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Computing heritage
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remembering the early days of computing and the Internet
remembering the early days of computing and the Internet

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So Norway was the start of the internet in Europe, apparently... I did not know that before.

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December 9th turns out to be an auspicious date for computing mothers.   It's not just the birthday of Grace Hopper -- nicknamed "mother of COBOL" (although to be strictly accurate it was Flowmatic) who gets a long overdue Doodle... it's also the anniversary of the "mother of all demos" by Douglas Engelbart. 

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Sorry for radio silence, I have sadly been tied up on non computing history stuff :(   However... others have continued in my absence. Not least in Poland where they've done a whole project around Polish computing pioneers with a timeline and posters and even lesson plans t encourage teachers to highlight the local heroes to their students

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I love this story: a group of Austrian students built mainland Europe's first fully transistorised computer ... using transistors designed for hearing aids :)

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It's always great to spend time at Bletchley Park but last Saturdaywas special -- I got to meet some of the early pioneers and also we launched a brilliant new gallery at +The National Museum of Computing  It was a mammoth effort to get done in time and I know they worked into the wee hours on it, but it was SO worth it.  Thanks everyone who pitched in and helped :)

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I recently had the privilege to meet Dame Stephanie Shirley, in the process of making this film.  She's one of the most inspiring people I've ever encountered.  This film focuses on just one part of her story -- what she did afterwards beyond computing is just as amazing.  Her biography "Let IT go" is a brilliant read, if you want to find out more. 

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Another surprising discovery.. the first woman to get a PhD in the US in computer science was a catholic nun.  Seriously.  Sister Mary Kenneth Keller got hers in 1965.  Dartmouth College broke their 'men only' rule for access to the computer centre so she could study there!  http://firstcomputersciencephd.blogspot.co.uk/

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One of the projects I'm working on at the moment is researching the roles of women in the early days of computing.  The more I dig, the more I'm finding there's a surprising number.  For example, here's a great profile of Margaret Butler who worked at Argonne National Laboratory

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I'm researching stories of women in computing and just came across this 1999 article: "When Computers Were Women" relating to the ENIAC programmers.  It's a little academic-ey in tone but there's some great detail 
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