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September 23, 2008

Minnesota's Hidden History in Computing

The second talk in our series on Minnesota's Hidden History in Computing will be held on Wednesday, October 8th at 7pm. See below for more details.

Minnesota's Hidden History in Computing: Origins in the Engineering Research Associates

October 8th, 7-8 pm
Andersen Library 120 (West Bank)

Did a Minnesota start-up company create the country's first stored-program computer? This informal evening talk, the second in a year-long series of public lectures given by staff at the Charles Babbage Institute, examines the pioneering Engineering Research Associates. Organized in 1946, this St. Paul company was a seed-bed of innovative technologies and computer designs. ERA also helped create the modern computer industry, evolving into the Univac Division of Sperry-Rand as well as spinning off the notable Control Data Corporation. This talk surveys ERA's accomplishments and discusses its legacy in shaping modern computing.

Each of these monthly lectures, on Wednesday evenings, will explore a specific topic or company. We invite members of the public and university community to attend and learn more about Minnesota's "hidden history" in computing. This evening, free reprint copies of the landmark ERA volume, High-Speed Computing Devices (1950), will be available.

Future talks will be on the third Wednesday of each month from 7-8 pm.
Nov 19: Control Data Corp.
Dec 17: Univac . . . to . . . Unisys
Jan 21: Honeywell

Spring topics will include: IBM-Rochester, GOPHER, biomedical, IBM’s Blue Gene

For more information:
www.cbi.umn.edu or 612-624-5050

September 16, 2008

Out of Office

I will be out of the office from September 18 through October 1. During that time, please direct your reference questions to Arvid, at 612-625-4867 or nels0307@umn.edu. Thanks for your understanding!

September 8, 2008

AHA Archives Wiki - CBI page

I just created a rudimentary page for CBI on the American Historical Association's Archives Wiki. The wiki is designed to be useful to historians and archival researchers of all disciplines. Please feel free to go in and edit our page with information you've found useful if you've done research here, or let me know here in the comments what information you'd like included.

September 4, 2008

Minnesota's Hidden Computing History

CBI will be starting a new, exciting evening lecture series this semester, on Minnesota's hidden computing history. They will generally be held every month on a Wednesday from 7-8 pm, in Andersen Library, room 120. The first one will be Wednesday, September 17 (two weeks from yesterday). Anyone is welcome to attend!

Here are some more details about the first lecture:

"Minnesota's Hidden History in Computing: Why Not Silicon Valley?"
September 17th, 7-8 pm
Andersen Library 120 (West Bank)

Charles Babbage Institute
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis MN 55455

What made California's Silicon Valley into a world-famous center for computing, and could Minnesota have claimed this title? This informal evening talk, the first in a year-long series of public lectures given by staff at the Charles Babbage Institute, surveys the hidden history of computing in the Twin Cities and across the state. Minnesota's pioneering computer companies -- the Engineering Research Associates, Sperry-Univac, Control Data, Honeywell, Unisys, IBM-Rochester and others -- were second to none in innovative technology, people, and markets. The University made important advances in the early World Wide Web. This is a history that certainly needs to be better known.

Each of the monthly lectures, on Wednesday evenings, will explore a specific topic or company. We invite members of the public and university community to attend and learn more about Minnesota's "hidden history" in computing.

For more information:
www.cbi.umn.edu or 612-624-5050