Computer Hobbyists and Personal Computing

April–June 2014

IEEE Annals magazine cover

This issue features several articles that give different perspectives on the emergence of affordable computers for use by ordinary people. Specifically, Kevin Gotkin's "When Computers Were Amateur" and Petri Saarikoski and Markku Reunanen's "Great Northern Machine Wars: Rivalry Between User Groups in Finland" look at the history of amateur computing from the perspective of the users, rather than that of the manufacturers or by focusing on technological artifacts. The issue also includes a discussion of the 1940s effort to convert ENIAC to the new style of programming first described in John von Neumann's "First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC" and an article by David Walden and his team of contributors that documents the emergence of the Arpanet Interface Message Processor (IMP) program and how it evolved to run on a variety of hardware platforms. Read full article »

About IEEE Annals of the History of Computing

IEEE Annals of the History of Computing covers the breadth of computer history through scholarly articles by leading computer scientists and historians, as well as firsthand accounts by computing pioneers. Annals is the authoritative archival journal for the history of computing.

Articles from IEEE Annals of the History of Computing

The Arpanet IMP Program: Retrospective and Resurrection

The Arpanet IMP Program: Retrospective and Resurrection

While the technological side of the Arpanet Interface Message Processor (IMP) has been documented in detail, this article delves into the historical side, the development, use, and later historical experiments with IMP. Read full article »

When Computers Were Amateur

When Computers Were Amateur

A look back at computer hobbyists in the late 1960s and early 1970s through the lens of the Amateur Computer Society newsletters. Read full article »


Seeking Editor in Chief for IEEE Annals of the History of Computing

The IEEE Computer Society seeks applicants for the position of editor in chief, serving a two-year term starting 1 January 2015. Prospective candidates are asked to provide (as PDF files), by 31 August 2014, a complete curriculum vitae, a brief plan for the publication's future, and a letter of support from their institution or employer. Applicants will be notified of the search results shortly after the November 2014 CS Board of Governors meeting. More information

Special Features

Interview with Jonathan Koomey
In today's era of battery-powered mobile devices, computing is being driven as much by energy efficiency as by performance. Research by Stanford University associate professor Jonathan Koomey discovered that since the 1940s, computers' energy efficiency has doubled about every year and a half. The Inside Story interviewed Koomey to learn more about his research and his predictions for the future. Hear interview and read full article »

The History of the History of Software
In this article, Martin Campbell-Kelly describes how writing software history has evolved over the last 40 years. The article has stirred up strong feelings among writers and readers of computing history. Read full article »

Web Extras:
Anecdotes and Events & Sightings

All IEEE Computer Society magazines are being published in ePub format.