The Pearcey foundation is involved in many activities that aims to preserve our ICT history.
The Pearcey Foundation's computing history activities include:
This section contains a collection of papers and notes about Australian ICT history.
In historical terms, CSIR Mk1/CSIRAC was one of the first stored program, electronic, computers.
Prior to 1948 various electromechanical machines (non-electronic computers) were built in USA and Germany. Early electronic, but not stored program machines, were ENIAC (USA) and numerous Colossuses (Colossi?) at Bletchley Park (UK).
In 1986, a year after the Internet domain name system was deployed, Australia's.au country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) came into being at the approval of the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute (performing IANA's function at the time).
This paper gives an overview of early Australian computing milestones up to about 1970 and demonstrates a mesh of influences. Wartime radar, initially from Britain, provided basic experience for many computing engineers. This is an excellent perspective on how Australia influenced the development of the digital computer as we know it today.
Pearcey Conversations online seminar 30 September 2020 covered a retrospective from three key figures behind Radiata, the Australian startup that commercialized the Wifi chip conceived at the CSIRO Radiophysics in Sydney in the early 1990s.
In August 1951, a conference was held at Sydney University’s Department of Electrical Engineering. It was the first computer conference ever held in Australia and only the ninth computer conference anywhere in the world.
We don't think twice about playing music via a computer - we have them in our pockets, and in our homes and offices, with music on tap. But playing music on a computer was once an almost unthinkable leap of the imagination and the most devilishly difficult programming challenge.
Computing underpins every aspect of our lives, from smart phones to the robots that assemble our cars.
It gathers data on traffic, schedules deliveries and tracks parcels. It is embedded in cameras, remote controls, air-conditioners, and even toasters. It matches us to partners, suggests our purchases, and tracks our fitness. And so much more.
Australia's first computer weighed two tonnes, filled a large room and had a tiny fraction of the capacity of today's typical smartphone. But why would such a machine continue to be relevant today?