Tag: history

  1. Semi-autonomous software agents: A personal perspective.

    28 December 2015

    So, after going on for a good while about software agents you're probably wondering why I have such an interest in them. I started experimenting with my own software agents in the fall of 1996 when I first started undergrad. When I went away to college I finally had an actual network connection for the first time in my life (where I grew up the only access I had was through dialup) and I wanted to abuse it. Not in the way that the rest of my classmates were but to do things I actually had an interest in. So …

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  2. The history of software agents.

    30 November 2015

    Building on top of my first post about software agents, I'd like to talk about the history of the technology in reasonable strokes. Not so broad that interesting details are lost (or misleading ones added) but not so narrow that we forget the forest while studying a single tree.

    Anyway, software agents could be said to have their roots in UNIX daemons, dating back to the creation of UNIX at AT&T in the 1970's. On the big timesharing systems of the time, where multiple people could be logged into the same machine working simultaneously without stepping on one another …

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  3. Repurposing memes for presentations.

    06 December 2014

    I'm all for people reading, listening to, and watching the classics of any form of media. They're the basic cultural memes that so many other cultural communications are built on top of, and occasionally get riffed on that we all seem to silently recognize, whether or not we know where they're from or the context they originally had. You may not know who the Grateful Dead are or recognize any of their music (I sure don't), but if you're a USian chances are that you've at least seen the new iterations of the hippie movement and recognize the general style …

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  4. Visiting the Computer History Museum.

    13 October 2014

    A couple of months ago, Amberite and I visited the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California with his father. I'll admit, I wasn't sure what to expect on the way over there. I've been to the Smithsonian quite a few times but the Computer History Museum is just that: Dedicated to the entire history of computing and nothing but. There are exhibits of the history of robotics, video games, military equipment, and of course one of practically every personal computer ever made, from the Amstrad CPC (which never really had a large community in the States, though it was …

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  5. The times in which we live.

    14 December 2011

    Can you remember ever having lived in a time of peace?

    Seriously. Give it a little thought.

    This is something I've been thinking a lot about lately, and I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that I can't think of a single period of time beyond a week or two in all the years I've been alive that I've known anything like peace in the geopolitical sense. I was born in the late 1970's with the horrors of the Vietnam War fading slowly in popular memory. Even though I was too young to really record any memories the Vietnam War was …

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  6. Wow. BBSes are as old as I am.

    18 February 2010

    Thirty-two years ago (plus a day or two - real life happens) two computer hobbyists stuck at home in a blizzard not unlike snowpocalypse named Randy Suess and Ward Christenson created something wholly new, which geek history remembers as the bulletin board system. At the time, the idea was revolutionary - with a computer, an auto-answer modem, and some disk space you could set up forums for people to leave public and private messages to one another. As disk space became less expensive, file archives were often added for people to trade files. By the mid-1980's boards were all over the place …

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  7. Fare thee well, o my Emperor.

    08 January 2010

    On this date in the year 1880 c.e. Emperor Joshua Norton the First, Emperor of United States of America and Protector of Mexico collapsed in death at the corner of California Street and (now) Grant Avenue.

    Emperor Norton was possibly one of the most eccentric people ever to have lived in the United States. Born in England in the early 19th century, he came to the United States by way of South Africa in the mid 1800's and became something of an entrepreneur, working the real estate market and using the profit to try to corner the market on …

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  8. Prime Minister of England formally apologizes to the memory of Alan Matheson Turing.

    10 September 2009

    For many years, Alan Turing was one of the lesser-known heroes of World War II. Born in 1912, he rose to prominence at Cambridge in the early 1930’s where he was eventually elected a fellow of the King’s College. Much of his work on computability, or whether or not a problem can be solved and the most effective methods of going about it if it can, is now considered 101-level stuff in comp.sci programs around the world. At the time, however, this work was revolutionary. Turing is best known for the hypothetical Turing Machine, a computing device …

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  9. Saloncon 2008: Adventure! Excitement! Romance! Sleep deprivation!

    16 September 2008

    I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last Thursday night due to getting ready for Saloncon 2008 and general problems getting a decent amount of rest these days. I think that part of it's the unusually high pollen count in the DC area right now and part of it's the air conditioning filter in the apartment (which Lyssa is having fixed today due to the fact that we can't get into the locked room in which the air conditioner is installed). Also, wedding stress is starting to mount with the end more than an month away. At any rate …

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