Category Archives: History of Computing!

Astronomy Software (1986)

I admit that I have soft spot for these old videos. This one is from 1986. Now, the interfaces may seem primitive, yet the calculations are quite sophisticated – these types of programs are just as useful today.  

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The Mother of All Demos, presented by Douglas Engelbart (1968)

If you have never seen this, I recommend it.  Douglas Engelbart’s December 9, 1968, extraordinarily prescient demonstration of experimental computer technologies that are now ubiquitous. The live demonstration featured the introduction of the computer mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word … Continue reading

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How Should Astronomy Pay For Software?

So asked Frossie Enonomou at ADASS XXIV in Calgary, October 2014.  She gave her view of the answer to this question. It’s not of course about paying for software, but about paying people to write software.  Generally speaking, it’s not … Continue reading

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Astroinformatics 2013 – Day Three, December 11 2013

Day Three  of Astroinformatics 2013, hosted  by CSIRO, is well underway. We are discussing advances in data processing, manipulation and management – crucial topics in modern astronomy. You can see the agenda here, along with a growing list of presentations, … Continue reading

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Astroinformatics 2013 – Day One Morning, December 9

I am in Marsfield, near Sydney, Australia for the Astroinformatics 2013 meeting, hosted  by CSIRO. This annual meeting discusses advances in data processing, manipulation and management – crucial topics in modern astronomy given the acceleration in the growth of data … Continue reading

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Half an operating system: The triumph and tragedy of OS/2 – A History Lesson

This week’s post is a bit of the beaten track, but by accident I came across this article by Jeremy Reimer in arstechnica.   I started reading and ended up reading the entire article. It documents the battle between IBM … Continue reading

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Crowdsourced Astronomy – A Talk By Carolina Ödman-Govender

This is a talk given by Carolina Ödman-Govender, given at the re:publica 13 meeting, on May 8 2013.  She gives a fine general introduction to the value of crowdsourcing in astronomy, and invites people to get in touch with her … Continue reading

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