History and Impact of Computing

COIS 3820H -History and Impact of Computing 2013 Winter Term ASSIGNMENT #1 -HISTORICAL METHODOLOGY Date released: January 9th Due: January 30th. The assignment is to be submitted in hard-copy format, and should be no longer than the equivalent length of 8 double-spaced, typewritten pages. It can be handed in at the start of class or deposited into the Regoczei assignment drop box (in the hallway outside of OC 102) by 3:00 p.m. Late assignments will not be accepted. 1. EMPIRES (Black) Historically speaking, great empires and powerful administration systems are closely linked. Each empire in history possessed specific technologies for communication and information handling. The administrative records and the administrative messages had to be handled reliably and at minimum cost. We could almost say that each empire possessed its own characteristic information handling technology. Empires such as the Roman, the British, and the Japanese, each had their own technological solutions. So did the Third Reich. Choose three of your favourite historical empires. Describe the specific administrative documentation technologies that made your three empires great. 2. PRODUCT LINES (Isaacson) The clientele of Apple was always straddling the kiddie-computing and the adultcomputing worlds. Steve Jobs understood that very well. He always knew that the Apple product line had to be outward-looking. He enjoyed the misery of his competitors, who tried to be more narrow and who tried to reduce their merchandise offerings to fewer and fewer profitable products of the moment. Describe the history of the Apple product line. (You may want to use a time line for this.) Also describe how the Big-Kids computing world managed to mediate between the various computational roles that could not be reconciled in a more direct way. (Recall the classroom discussion about irreconcilable roles–and not people–such as the pedestrian versus motorist dichotomy.) 3. WHO AND WHERE: THE COUNTERCULTURE (Turner)…

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