American Minitel: Learning from Failure

January–March 2016

IEEE Annals magazine cover

This issue features articles on history of the American Minitel network and the reasons for its failure by Julien Mailland, a glimpse through the Iron Curtain at the history of Soviet-era computing as seen through the eyes of Western experts by Nicholas Lewis, a history of the US Supreme Court decision Gottschalk v. Benson and how it shaped our understanding of software, a look at the IBM Advanced Computer System (ACS) and Project Y, and the second in a two-part series on the challenge of writing contemporary history by James Cortada. More »

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

Peering through the Curtain: Soviet Computing through the Eyes of Western Experts

Peering through the Curtain: Soviet Computing through the Eyes of Western Experts

The interaction between Western computer specialists and their Soviet counterparts during the Cold War helped to shape US perceptions of Soviet computing’s threat to the West. Read full article »

Small Step for Machines, Giant Leap for Mexico: A Local History of Computing

Small Step for Machines, Giant Leap for Mexico: A Local History of Computing

From the first computer installed in 1958 to today’s research institutions granting advanced degrees, the authors present a brief history of computer science in Mexico. Read full article »

Announcements

SIGCIS Mahoney Prize

SIGCIS is offering the Mahoney Prize for the best article on the history of computing. 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