HOPE X (2014): "Hearses and Hand-Held Calculators: The Unlikely Connections That Shaped Modern Technology and Tech Culture" (Download)
Saturday, July 19, 2014: 11:00 am (Serpico): Explore unlikely connections between well known milestones in technology, tech culture, and seemingly mundane things and events that helped bring them into being. The importance of these seemingly insignificant sparks could not have been imagined at the time of their introduction. The discussion starts with the story of how the Casio mini calculator led directly to the formation of the software giant Microsoft. Next, the talk will explore how early 1970s minicomputer field techs accidentally invented the first personal microcomputers, predating the Altair, IMSAI, and Apple I. The conversation will move to the hidden connections between Datapoint computer company CEO Harold O'Kelley, the Intel 4004 processor, and the eventual dominance of the Ethernet networking protocol over token ring and ARCnet. The presentation will conclude with a story of unlikely connections between a 1963 hearse, the Commodore 64 version of the Ghostbusters! software package, and the true uncredited originator of the story that the film and game was based on.