Docubyte’s photographs of these aging objects have been digitally restored and returned to their original form by studio ink. Since many of the machines predate modern color photography, ‘guide to computing’ showcases them in a never-before-seen context. These massive mainframes were intended to be stood at, walked around, and sat at. The ever-evolving miniaturization of computers has rendered these objects charmingly naive and — from a modern day perspective — essentially obsolete. Set on a palette of colorful backdrops, the devices that make up the photo essay exhibit complex physical characteristics of a bygone time — a labyrinth of wires and an abundance of buttons epitomize both their beauty and fascinating mechanical attributes.
Via ABC News:
Thirty years ago today, the nation watched on live television as the Challenger shuttle carrying seven people, including a high school teacher, exploded into a fireball 73 seconds after liftoff.
On an unusually cold January morning, the astronauts’ families and other onlookers watched as the Challenger lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, for what was supposed to be a seven day trip. Shortly after liftoff an orange fireball and smoke could be seen in the sky.
“Obviously a major malfunction,” Stephen Nesbitt at mission control said, according to transcripts of the Challenger disaster.
January 27th marked the ”plugs-out” test, where the command/service module was operating with all three astronauts inside under its own power, an essential test for ensuring the spacecraft’s flight worthiness. There was no fuel, no cryogenics, and no known potential hazard to this test. All three astronauts entered the module in fully pressurized space suits, while the cabin was pressurized and filled with oxygen. The three hatches — the removable inner hatch, the hinged outer hatch, and then the outer hatch cover — were then externally installed. A minor communications problem arose in the late afternoon, causing the simulated countdown to stall at T-minus-10 minutes. What happened next was very fast.
At 6:30:54 PM, while the crew was running through their checklist a second time, a voltage spike was recorded. Ten seconds later, at 6:31:04, one of the astronauts exclaimed something inaudible, perhaps “Hey!” or “Fire,” a transmission that came through Grissom’s microphone. Two seconds later, at 6:31:06, Chaffee’s voice was clearly heard, “We’ve got a fire in the cockpit.” Seven seconds after that, at 6:31:13, an unidentifiable, heavily garbled voice yells “[…] bad fire […] get… out […] [open ‘er/burning] up,” followed by an end to the last transmission at 6:31:22. The last image that anyone reported seeing before the transmission ended was Ed White reaching for the inner hatch handle, as the flames swept from left to right across the monitor.
During the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, the tactical mindset was MAD — Mutually Assured Destruction. Neither party could be sure of who would start a war, but, thanks to awesome destructive forces, they could both be certain that they could end it. Nuclear weapons, the backbone of these arsenals, were simple enough to launch but hard to maintain. The need to keep nuclear weapons primed in turn led the U.S. to develop all types of state-of-the-art maintenance machinery, like the “Beetle”. It was a 77-ton, 27-foot-tall mech.
The University of Illinois’ PLATO IV terminal, part of the PLATO educational computer systems the school started developing in the ’60s, has an infrared touch panel that allows students to answer questions by touching the screen. Though other touch-screen devices existed before PLATO IV, it is the first to be widely known and used in Illinois classrooms.
The Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest narratives in the world, got a surprise update last month when the Sulaymaniyah Museum in the Kurdistan region of Iraq announced that it had discovered 20 new lines of the Babylonian-Era poem of gods, mortals, and monsters. Since the poem has existed in fragments since the 18th century BC, there has always been the possibility that more would turn up. And yet the version we’re familiar with — the one discovered in 1853 in Nineveh — hasn’t changed very much over recent decades. The text remained fairly fixed — that is, until the fall of Baghdad in 2003 and the intense looting that followed yielded something new.