"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007


True or false? The 1980s (and earlier) were far more innovative than the 2000s for computer engineering and software development.

Anyone remember the Atari Transputer Workstation?

I'm not sure if the 1980s were more innovative. But it sure seems like there were fewer "rules" back then. That only makes sense.


DavidM said...

I had just recently read up a little on the transputer.

It was ahead of its time to be sure. Its almost a shame that chip manufacturers got so good at making single cores run fast.

It would be neat if you could upgrade your CPU just by adding a board with N more processors..

Anonymous said...

I would say that the 80s were more inventive, but not more innovative. There were fewer "rules" (as you noted) so people tried a lot of interesting stuff, but most of it went nowhere. If you take a look at the history of just about any other major technology advance there is a similar degree of wild and random tinkering during the early years (e.g. take a look at plane designs from the 20s-40s or the things people tried to do with electricity in the first quarter of the 20th century...)

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.