Computer History

You Never Forget Your First PET: Remembering Jack Tramiel

You Never Forget Your First PET: Remembering Jack Tramiel

Jack Tramiel, founder of Commodore International, passed away this week. His isn't the household name it should be. His influence on legions of coders and gamers deserves more. Indeed, in the mid-1980s, Commodore computers dominated the market in a way that few remember today.Jack's life story, from Holocaust survivor to personal computer pioneer, is amazing, but I was particularly affected by the news because the first two computers I got my hands on were both Commodores.
Vacuum Valves and Mercury Memory: Remembering Sir Maurice Wilkes

Vacuum Valves and Mercury Memory: Remembering Sir Maurice Wilkes

Maurice Wilkes inspecting a mercury delay line memory.Copyright Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. Reproduced by permission.The semiconductor industry is constantly producing new innovations that enrich our lives. But, we stand on the shoulders of giants. Sir Maurice Wilkes, who passed away on November 29th this year, was one of the tallest.Sir Maurice is credited with several pioneering developments in computing, but is best known for leading the team at Cambridge University in England that developed EDSAC, the first truly modern computer, which ran its first program in 1949.