[SIGCIS-Members] software history/historiography?

Armand Van Dormael a.vandormael at skynet.be
Tue Aug 24 05:24:02 PDT 2010

Hello Julie,

You may wish to add a footnote to your speech about the history of software.
In 1972, François Gernelle and a team of electronics engineers, working for a small company called R2E, 
designed a program to support the logic of Intel's untested 8008 microprocessor.
It was intended to run the Micral, an electronic calculator for which Gernelle coined the term "microcomputer".
In  www.feb-patrimoine.com/.../micral/micral_gernelle_toulouse.doc   he explains in great detail - in French - the basics of the operating system. 
This constitutes the birth certificate of the PC.
Two of the engineers who participated in the program gave me a short memo about their contribution.
The Micral was successfully sold to government agencies and to private companies.
In 1974, an upgraded version was demonstrated without success at the National Computer Conference in Chicago.  
The director of 'Popular Electronics' picked up the advertising material outlining the technical specifications. 
He gave it to Ed Roberts, the owner of a small hardware store, and asked him to put together a do-it-yourself kit. They named it Altair. 
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak used the kit to build their first Apple. Bill Gates and Paul Allen wrote the software.
The rest is history. 
For several years, R2E had a world monopoly. Badly managed, the company went bankrupt and was taken over by Bull.
Gernelle set up his own company, but did not have the financial resources to compete with the multinationals.
For several years, he served as consultant, before retirng to cultivate his vinyard. 

Best wishes,

Armand Van Dormael
33A Drève de la Meute

1410 Waterloo


Tel/fax :+32 2 3549663

a.vandormael at skynet.be

From: "julie hugsted" <jhugsted at gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2010 4:50 PM
To: <members at sigcis.org>
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] software history/historiography?

> Hello fellow sigcis'ers,
> I currently work on a speech for the Danish Society for the History of
> Technology. My working title is 'Software - the historical study of an
> immaterial technology', and I attempt to a) give an introduction to
> the field, software history, and b) discuss the challenges of working
> with software history.
> I know of this very comprehensive bibliography of software history
> (http://www.cbi.umn.edu/research/shbib.pdf - thanks to those who made
> it!!) and I think that I have an overall good overview of the
> litterature on the subject.
> Nervetheless, I figure that some of you might have a favourite
> article, a must-read suggestion or have just worked with the matter of
> software history and historiographical challenges? If this is the
> case, please, do not hesitate to send me suggestions for further
> reading, - I prefer a suggestion that I might already have thought of,
> than no suggestion at all!
> Thank you very much, have a joyfull Monday
> The best regards
> Julie
> _______________________________________________
> This email is relayed from members at sigcis.org, the email discussion list of SHOT SIGCIS. The list archives are at http://sigcis.org/pipermail/members/ and you can change your subscription options at http://sigcis.org/mailman/listinfo/members
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/attachments/20100824/b1d06307/attachment-0001.htm>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Beckmann memo.doc
Type: application/msword
Size: 24576 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/attachments/20100824/b1d06307/attachment-0002.doc>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Ackermann memo.doc
Type: application/msword
Size: 25088 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/attachments/20100824/b1d06307/attachment-0003.doc>

More information about the Members mailing list