The early years of electronic engineering

Electronic calculators appeared between the two world wars. Though there was some interest in electronic calculation, the main reason for which electronic calculators appeared was balistic calculations. As a matter of fact, each balistic weapon had its own, hand calculated, table of trajectories. Calculating one table took a considerable amount of time. Electronic calculators partially solved this problem, till computers arrived. They were the next generation of electronic calculators: they executed a sequence of instructions called program(or software nowadays). In the 1940s, computers had very limited abilities and could only execute a very short program. But they were revolutionar. They could compute a table of square roots, solve complex equations, etc.

OXO: The oldest graphical computer game was played on the EDSAC, which was the world’s first stored-program computer to operate a regular computing service. Designed and built  at Cambridge University,England, the EDSAC performed its first calculation on 6th May 1949.

Tennis for two: The world’s first video game, was run by an analog computer hooked up to an oscilloscope as early as 1958. Back then, analog computers were used to work out all kinds of mechanical problems. They didn’t have the accuracy of digital computers, which were very crude at the time, but then you didn’t need a great deal of precision to play TV games.

Spacewar! is one of the earliest known digital computer games conceived in 1961 and completed in 1962. “…The hyperspace feature could be used as a last-ditch means to evade enemy missiles, but the reentry from hyperspace would occur at a random location and there was an increasing probability of the ship exploding with each use….”

Hackers - Heroes of the Computer Revolution. This book was published in 1984 by Steven Levy. He describes the people, the machines, and the events that defined the Hacker Culture, from the early mainframe hackers at MIT, to the self-made hardware hackers and game hackers. It also describes the Hacker Ethic:Access to computers should be unlimited and total.

Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative.

All information should be free.

Mistrust authority–promote decentralization.

Hackers should be judged by their hacking.

You can create art and beauty on a computer.

Computers can change your life for the better.