Image via Wikipedia
Here’s a couple of great places to spend 10 minutes when you’re looking for something new on the net. Science, history and just plain fun are only a click away.
A Little History, Loads Of Fun
I’ve been spending a little time over at the National Science Foundation’s website, and I found a interactive piece called ‘NSF and the Birth of the Internet’. With images and some well-written text, it allows you to trace the history of of what we now call the web, from the initial questions about connecting two computers together, to researching the next generation of the internet. Definitely worth taking a few minutes to check out.
I was especially interested in the second photo in the 70s section. That’s a Cray 1 supercomputer. (That’s it over on the right.) At the time it was about the fastest thing on the planet. Looking at it’s specs shows that most of us have more power than this on our desktops, and some of us have more on our phones. I liked it because it had a built-in couch. From their website:
The first Cray-1™ system was installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1976 for $8.8 million. It boasted a world-record speed of 160 million floating-point operations per second (160 megaflops) and an 8 megabyte (1 million word) main memory. The Cray-1’s architecture reflected its designer’s penchant for bridging technical hurdles with revolutionary ideas. In order to increase the speed of this system, the Cray-1 had a unique “C” shape which enabled integrated circuits to be closer together. No wire in the system was more than four feet long. To handle the intense heat generated by the computer, Cray developed an innovative refrigeration system using Freon.
I started to write a short thing about how to use their site, but they’ve already done a much better job by creating this really short (less than 2 mins) video.
– Jon, hoping you like the links.