In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Events and Sightings
  • Chigusa Kita

Computer History Museum report

The Computer History Museum is pleased to report that 2008 was a year of great change and progress. The CHM has a new CEO—John Hollar—who comes to us from Pearson publishing (UK) and PBS (Public Broadcasting Service). The signature timeline of computing exhibit, expanded by several thousand feet, is slated to open in fall 2010. The Babbage Engine exhibit (, a onceina lifetime experience, continues to draw hundreds of visitors per week.


Some of our new lectures, now available online, include the following:

  • • "Remix—Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy," Lawrence Lessig

  • • "The Secret History of Silicon Valley," Steve Blank

  • • "The 40th Anniversary of the Dynabook," Alan Kay, Charles Thacker, and Mary Lou Jepsen (moderated by Steve Hamm, Business Week)

  • • "An Evening with ENIAC Pioneer Jean Bartik"

  • • 2008 Fellows Awards: Jean Bartik, Robert Metcalfe, and Linus Torvalds

  • • "IBM Stretch: The Forgotten Computer that Helped Spark a Revolution," Fran Allen, Fred Brooks, and Harwood Kolsky (moderated by Steve Lohr of TheNew York Times)

Oral histories

CHM's Software Industry SIG continues to collect first-person accounts from pioneers in the computer software and services industry. In June 2008, the SIG conducted meetings of those who provided software for the DEC, Data General, and HP platforms. More than 30 pioneers and five historians participated in these events. Events included nine workshops and six oral histories from some of these pioneers and were videotaped. When transcribed and edited, they will be posted at oralhistories. To date, the SI SIG and its predecessor, the Software History Center, have conducted 101 oral histories and 50 pioneer workshops. Of the oral histories, 66 have already been posted on the CHMor Charles Babbage Institute oral history websites; 32 of the workshops have been posted on the CHM website. The rest of these transcripts will be added to the CHM website ( as soon as editing is completed.


CHM welcomes visitors and scholars of all ages and looks forward to a great 2009. The museum supports scholars—particularly independent and international (non-US) scholars—who pursue research into the history of computing. There is no fee for this assistance.

See what else the CHM has to offer with a visit to

                              Dag Spicer

                   Computer History Museum


Computer history prize announced

The first prize devoted to outstanding work in the history of computing will be presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology's SIGCIS in November 2009. SIGCIS is the Special Interest Group on Computers, Information and Society. The winner, as judged by a panel of prominent historians, will receive a check for $1,000. More important, however, is the recognition that this prize brings for the growing volume of excellent books being produced in the field. This is an important step forward in the development of the history of computing as a scholarly subfield.

Funding for the prize is provided by an anonymous donor, on whose suggestion it will be known as the Computer History Museum Prize. Selection of winners and administration of the prize are entirely under the control of SIGCIS, but its chair, Thomas Haigh (University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee) expressed a hope that the inauguration of the prize might prove an important step toward the development of closer ties between the Computer History Museum and the scholarly community. The announcement follows:

"The Computer History Museum Prize is awarded by SIGCIS to the author of an outstanding book in the history of computing broadly conceived, published during the prior three years (e.g., books published in 20062008 are eligible for the inaugural 2009 award). Books in translation are eligible for three years following the date of their publication in English. The prize of $1000, established through the generosity of an anonymous donor who wishes to honor the Computer History Museum, is administered by SIGCIS, SHOT's special interest group for computers, information and society. Publishers, authors, and other interested members of the computer-history community are invited to nominate books. Send one copy...


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