Articles on History

Last updated: 2022/11/14

Top deep-dives on History

if... then... else had to be invented!

An interesting dive into the history of programming and the origins of if, then, and else by Eric Fischer.

Get me off Your Fucking Mailing List

You ever been so upset about something, you decided to publish a paper decrying it? Everyone has got a few things that will set them off, make their eyes pop, or their head explode from fury and rage. In this thorough paper, David Mazi`eres and Eddie Kohler drive home a very clear, and powerful message; it's time to get them off your fucking mailing list.

Combinators and the Story of Computation

Mathematics has been standardized to such an extent, that it's really the most international language (numbers and "naah, that's waaay too expensive" are usually the first things I learn when I go somewhere). But that wasn't always the case. In this knowledge-packed article, Stephen Wolfram describes a little bit of the history of mathematical symbology, combinators and their mathematics, Gödel’s theorem and computability, lambda calculus, practical computation, combinators in culture, designing symbolic language, and combinators in the computational universe.

What all Developers need to know about: Reverse Tabnabbing

Now you guys know I try to only have the newest content, but you also know I occasionally make exceptions to the rule. Well this is one of them, because honestly, I care about security and keeping people informed about it on the web. In this article, Martijn van Lambalgen explains how malicious parties can trick web users when opening a new link, how to prevent it as a developer, and the performance costs of doing so.

Booting the IBM 1401: How a 1959 punch-card computer loads a program

Something about using punch cards for programming just fascinates me. It's kind of wild to think how far we've come from the first programmers (in terms of quality of life more so than quality of code). Ken Shirriff's article is about the IBM 1401 computer and how it loaded programs from punch cards.

Turing Oversold

Been a while since we've had a historical article. In this one, Jürgen Schmidhuber navigates the history of computers, illuminating the works of the giants whose shoulders Turing stood upon, underlining their substantial contribution to the creation of computers.

The inside story of the outside investigation of SoftRAM 95

Scams are everywhere, especially when it comes to computers and technology in general. Raymond Chen's concise article illuminates software called SoftRAM 95, which promised to “Double Your Memory”. Raymond discusses the investigation he had to carry out on the piece of software, which was causing computers to crash, and describes what exactly was happening.

Street Fighter II, Sound System internals

Fabien Sanglard presents what it took for you to hear the sound effects in the iconic Street Fighter II arcade game.

The evolution of scalable CSS

Over time, the way we write and think about CSS has changed significantly. Remy Sharp outlines the history of CSS, how it has evolved, best practices, and some of the challenges of managing it at scale.
Some highlights:

  • CSS is a tricksy hobbitses to manage
  • Best practices have kind of come full circle, with no external style sheets, then having them introduced, and now inline being preferred again for libraries like Tailwind
  • There is no correct answer to what the best way to manage CSS is (sHocKer)

The Ruby Compiler Survey, Rubinius

Ruby has a number of different compilers. In this extensive article, Chris Seaton covers the Rubinius compiler, discussing its history and diving deeply into its functionality.

Working in the software industry, circa 1989

Jim Grey shares a bit of what it was like developing software over 30 years ago.

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