An overview of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California
An overview of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California
[Recorded: November 20, 2008]
Today, Silicon Valley is known around the world as a fount of technology innovation and development fueled by private venture capital and peopled by fabled entrepreneurs. But it wasn't always so. Unbeknownst to even seasoned inhabitants, today's Silicon Valley had its start in government secrecy and wartime urgency.
In this lecture, renowned serial entrepreneur Steve Blank presents how the roots of Silicon Valley sprang not from the later development of the silicon semiconductor but instead from the earlier technology duel over the skies of Germany and secret efforts around (and over) the Soviet Union. World War II, the Cold War and one Stanford professor set the stage for the creation and explosive growth of entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. The world was forever changed when the Defense Department, CIA and the National Security Agency acted like today's venture capitalists funding this first wave of entrepreneurship. Steve Blank shows how these groundbreaking early advances lead up to the high-octane, venture capital fueled Silicon Valley we know today.
[Recorded May 16, 2005]
Brad Bird, Writer/Director, The Incredibles, Pixar Animation Studios, Ed Catmull, Co-Founder and President, Pixar Animation Studios, Alvy Ray Smith, Co-Founder of four centers of computer graphics excellence (Altamira, Pixar, Lucasfilm, New York Tech) and a Microsoft Fellow, Andrew Stanton, Writer/ Director, Finding Nemo, Pixar Animation Studios , and Michael Rubin, Moderator, Author of Droidmaker: George Lucas and the Digital Revolution
[Recorded Sept 19, 2001]
Linus Torvalds, the creator of the operating system phenomenon Linux, tells the story of how he went from writing code as a graduate student in Helsinki in the early 1990s to becoming an icon for open source software by the end of the decade.
[Recorded June 10, 2004]
Video games are not only a lot of fun to play but are also a major driver of innovation in computer graphics. In this 2004 lecture, three famous game designers -- Jordan Mechner (Prince of Persia), Rand Miller (Myst), and Will Wright (SimCity) discuss how their games have pushed the boundaries of graphics development over the last several years. Moderated by Vince Broady of CNET GameSpot, the panelists show and tell how their games have helped move us from simple pixel painting to lavish 3-D simulation. The lecture includes several examples and demonstrations of past and present computer graphics development.
History of the Internet
[Recorded Dec 10, 2002]
"Woz" serves up Apple Computer history in his own unique way. In this lecture and Q&A session, Steve provides a rational understanding of many of the innovations leading to early Apple designs. He looks at the early company structure, the personalities that influenced him, and personalities within the company. In addition, he discusses the reasons he wants to be an engineer for life but not a CEO. An entertaining, informative, and very personal view from one of the founders of a corporate and cultural icon.
Recorded: November 5, 2008]
The roots of "personal computers" - that is, machines that are not shared between users - date back to at least the late 1950s. Within a decade, several more of these "one machine, one user" computers were developed; and the idea of a user having direct control over the computer was established, at least within academia.
In 1968, young computer scientist Alan Kay gave a presentation on the FLEX Machine at a meeting of computer science graduate students and saw the first working versions of a new flat panel plasma display technology. This led to discussions about how nice it would be to (someday) place the FLEX computer itself on the back of such a display to make a notebook-sized computer.
A visit a few months later to MIT computer scientist and educator Seymour Papert and to a school with children doing advanced math with Papert's LOGO programming language, produced an epiphany in Kay. He decided to make "A Personal Computer for Children of All Ages". This was to be in the form of a compact notebook using both tablet and keyboard, a flat-screen display, GUI, and the wireless networking that defense funding agency ARPA was starting to experiment with.
This idea eventually acquired the name "Dynabook" as an homage to what the printed book has meant to civilization and learning. It is also a gesture to a future in which not just the content of "books" will be dynamic, but the relationship of people to computers will itself also change.
The founding of Xerox PARC a few years after the Dynabook concept provided support and a context for developing many of these ideas. In fact, the PARC Alto workstation was originally called "the interim Dynabook". Many of the results from this research influenced commercial computing, including the bit-mapped screen, high-quality text and graphics, overlapping windows and an icon-based GUI, desktop publishing, object-oriented programming, and many others.
In this lecture, Alan Kay first presents a historical overview of computing and technological developments that led to personal computing and influenced his thoughts on creating the Dynabook. Then Kay is joined by Charles Thacker and Mary Lou Jepsen in a panel discussion moderated by Steve Hamm of BusinessWeek magazine.
[Recorded 1990] How Computers Work: A Journey Into The Walk-Through Computer is an educational video produced by The Computer Museum and hosted by David Neil of PBS's Newton's Apple. Join David Neil and his four young companions on an entertaining and illuminating trek through The Computer Museum's one-of-a-kind, two-story working model of a desktop computer.
The Computer Museum in Boston, Massachusetts was the predecessor institution to the Computer History Museum located in Mountain View, California since 1996. Sadly, the walk-through computer did not move to California with the Computer Museum's collection, but as you can see from this video, it was a very engaging exhibit.
TRIUMPH OF THE NERDS: STEVE JOBS & BILL GATES PART 1 OF 3
Triumph of the Nerds zooms backwards on the information superhighway to show in vivid detail how youthful amateurs, hippies and self-proclaimed "nerds" accidentally changed the world. The three-hour program chronicles the birth and growth of Silicon Valley's personal computer industry.
Hosted by Bob Cringely, a longtime industry observer, the story unfolds through Bay Area garages, industrial parks and convenience stores to examine the quirky, relentless and profitable adventures of the unlikely 20th-century pioneers who created the miracle products that revolutionized the world.
Triumph of the Nerds features interviews with some of the industry's most recognizable characters, including Microsoft's Bill Gates and Paul Allen, and Apple founder Steve Jobs. For the first time, television tackles the history of this new industry with attention to the culture from which it sprang as well as the culture that it created.
Cringely's book, Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date, was a national best-seller. Having written whimsical commentary for an industry trade publication, Cringely brings tart and insightful observations to the program.
TRIUMPH OF THE NERDS is enhanced by comic book graphics, extensive research and Cringely's self-deprecating humor. Exploring the rise of Apple, Microsoft and other companies, the program examines the intra-industry competition and the displacement of corporate giants like IBM. Designed for viewing by youngsters who can't imagine a world without laptops, their struggling parents, the experts, the wannabes, the confused and the unenlightened, TRIUMPH OF THE NERDS puts cyberspace in a social and historical context.