During a Zoom meeting of the Computer History Museum’s (CHM) SemiSIG earlier this year, our fearless leader Doug Fairbairn mentioned that he was having trouble contacting Ray Holt to arrange a recording of his oral history. CHM’s SemiSIG records oral histories of past and present luminaries in the semiconductor industry, and Holt’s history is a rich one. After getting his EE degree at Cal … Read More → "Ray Holt and the Lost History of the First Multi-Chip Microprocessor"
I have seen the future of electronic design. It is both awesome and scary. I’m too young for all this excitement. I have much to impart. Before we proceed further, however, let’s first remind ourselves as to the way things were in ye olden days, by which—as terrifying as it seems—I mean prior to 2023.
When I … Read More → "May the Flux (Copilot) Be with You!"
My engineering career started shortly after video games appeared. The first arcade video game, Computer Space, was developed by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney and released in 1971. Bushnell and Dabney founded Atari the following year. Computer Space was inspired by another computer game, Spacewar!, which MIT students had programmed into a Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) PDP-1 minicomputer in 1962. Bushnell saw a version of Spacewar! running on a … Read More → "“The Game Console 2.0” Serves up Images of 123 Home Video Game Consoles Across 9 Generations"
Movie history is replete with heroes and villains that refuse to die, despite grievous bodily harm. Here are a few quotes from various movies to help you remember these characters:
“How many times do I have to kill you, boy?” – Jafar to Aladdin, Aladdin, 1992
“Why can’t you just die?” – Two-Face to Batman, … Read More → "The Microcontroller that Just Won’t Die"
Of course, retro-tech nostalgia is not limited to sound reproduction, which I discussed earlier in Part 1 of this article series, so let’s now talk about retro photography nostalgia. For 30 years, I shot photos with an SLR (single-lens reflex) camera using film, starting in 1972. I’ve shot Kodak Kodachrome and Ektachrome slide film, Kodacolor and Kodacolor II print film, Fujicolor print film, Ilford black-and-white film, and assorted film stock from Agfa. So, I’ve taken a lot of photographs using film. … Read More → "Do You Long Nostalgically for Retro Tech? Part 2: Film and Nixie Tubes"