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Computing History

Some people find it difficult to exist without computers of some kind. Some believe they always existed. Some tell you they have only existed for the last two or three decades. Neither is right.

Computers and computing have been used for centuries, though not in their present form. An abacus is a manual computer; punch card machines used a form of computing at the beginning of the 1800s; Babbage built a computerised machine in the early 1800s; ENIAC was created in 1945.

Many people contributed to the development of present day computers and there are links to information on a number of these.

There is also information about the development of computing ideas, computers and operating systems.

A final section looks at a range of early computers used in Australian schools and homes. They were certainly not as capable as present equipment, but they were fun to use !

Finally, there is information about the history of The Internet looking at the who, where, when and what of its development.

Computing Pioneers

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History of Computing

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Early Computers

ENIAC

General Sites

Amiga & Commodore

Apple

  • Apple II
    Used especially in education.
  • Apple IIGS
    Information, graphics, technical data, links.
  • Apple Products 1976-2007
    Visual representation of all Apple products from the Apple 1 to Apple TV. Runs till 2007. Printable.
  • Apple Lisa
    History, technical information, graphics. A history of Apple from 1973 to 1989.
  • The Apple Museum
    ‘With more than 350 Apple products listed, the most comprehensive Apple history source on the internet’.

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Emulators

Amiga

  • Amiga Forever
    ‘Award-winning Amiga preservation, emulation, support package. The ultimate set of videos to chronicle and let you experience first hand the history, culture, challenges and passion behind the Amiga’.
  • RC Drummond E-UAE
    ‘Attempts to bring many of the great features of WinUAE to non-Windows platforms’.

Apple

  • Virtual Apple ][
    ‘Almost every Apple ][ and Apple IIgs game ever made, ready to play in your browser’.
  • Virtual ][
    ‘Emulates the Apple II computer on your Mac’.

Commodore

  • CCS64 - A Commodore 64 Emulator
    ‘Emulator for PC. The program is free to use and to copy, but if you use it regularly I would appreciate that you would register the program’.
  • Power64 and Power20
    ‘Run your favourite Commodore games on your Mac with Power64 and Power20 !’

DOS Emulators

  • Boxer
    ‘The DOS game emulator that’s fit for your Mac. Based on the robust DOSBox emulator, with a lot of magic sprinkled on top’.
  • DBGL : DOSBox Game Launcher
    ‘An open-source, multi-platform frontend for DOSBox, based largely upon the proven interface of D-Fend’.

Mac

  • Emulators on Mac
  • MAME OS X
    ‘Designed to take advantage of all the latest Mac OS X technologies, like Core Video and Core Image’.
  • SheepShaver
    ‘Open Source PowerPC MacOS run-time environment. Enables you to run PowerPC Classic MacOS software on your computer’.

Others

  • BeebEm
    ‘BeebEm is a BBC Micro and Master 128 emulator. BeebEm will run most BBC Micro software including Elite, Exile and Revs’.
  • EmuUnlim
    For anything about early home computers, emulators or other information.
  • JavaBoy
    ‘JavaBoy is a Gameboy emulator, which means it faithfully reproduces games from Nintendo’s Gameboy, on any machine which can run Java’.
  • MAME
    The first choice if you want to experience what computers were like in the past.
  • Rom Hustler
    In addition to the ROMS for each, there are emulators from the Atari 2600 to the Zinc and Sony PSP.

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General Sites

  • Neave Games
    ‘These classic arcade games should stir up a few memories of twiddling with joysticks as a kid’.
  • The Video Game Museum
    Dedicated to early computer games. Covers systems and games.

Other Specific Computers

Microbee

  • MicroBee
    Kit beginnings, disk machines, colour, premium series, games, final versions, links. Wikipedia.
  • Microbee [PCMuseum]
    Microbee Archive with photos, information, more.
  • Microbee Software Preservation Project
    A Forum and Public Repository. Designed to preserve software and documentation for this Australian product.
  • Nanowasp
    A MicroBee emulator suitable for Windows. A second emulator Ubee512 can be downloaded here. Suitable for Windows machines.

ZX Spectrum

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Internet History

The development of the Internet, how it has changed, how it might change.

Archives

  • Brief History of the Internet
    ‘In this paper, several of us involved in the development and evolution of the Internet share our views of its origins and history. This history revolves around four distinct aspects’. Links to related areas.
  • Email History
    ‘Key events and milestones in the invention of email are described’. Links to further information.
  • Gregory Gromov’s History
    The internet, WWW, hypertext.
  • History of Search Engines
    From 1945 to Google Today. Good information, easy to comprehend.
  • History of the Internet
    ‘The following links offer a broad range of perspectives on the history of the Internet’.
  • History of The Internet
    3 Terminals and an ARPA, Packet Switching, Networks that led to the internet, merging the networks, TCP/IP, opening to commerce, use and culture, historiography, references, further reading, links. Wikipedia.
  • History of The Internet
    Approx. 8 minutes.
  • Hobbes’ Internet Timeline
    Well annotated links to extensive events ranging from the 1950s. Many link to further information. Well maintained. Runs to 2010.
  • Internet History
    ‘Timeline begins in 1962, before the word Internet is invented’. Information presented in decades. Graphics, text, images, more. Stops at 1992.
  • Internet in Australia
    History, statistics, current state, the future, references, links, more. Wikipedia.
  • Keith Lynch’s Timeline of Net Related Terms and Concepts
    From the mid 1970s. Text presentation.
  • Life Online : The Web in 2020
    Social Issues Research Centre. ‘Aims to provide an outline and analysis not only of projected technological developments but their social, political, economic implications. What will the Web look like in 2020 ? What will it do ? Where will it be ? How will we use it ?’
  • Net History
    ‘Non-technical info tracing the international evolution of the Net - as well as computers and e-mail’.
  • Origins and Nature of the Internet in Australia
    ‘A significantly extended version of “A Brief History of the Internet in Australia”. One of very few attempts at the topic’. Only runs to 2004.
  • The History of the Internet and the World Wide Web
    Article with a further 13 related sections listed at the bottom. Worthwhile site.
  • The Internet
    ‘In-depth reference about the Internet’. Addresses the following using 8 major areas - Internet, web, email, Usenet, IRC, MUD’s, Lists.
  • The Ultimate Students Guide to Search Engines
    Multi-section presentation. Text, images, embedded links and reference listing of links at the end.
  • The World Wide Web History Project
    Information on how the web came into existence.
  • World Internet Project [Australia]
    ‘A highly detailed statistical account of Australian citizens’ and consumers’ adoption of the internet and the ways in which they have used this access’. Access to specific reports.

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