I recently got the chance to sit down with
, physicist, programmer and
Channel 9 celebrity
, to learn about the history of computing. As you know, Brian is a great teacher. This lesson focuses on the evolution of computing devices and delves into some of the not-so-obvious uses of hand-held programmable calculators in the not-so-distant
Did you know that the 1975
international space mission incorporated a programmable calculator, the
, to calculate precise course corrections for the rendezvous and linking of Apollo and Soyuz space crafts? A calculator!! Indeed, programmable calculators are the predecessors of today's computers. But what
came before the hand-held computing titans of the 70s? What was the first computer?
Brian has quite a collection of computing devices in his office, some of which, as expected, predate digital devices. We get a look at these and learn about their place in history.
Of course, Brian is a software developer with uncanny capability for designing accurate simulations (remember the
Forza math interview
?) so he decided to write an innovative application that simulates the HP-97, precisely. Brian works on the Data Programmability team (SQL, LINQ, Entity Framework, etc) so he implemented the HP-97's
programmability and storage in ADO.NET and SQL. Brian will be producing a
to dig into what he did, so look for this showing up soon!
As always, it was a pleasure to converse with Brian and learn about how computers got to where they are today. It's a long interview, so get comfortable, relax, and learn from a master.