July 2014 Archives

You've probably seen this classic XKCD cartoon:

xkcd duty cartoon

Even before the internet, long before it, in fact, computer nerds were annoyed when people Got The Facts Wrong. Here's J.P. Nash, who happens to be Dr. John Purcell Nash, one of the creators of the ORDVAC and ILLIAC pair of computers in the early 1950s, complaining about an article on the ILLIAC by some reporter named Steve Anderson that appeared in the January 27, 1955 issue of the student-run Daily Illini newspaper:

JP Nash letter to the editor, Daily Illini, Jan 1955

Nash left the University of Illinois within two years of that letter, and wound up as an executive at a new aerospace firm named Lockheed Missile Space Corporation. I suppose if there'd been a reporter who misreported about a Lockheed missle, we'd be reading about it in the history books (or maybe not).



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The Friendly Orange Glow: The Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture, by Brian Dear
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