A reminder if you’re reading this…

…to please send me a clean e-copy of your computing paper if you haven’t done so already.  Happy summer.


Lewis Questions, Part 2.

Will this process hasn’t been very helpful yet (Professor makes disappointed face), I stumble on with more Lewis questions:

1.  Describe the role of markets on the development of Internet technologies in which Jim Clark was involved.  How do consumers shape the future?  Do people like Clark tell consumers what they want or is it the other way around?

2.  How can you reconcile Sixties ideals with the desire to make a lot of money?

3.  How does Silicon Valley change when personal computers can “talk” to each other through the Internet?  Does this make the technology more like the original dream of Sixties computer pioneers or less so?

Open thread for Markoff or Lewis quotes.

Help your colleagues by putting useful quotations for your upcoming papers (with page numbers, of course) in the comments to this post.

Lewis Questions, part 1.

Done by memory because I haven’t finished re-reading the book yet:

1.  Where companies did Jim Clark help found?  Explain the historical significance of each of those companies.

2.  What was the historical significance of Clark’s computer-controlled yacht?

3.  Do markets guarantee that technology will be employed to make society better off?  Discuss, citing Lewis’ book as evidence.

Markoff questions, Part 2.

1.  Look at the list of attributes of the “hacker ethic” on p. 96.  In contrast, Brian Harvey argued that there was instead a “hacker aesthetic.”  Explain the difference and speculate on which might be more historically significant.

2.  How did computer games influence the development of personal computers?

3.  Fact:  Some early computer scientists did drugs.  What evidence does Markoff give that represents how those drugs affected the evolution of personal computers?  What abstract concepts might they have influenced?

Markoff questions, Part 1.

Reading the book again, I’ve decided to do this in two parts.  I’ll give you three questions now inspired by my re-reading the beginning of the book and three more (probably) Thursday night, so that you can extend the discussion on Friday.  Leave your answers in the comments section below and remember to hit “reply” if somebody else’s answers inspire you.  And remember, there’s no rule against commenting more than once.

1.  On p. xv, Markoff writes, “[C]omputing was a new medium, like books, records, movies, radio and television.”  What does that mean and how could these engineers tell that so early in the history of this technology?

2. What made Douglas Engelbart so special?

3.  How did the size of early personal computers affect what researchers could do with them?

“Stonewall Uprising” documentary.

To finish watching the documentary, go here.  We should have about twenty minutes left until the end.