Class 2 - History of the Personal Computer
- Douglas Engelbart, “The Mother of All Demos” (December 9, 1968)
RFC as koan
- D. Libes, RFC 1178: Choosing a name for your computer (August 1990)
Emulator as koan
- PC histories
- IBM and the rest
- “cloning the BIOS”
- What caused the rise of the personal computer?
- Is it a revolution or a war? What do we mean when we use those words?
- What “could have been” during this era? What kind of computing systems could we have had?
Episodes: - S1E1 “I/O”, S1E2 “FUD”, S1E3 “High Plains Hardware”
The first three episodes introduce the characters and the relationships they have with computers. In 1983, the personal computer is not a totally new concept. IBM is the dominant force with a lot of smaller companies seeking to be the cheaper alternative model. This allows the series to start off under the guise of the “two men in a garage” cliche of U.S. technology history while actually situating it in a common small and boring tech company, like many others across the country.
Readings and references
- Brian McCullough, Internet History Podcast: How COMPAQ cloned IBM and Created an Empire (May 2014)
- Cory Doctorow, ‘IBM PC Compatible’: How Adversarial Interoperability Saved PCs From Monopolization (August 2019)
- Gregg Williams, Senior Editor, BYTE Magazine Volume 07 Number 01 - The IBM Personal Computer (Jan 1982)
- Laine Nooney, Kevin Driscoll, & Kera Allen, From Programming to Products: Softalk Magazine and the Rise of the Personal Computer User