAND corporation, semantic web, Silicon Valley, software studies, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog

The Grail Gesture Recognition System on a tablet that was invented the same year as the mouse—1964—and the conventions of making arrows, windows, and so on, including moving and resizing them. All of this was happening at that time: Seymour Papert with his Logo programming language and Turtle graphics; Simula; and some of our own stuff as well, such as the Arpanet, the Flex Machine and its first object-oriented operating system, the idea of Dynabook, and much, much more. It was an exciting time. The Whole Earth Catalog and its folks were nearby in Menlo Park thinking big thoughts about universal access to tools. Not just physical, but especially mental. This was the first book in the PARC library, and it had a big influence on how we thought things should be. We loved the idea of lots of different tools being available with explanations and comments, and we could see that it would be just wonderful if such media could be brought to life as one found and made it.

We need people who are able to understand, work in, and invent computational media—media that, in Nelson’s words, continue the traditions of “literature, film and scholarship”—and are able to do so with, “art, zest, intelligence, and the highest possible ideals” [10, DM2]. This is very much not the same thing as thinking mathematically, or thinking like a computer scientist. Luckily, there is a tradition of work that takes media and literacy more seriously. The Smalltalk programming language was developed in the 1970s by Alan Kay, Dan Ingalls, Adele Goldberg, and others [6]. Together with the vision of the Dynabook personal computer, it presented an approach to computing that focused on reading and writing (that is to say, computational literacy) and the creation of media and media-making tools (including simulations). And a number of the descendants of Smalltalk and Logo are concerned with media-making and broadening literacy, such as the Processing language for artists and designers, the Scratch language that uses snap-together tiles, and the games-focused Kodu language [7, 13, 14].

pages: 238 words: 46

When Things Start to Think by Neil A. Gershenfeld

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, Bretton Woods, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Dynabook, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, invention of movable type, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, means of production, new economy, Nick Leeson, packet switching, RFID, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush

This was a language that let kids express abstract programming constructs in simple intuitive terms, and best of all it was interfaced to physical objects so that programs could move things outside of the computer as well as inside it. The first one was a robot "turtle" that could roll around under control of the computer, moving a pen to make drawings. Infected by the meme of interactive technology for children, Alan Kay carried the idea to the West Coast, to Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center. In the 1970s, he sought to create what he called a Dynabook, a portable personal knowledge navigator shaped like a notebook, a fantasy amplifier. The result was most of the familiar elements of personal computing. Unlike early programming languages that required a specification of a precise sequence of steps to be executed, modern objectoriented languages can express more complex relationships among abstract objects. The first object-oriented programming language was Smalltalk, invented by Alan to let children play as easily with symbolic worlds as they do with physical ones.

., 98-99 Copernicus, 113-14 copyrights, 181 Creapole, 55 credit cards: electronic commerce and, 80-81 privacy and use of, 100-1 reflective holograms on, 142 cryptography, 80-81, 156, 207-8 "curse of dimensionality," 164 Daiwa Bank, 77, 86 Darwin, Charles, 125 Data Glove, 49 "Deep Blue," 129-30 "Deep Thought," 129 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), 79, 129 derivative~ 78, 85-86 Deutsch, David, 158 Deutsche Telekom, 203 developing countries, 210-11 Dickinson, Becton, 204 Difference Engine, 124-25, 132 digital evolution, 10 digital money, see smart money digital representation, effect of time and use on, 5-6 219 Digital Revolution: disturbance resulting from, 10 promise and reality of, 3, 5 disabled, wearable computers and, 58 discovery, the business of, 169-84 Disney, 203 distance learning, 19 3 distribution of wealth, 78 division of labor between people and machines, 8 DNA molecules, 157 Domus, 55 Doom (computer game), 89 Dynabook, 138 e-broidery, 55 Economist, 115 economy, electronic, 79 education: classroom, 188, 197 departmental organization of, 190-91 distance learning, 193 just-in-time, 192 local learning, 193 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, 187-97 use of computers for, 201 Einstein's theory of relativity, 178 electronic books, 15-25, 38, 72 electronic commerce, 80-81, 152, 156 cryptography and, 80-81 paying-as-you-go, 82 electronic funds transfers, 80 electronic ink, 16, 17, 200 universal book and, 18-20 e-mail, 101-2, 104-6 encryption, 80-81 Engelhart, Doug, 139 English Bill of Rights, 98 entanglement, 159 entropy, 175, 176, 177, 188-90 "Entschedidungsproblem," 127 Equifax, 101 220 + Ernst, Richard R.

pages: 363 words: 94,139

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products by Leander Kahney

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Apple II, banking crisis, British Empire, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, Computer Numeric Control, Dynabook, global supply chain, interchangeable parts, John Markoff, Jony Ive, race to the bottom, RFID, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the built environment, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple

Revenue and profits were through the roof. When Jobs unveiled the iPhone at Macworld in January 2007, he invited his old friend Alan Kay to the launch. Jobs and Kay knew each other from Xerox PARC, and later Kay had been appointed an Apple fellow, a kind of elder statesman, and worked for a decade inside Apple’s Advanced Technology Group in the late nineties. Kay is famous for prophesizing the “Dynabook,” a tablet computer that would provide a window into all the world’s knowledge—back in 1968. On iPhone launch day, Jobs turned to Kay and casually asked, “What do you think, Alan? Is it good enough to criticize?” The question was a reference to a comment made by Kay almost twenty-five years earlier, when he had deemed the original Macintosh “the first computer worth criticizing.” Kay considered Jobs’s question for a moment and then held up his moleskin notebook.

., 71, 123, 130, 210, 214 Costolo, Dick, 258 Cotton, Katie, 254 CRT monitors, Ive’s design for, 79–80 Cue, Eddy, 254 Daily Telegraph, 256 Darbyshire, Martin, 37–44, 45, 46, 48, 49, 56, 57, 58, 59 Dediu, Horace, 246 De Iuliis, Danielle, 70, 82, 84, 86, 150, 166, 192 Dell, 105, 157 De Lucchi, Michele, 44 design story, 116 of iMac, 116 of iPhone, 220 of iPod, 175 design technology (DT), in UK schools, 3–4 detailing, 151–52 The Division, 26 Doonesbury (comic), 77 double-sandwich course structure, at Newcastle Polytechnic, 15–16 Dunn, Jeremy, 7 Dunn, Paul, 118, 119, 120, 121 DuPont, 147 Dynabook, 231 easy access to inside of Macs, 98 Eichler, Joseph, 106 802.11 wireless networking technology, 148–49 Elias, John, 214 Ellison, Larry, 115 eMachines, 135 eMate, 99, 123 Emin, Tracey, 16 engineering department, Apple, 73, 149–50 English, Rick, 69, 73, 74, 78 enterprise resource-planning system (ERP), 203 environmental profile, of Apple, 248–50 Espresso aesthetic, 83–84 Esslinger, Hartmut, 63, 66, 109–10, 112, 114 European Space Agency, 142–43 Extrudo design for iPad, 234–35 for iPhone, 221–22 ExxonMobil, 256 Fadell, Tony as head of iPod division, 199 iPhone and, 216, 217–18, 219 iPod and, 174–78 leaves Apple, 237–38 Fairs, Marcus, 195–96 Fancy Models Corporation, 168 Federighi, Craig, 261 fiddle factor, 22–23, 76 FingerWorks, 214 floppy drive, lack of on iMac, 125, 133–34 Folio keyboard, 56 Ford, 60 Ford, Henry, 107 Forstall, Scott, 163, 216, 218–20, 259, 260, 261, 262, 265 Fortt, Jon, 134 Fortune, 137 Foxconn, 206, 208–10 friction stir welding (FSW), 247 Frog Design, 63, 64, 65–66, 69, 73, 109–10 Fukasawa, Naoto, 46 Furbershaw, Gerard, 31 Fuse Networks, 174 Future Power, 135 Gates, Bill, 136, 254 Gateway, 105 Germanic approach to design education, 17 German Industrie Forum, 42 Gibson, Hal, 134 Giugiaro, Giorgetto, 64–65, 112 Glancey, Jonathan, 196 Goldsmiths, 16–17 Goldstar, 42 Gore, Al, 254 Gorilla Glass, 228 GQ, 195 Gray, Eileen, 44 Gray, Philip J., 10–11, 22, 27, 28, 33, 35, 36, 50–51, 78, 257 green initiatives, of Apple, 248–50 Greenpeace International, 248, 249 GRiD Compass, 20–21 Grinyer, Clive, 20–21, 22–23, 26–27, 30, 34, 37–51, 54, 56, 57–58, 59, 266–67 Grisedale, Sally, 82, 142, 262–63 Guardian, 197, 252 GVO Inc., 31 Haddon, John, 5 “halo” effect, 154, 183, 190 Halpin, Jim, 134 handles on iBooks, 146 on iMac, 124–25 on Power Mac G3, 144 Hargadon, Andrew, 269–70 Harmon Kardon, 258 Harper, Beverley, 74 hearing aid project, 25, 36 Hecht, Sam, 39, 46 Hewlett Packard (HP), 95, 142 Hille, 160 Hirst, Damien, 16 Homayounfar, Amir, 130–31, 149–50 home networking, 148–49 Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.

pages: 275 words: 84,418

Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution by Fred Vogelstein

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Apple II, cloud computing, commoditize, disintermediation, don't be evil, Dynabook, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Googley, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, web application, zero-sum game

Many wondered if they were watching the world’s greatest entrepreneur make a huge mistake. The tablet computer was the most discredited category of consumer electronics in the world. Entrepreneurs had been trying to build tablet computers since before the invention of the PC. They had tried so many times that the conventional wisdom was that it couldn’t be done. Alan Kay, who is to certain geeks what Neil Armstrong is to the space program, drew up plans for the Dynabook in 1968 and laid out those plans in a 1972 paper titled “A Personal Computer for Children of All Ages.” It never got built, though Kay went on to do something arguably even more important. He became one of the inventors of the graphical user interface at Xerox PARC. The first Macintosh and later Microsoft Windows were rooted in Kay’s work. Apple prototyped something it called the Bashful in 1983 but never released it.

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pages: 394 words: 118,929

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software by Scott Rosenberg

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A Pattern Language, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, c2.com, call centre, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Howard Rheingold, index card, Internet Archive, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Larry Wall, life extension, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, software studies, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Therac-25, thinkpad, Turing test, VA Linux, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

“Computer people are way more self-satisfied with what they have accomplished than they should be . . . . People don’t understand that there are alternatives. We need software that’s factors of hundreds better than it is.” At Xerox PARC in the seventies, Kay coined the term “object-oriented programming,” invented the concept of the overlapping windows interface, and tried to realize his 1968 vision of the Dynabook—an ur-laptop that he dreamed could serve as the ultimate playground for childhood imaginations. In the decades since, he watched the hardware industry gradually deliver computing tools that resembled his ideas—while the software field, in his view, stagnated. Kay loves to use historical analogies when he talks about software. “If you look at software today,” he told an interviewer in 2004, “it’s certainly engineering of a sort—but it’s the kind of engineering that people without the concept of the arch did.

pages: 566 words: 122,184

Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold

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Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Eratosthenes, Grace Hopper, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Louis Daguerre, millennium bug, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, popular electronics, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture

Many of the early enthusiasts of interactive graphical computing (although not Engelbart) came together at Xerox, fortunately at a time when raster displays became economically feasible. Xerox had founded the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1970 in part to help develop products that would allow the company to enter the computer industry. Perhaps the most famous visionary at PARC was Alan Kay (born 1940), who encountered Van Bush's microfilm library (in a short story by Robert Heinlein) when he was 14, and who had already conceived of a portable computer he called the Dynabook. The first big project at PARC was the Alto, designed and built between 1972 and 1973. By the standards of those years, it was an impressive piece of work. The floor-standing system unit had 16-bit processing, two 3-MB disk drives, 128 KB of memory (expandable to 512 KB), and a mouse with three buttons. Because the Alto preceded the availability of 16-bit single-chip microprocessors, the Alto processor had to be built from about 200 integrated circuits.