Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Everything old is new again...

A friend of mine was recently in London and visited a “Steam” museum, and Bletchley Park, and a conversation wandered into old computing devices.

We talked about the first computer electrical computer Colossus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossus_computer and then to the first conceived mechanical computer a Difference Engine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Difference_engine

It struck us as pretty amazing how old computing technology really was. Including the original binary storage http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacquard_loom

Of which there is a working loom at Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn Michigan. I learned from a wizened old volunteer about the loom and its influence on IBM punch cards. This reminded me that I had read about an implementation that was developed in Little Big Planet, and found some blog posts and videos, which just blow me away: http://agreatbecoming.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/little-big-computer-a-modern-day-difference-engine/

This brings us a full circle with regards to implementation of analog methods using an all-digital workshop environment.

All this all invokes a thought that I use to level set many of our more complicated technical implementations.

When developing web pages and the underlying systems, and trying to meet web standards and ADA compliance, what we are typically doing is writing different ways to print text. In the end the internet is still about text.

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