History

The Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine lets you travel back in time to see old websites. Plus the Internet Archive has thousands of vintage games, software, books, and more.

Bits and Video Game History

Dive into the first “console wars” and learn how more bits led to bigger and better games.

Barbed Wire Telephone

How rural America connected itself to the phone grid using barbed wire, glass bottles, and even corncobs!

3D Printing in Space

How 3D printing could help us get to Mars, and create new tools, homes, spacecrafts — even organs!

A Short History of Lorem Ipsum

No discussion of design is complete without the history of lorem ipsum. It's more than placeholder text you stuff into a visual design.

3D in 2D Games

Learn some of the tricks game developers use to simulate an extra dimension.

Games before CD and HDMI

A long time ago, before the internet, games were stored on cassette tapes — just like music! Well, Sort of.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

A short history of virtual and augmented reality with lots of links to learn more.

al-Jazari Automatons

We might think robots are a modern invention. But al-Jazari created amazing automatons in the thirteenth century. Today we would call him a maker.

foo bar baz

These three strange words keep popping up in coding tutorials. What’s their story?

Battery History

Battery history is a critical part of the history of technology. Without stored electricity, there would be no electronics.

Clippy’s Back!

How Microsoft’s funny little assistant led to the AI we know and love today.

What’s Behind Bluetooth’s Funny Name?

A wacky story about connectivity, Danish kings, and the need for good dentists.

What was Deep Blue?

The first time AI beat humans at their own game.

Van Allen Belt

How science and tech led to an exciting discovery in one of the most dangerous areas of space.

History of Video Games

How did video games become popular before the internet? It’s all about shareware, floppy disks, and human cleverness!

Anatomy of an Email Address

What’s allowed in an e-mail address? Let’s break down the syntax.

Llama Emoji

Who chooses new emojis? And what’s coming in the next batch?

What Time is It?

Learn about the origin of Unix time, the calendar system used by digital devices.

The Blue Brain Project

Could a human brain be simulated by a computer? Would it think and feel like we do?

History of Game Controllers

Controllers have come a long way in 50 years. Let’s appreciate the bulky, awkward ancestors that led us here!

hitchBot

This Canadian experiment used a robot to explore how people respond to robots and technology.

Web Browser History

While everybody on the planet has used a web browser, many people don't know about web browser history.

Computer Keyboard History

Believe it or not, computers and keyboards were not invented together.

The History of Artificial Intelligence

The many pieces that make up AI have been built and used for thousands of years in many cultures.

The Cathedral and the Bazaar

An essay from the 1990s explores how software can be built like a cathedral or in groups like a bazaar.

The First Computors

Six women were hired to use their math skills to program the ENIAC computer. They called themselves The First Programmers Club.

Coding the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC)

Learn about and explore the code used to guide Apollo missions.

Single Board Computers

Raspberry Pi, Arduino, BeagleBone, Micro Bit, Edison, CHIP, and other handheld computers trace their history to board computers used by engineers.

Why Do Designers Hate Comic Sans?

The history of the font and the reasons people hate Comic Sans are great ways to learn about typography.