9to5Mac: The Unofficial Apple Archive is on a mission to save Apple history and inspire new creators. “‘I totally forgot that Rihanna was used as the track for an iPad 2 guided tour. What a weird year.’ Sam Henri Gold was giving me a progress update on what would eventually become The Apple Archive. He had just made it to 2011. Compiled from hundreds of videos and images spanning Apple’s near 44-year history, the collection is believed to be one of the largest of its kind ever made available. It launches today.”
The Conversation: How the US census kickstarted America’s computing industry. “This census has always been charged with political significance, and continues to be. That’s clear from the controversy over the conduct of the upcoming 2020 census. But it’s less widely known how important the census has been in developing the U.S. computer industry, a story that I tell in my new book, ‘Republic of Numbers: Unexpected Stories of Mathematical Americans through History.'”
Slate: The Lines of Code That Changed Everything. “Culturally, code exists in a nether zone. We can feel its gnostic effects on our everyday reality, but we rarely see it, and it’s quite inscrutable to non-initiates. (The folks in Silicon Valley like it that way; it helps them self-mythologize as wizards.) We construct top-10 lists for movies, games, TV—pieces of work that shape our souls. But we don’t sit around compiling lists of the world’s most consequential bits of code, even though they arguably inform the zeitgeist just as much.”
Stanford: Stanford Libraries’ transformative gift creates hub highlighting Silicon Valley history. “Exhibition areas will be located throughout Hohbach Hall and feature such items from the Silicon Valley Archives as design documents and drawings for Douglas Engelbart’s first computer mouse prototype and early audio and video recording technology from the Ampex Corp. collection. The spaces will allow staff to curate and display, in physical and digital forms, documents, photographs, equipment and ephemera from some of Silicon Valley’s largest companies.”
RIT News: Student MSD team recreates 16th century reading wheel . “Matt Nygren is a fifth-year mechanical engineering student who recently finished a unique multidisciplinary senior design project. Nygren worked with three other fifth-year mechanical engineering students, Ian Kurtz ’18, Reese Salen ’18 and Maher Abdelkawi, to recreate a piece of 16th century technology: Ramelli’s Rotating Reader.”
Motherboard: The Rise and Demise of RSS. Oh boy, if I ever agreed less with a headline… “About a decade ago, the average internet user might well have heard of RSS. Really Simple Syndication, or Rich Site Summary—what the acronym stands for depends on who you ask—is a standard that websites and podcasts can use to offer a feed of content to their users, one easily understood by lots of different computer programs. Today, though RSS continues to power many applications on the web, it has become, for most people, an obscure technology.” Important but depressing.
Bit-Tech: BBC launches Computer Literacy Project archive. “The BBC has added the output of its Computer Literacy Project, covering more than 260 full-length TV programmes and 166 BBC Micro computer programs, to its Taster testing site – though nostalgic programmers have only three months to try it out. Launched in 1982 with The Computer Programme, which was followed by Making the Most of the Micro a year later and Micro Live between 1984 and 1987, the BBC’s Computer Literacy Project followed the UK government’s push to get microcomputers – at the time rare novelties – into schools throughout the country.”
9to5Mac: Inspiring the future: Why Apple should establish an official public archive. “Last week, Apple celebrated 20 years of the iMac. Major anniversaries are today relatively uncommon for the company, but will become increasingly prevalent in the future. Now 42 years old, Apple is a cornerstone in the technology industry. With such a rich and unique history, Apple’s products and values deserve to be properly catalogued through an official digital archive.”