One of the issues that led to Brazil's "reserved market" policy (1977 to 1992: no foreign companies could make mini and microcomputers and there were no imports) was that in 1974 the government got so tired of US spying (including on companies such as Petrobras) that they set up a task force to create a cryptographic system for Telex machines (to be expanded to voice later).
I thought King Arthur was Celtic (speaking Latin with a Celtic accent) and fought against the Anglo Saxon invaders. And that Robin Hood spoke French, so English would be fake for him no matter what accent is used (not that the movie goers would ever accept this).
Some small corrections:
Data General Nova machines were popular at Xerox PARC before the Alto was developed, so one of the various instruction sets that the Alto supported was that of the Nova allowing old software to be easily ported to the new machine. Other than that, there was no relation between Xerox and Data General.
While the Alto and its successors (including the Star and specially the Dorado) were very expensive, there was the Notetaker project that would have had a huge impact if it had been released. Imagine a $3000 machine in 1979 like the future Compaq portable but with a mouse and GUI. Don't pay attention to what the Wikipedia or the Computer History Museum say about the machine, by the way, but look at the original documents instead:
The original plan was to create a Xerox microprocessor compatible with the Alto and use two 8086 for I/O. Imagine how cool that would have been! But the group was forbidden to do their own chips, though there was a division of PARC for doing just that. So the design was changed to three 8086s instead. And as neat as this was, there were plans for a cost reduced Notetaker 2. An executive flew from the east coast specially to kill the project and make sure it really died because the board had decided to keep Xerox outside of the silly microcomputer business. They changed their minds a little later and gave us a Z80 CP/M machine after IBM came out with their PC.
The only good thing about this was that the Notetaker's designer, Douglas Fairbairn, was so upset over the cancellation that he left PARC and founded VLSI Technology Inc. (VTI) which made possible for small companies to design their own chips. Like Acorn and their ARM.
I find it ironic that several people are proposing that demanding real names would solve some of Wikipedia's problems because I was banned for life for using a "spam user name", which happens to be my real first name (I have never used a nickname since I got online in 1986, except in systems that use numbers as user IDs). Now I know that is not the real reason, but it is the official reason and the only option they offer for getting my account unbanned is to post a special message selecting a different user ID, which then wouldn't be my real name.
My guess is that the real reason I was banned was because my home page (which was deleted) only had a short phrase about me and a link to my home page, which is a company page. When I created my account (a few years before the guy who banned me), I took a quick look at a few other user pages and most were like this so I just copied their style. If this is not acceptable, then just delete the page. I don't care: I was asked to create a page when I created the account though I didn't really want to. But banning for life seems a bit harsh.
That's a *basic* system; the point-plotting CRT display used in Spacewar! would have added quite a bit to the cost.
Is this correct? I always had the impression that the display was a standard part of the PDP-1 and only became optional in later models.
For DEC they could have gone downscale to PCs, but the profit margins are too low: it's a commodity item. IBM doesn't build PCs anymore; they sold their PC business to Lenovo.
People, including Gordon Bell, like to mention Ken's "Nobody needs a computer in their home" quote to say he lacked the vision to get into the PC market. I don't agree - as much as it saddens me, the home computer was a fad that had died out by the 1990s. People have PCs, which is a business machine, in their home offices.
While DEC's PC efforts failed, this 1982 movie shows that they did try:
This approach, trying to leverage their PDP-11 and PDP-8 technologies, had a better chance of working than their later industry standard stuff, like the Rainbow. But I think they were about three years too late.
I suppose that by "x86 OLPC" they mean the current XO 1.5 which is powered by a 1GHz VIA chip.
None of the early Zuse machines were stored program computers - they had a relay memory for data and got their instructions from punched tape. The table in the Wikipedia page about the Z3 seems about right:
The Manchester Baby was the first stored program machine, quickly followed by the modified ENIAC (the original used patch panels and cables) and then the EDSAC. Since the Baby was created to explore ideas for the EDSAC rather than as a usable machine on its own, I guess if you squint enough the article is right in an Obi-wan kind of way
Can you imagine an episode with Admiral Adama addressing the United Nations? How could that not suck?
Why don't you search for "UN BSG" on Youtube and see what it would look like?
The official reason why the ARM wasn't used was that none of the many available models had decent floating point when the OLPC project was started. Unfortunately, the Geode's floating point performance turned out to be less than what was hoped. Unofficially, I imagine that the fact that AMD was one of the four initial sponsors of the OLPC biased the choice towards their product, just like having Red Hat as one of the other sponsors led to the Fedora based software (in contrast to using some already stripped down Linux distribution).
Things have changed since 2005, including the decision by AMD to discontinue the Geode (which they had bought from National, who had bought the creator Cyrix). The decision to use the x86 compatible Via processors for the XO 1.5 greatly reduced the software effort, which is very important given their current limited staff.
I am a huge fan of the ARM (I think I was the first one in the world outside of Acorn itself to use this processor in a project) but back in 2005 my suggestion for OLPC was that they should do their own custom chip using two Leon 3 (Sparc) cores. I still think it would have been a good idea.
The IBM people saw that business people using the Apple II normally had a Z80 Softcard from Microsoft with CP/M and several Microsoft tools and applications. They decided that their machine should have this as well.
In their meeting with Bill, they were shocked to find out that CP/M belonged to a different company. Bill Gates immediately called Gary Kindall and told him he was sending some very important people to talk to him. The IBM people went to California and when things didn't work out they came back to Seattle and Bill promised to supply an OS himself.
Don't trust me on this - see what the people actually involved said about it:
Pictures of the voting machine screen with a given candidate only prove that the voter typed in the number they were told to. After taking the picture, they could have pressed "cancel" and typed in a different number before pressing "confirm".
His contribution to tech has been what, exactly? A keyboard layout that was rejected?
That was a different Dvorak.