[SIGCIS-Members] Ellen Ullman, Halt & Catch Fire & a nuclear podcast

thomas.haigh at gmail.com thomas.haigh at gmail.com
Wed Aug 25 08:36:17 PDT 2021


Hello SIGCIS,

 

Communications of the ACM has now published the third part of my trilogy on
classic depictions of IT work. "Women's Lives in Code" explores two
depictions of IT work in the 1980s and 1990s: Ellen Ullman's wonderful
memoir _Close to the Machine_ and the more recent historical TV drama "Halt
and Catch Fire." Spoiler: if you tried season 1 of the show and gave up,
just skip to season 2.
https://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2021/9/255032-womens-lives-in-code/fulltext
This marks the conclusion of my foray into media criticism.

 

If you missed the first two parts, you can read about Kidder's _Soul of a
New Machine_ at
https://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2021/1/249451-the-immortal-soul-of-an-old-mac
hine/fulltext and Levy's _Hackers_ at
https://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2021/4/251341-when-hackers-were-heroes/fullte
xt.

 

While I am here, I should mention that I was the guest on Shelly Lesher's
_My Nuclear Life_ podcast recently. The conversation focused on the
connection of the nuclear program to the very early history of electronic
computing, retelling the ENIAC/EDVAC story from that viewpoint. Basically
material from _ENAIC in Action_, my 2016 book with Mark Priestley and
Crispin Rope. But if you'd rather listen than read, find it at
https://mynuclearlife.com/episode/history-of-early-computing-with-thomas-hai
gh. She's a lively interviewer and has had some important guests on earlier
episodes so I recommend the podcast for those with an interest in nuclear
history.

 

Best wishes,

 

Tom

 

 

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