Stretch-ing Is Great Exercise: It Gets You in Shape to Win - IEEE Journals & Magazine edit / delete

Fred Brooks on the IBM Stretch project, which pioneered pipelining, 8-byte bytes, multihead hard disks, and various other things we take for granted today. I particularly liked this bit about ECC memory: "The contract required that Stretch run for a month with better than 90% availability. The machine chugged along great and was hovering right above the 90% line when one bit driver, or else one sense amplifier, failed completely! For the rest of the acceptance test, the IBM team just ran it the way it was. There was not time to stop and fix it; stopping would have ruined the statistics. So the Stretch ran along to the end of the month single-error correcting every memory access from that box."

to architecture ecc history ibm pipelining retrocomputing stretch ... on 16 February

How ASCII Got Its Backslash edit / delete

Short answer: "It enabled the ALGOL "and" to be "/\" and the "or" to be "\/"."

to algol ascii character history retrocomputing text ... on 14 February

Notes on the History of Fork and Join - IEEE Journals & Magazine edit / delete

The terms are surprisingly old -- there's a 1963 paper with a diagram that's pretty much what's on my CMP202 slides.

to concurrent fork history parallel retrocomputing ... on 02 February

Industrial Alchemy edit / delete

Unusual valves, semiconductors and display devices - all the things that were competing with Nixie tubes, for example.

to electronics history led retrotech semiconductor valve ... on 07 October 2017

Roll Scanning Information Page edit / delete

A very large collection of scanned piano rolls, converted to MIDI.

to history midi music piano piano-roll ... on 20 September 2017

Software Preservation Group — Software Preservation Group edit / delete

Some fairly specific archiving projects from CHM -- e.g. as much as they could collect about early Fortran compilers.

to compiler fortran history language-design retrocomputing ... on 13 September 2017

Historic card games described by David Parlett edit / delete

"These pages [...] present (a) histories of classic games such as Poker and Euchre and (b) details of historic games, such as Gleek and Quadrille, that are now only museum pieces." Lots of interesting stuff here.

to amusements card games history tabletop ... on 12 September 2017

Letters for digits in UK telephone numbers edit / delete

How were STD codes assigned to UK telephone exchanges originally? It turns out they were in alphabetical order...

to exchange history phone retrotech std uk ... on 12 September 2017

Oboe Classics - Geoffrey Burgess on the Oboe as the Custodian of Orchestral Pitch edit / delete

Why orchestras tune to the oboe, and what they've actually been tuning to over time. (They suggest that if you've got a recording at an unknown speed, assuming A=440Hz is actually not a bad idea.)

to history music oboe orchestra retrotech tuning ... on 12 September 2017

Sound on Sound's "Classic Tracks" | MetaFilter edit / delete

List of all the articles. Fascinating reading!

to audio history mixing music recording retrotech ... on 13 May 2017

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