Wednesday, December 26, 2007

An excellent computer history course

We cover the history of technology and networks, and the University of Washington, UCSD and UC Berkeley offered an excellent course on the history of computing in fall 2006.

The course material is online, and includes short essays by the faculty, links to original material, and presentations by faculty and prestigious guest speakers, including many computing and networking pioneers.

Many of the presentations include photos of historic equipment and events. For example, the photo shown here was taken behind the scene of Doug Engelbart's historic 1968 demonstration of his work on personal and collaborative computing.

Note that the course material is organized using a wiki. It illustrates the use of a wiki as a simple, flexible platform for creating a Web site to support an ad-hoc project or organization.

Historic prototypes look old fashioned to us, like early cars or the Wright Brother's first plane. How will we see today's technology in the future? Is technology changing as fast today as in the past?