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Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. --Pablo Picasso

IBM 5100 (1975), the first personal computer

Computer World (1981) - Kraftwerk [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Computers in fiction

To formulate a coherent history of computers in fiction, the best place to begin may be Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, published in 1726. Swift presents an inventor who has constructed a gigantic machine designed to allow "the most ignorant Person" to "write Books in Philosophy, Poetry, Politicks, Law, Mathematicks and Theology." This "Engine" contains myriad "Bits" crammed with all the words of a language, "all linked together by slender Wires" that can be turned by cranks, thus generating all possible linguistic combinations. Squads of scribes produce hard copy by recording any sequence of words that seems to make sense. --H. Bruce Franklin, http://newark.rutgers.edu/~hbf/compulit.htm

Ubiquitous computing

Ubiquitous computing (ubicomp, or sometimes ubiqcomp) integrates computation into the environment, rather than having computers which are distinct objects. Another term for ubiquitous computing is pervasive computing. Promoters of this idea hope that embedding computation into the environment would enable people to move around and interact with computers more naturally than they currently do. One of the goals of ubiquitous computing is to enable devices to sense changes in their environment and to automatically adapt and act based on these changes based on user needs and preferences. Some simple examples of this type of behavior include GPS-equipped automobiles that give interactive driving directions and RFID store checkout systems. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubiquitous_computing [Jan 2005]

The computer as metamedium

"The protean nature of the computer is such that it can act like a machine or like a language to be shaped and exploited. It is a medium that can dynamically simulate the details of any other medium, including media that cannot exist physically. It is not a tool, although it can act like many tools. It is the first metamedium, and as such it has degrees of freedom for representation and expression never before encountered and as yet barely investigated." (Alan Kay, 1984) via http://pensieve.thinkingms.com/PermaLink,guid,69f0ba20-be01-433f-bd47-f47735f124f2.aspx [Dec 2004]

Computer as a metamedium: a machine which can be used to acquire, manipulate, store, distribute and access all media formats (text, images, video, film, sound, music, virtual three-dimensional spaces). --http://www.manovich.net/vis40_fall00/vis40-lecture2.html [Dec 2004]

Media Computing: Computational Media Aesthetics - Chitra Dorai, Svetha Venkatesh

  1. Media Computing: Computational Media Aesthetics - Chitra Dorai, Svetha Venkatesh [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Explores the annotation, indexing, and organization of media content for automated search and retrieval systems. The incompatibility between low-level features that can be computed automatically to describe media content and the high-level meaning associated with the content by users is known as the semantic gap. This collection of eight papers introduces the computational media aesthetics approach to the semantic gap, outlines its foundations in media production principles, and presents a computational framework for deriving high- level semantic constructs from recorded audio and video. Topics include space-time mappings as database browsing tools, modeling color dynamics for the semantics of commercials, and determining affective events through film audio. --Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

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