The Best of Technologizer

Most technology journalism has an exceedingly short shelf life. That’s O.K.: It reflects the breakneck pace of the tech industry, which is always anxious to move on to the next big thing. Most of the stories below, however, concern themselves with history rather than breaking events. They were published on Technologizer’s original 2008-2012 version and on; many are among the most ambitious pieces we ever produced, and almost all of them were very popular.

Unless otherwise specified, all of these stories are by me, Harry McCracken.

50 Years of BASIC, the Programming Language That Made Computers Personal: In April 1964, Dartmouth College democratized computing. (April 2014)

How Gmail Happened: Google’s e-mail breakthrough, ten years later. (April 2014)

Steve Jobs’ First Demo of the Mac for the Public, Unseen Since 1984: An important piece of computing history gets preserved. (January 2014)

My Kennedy Polaroids: Instant History: Two moments from JFK’s 1960 trip to Medford, Oregon, captured forever. (January 2013)

Please Don’t Call it Trash-80: The 35th anniversary of Radio Shack’s TRS-80. (August 2012)

Newton Reconsidered: Apple’s first handheld computer reviewed, twenty years after its announcement. (June 2012)

25 Years of IBM’s OS/2: It was supposed to become the dominant operating system, and didn’t. But it’s never gone away. (April 2012)

Why History Needs Software Piracy: Benj Edwards on the legacy we risk losing. (January 2012)

How the iPad 2 Became My Favorite Computer: Yes, it’s capable of replacing a PC. (December 2011)

A Brief History of Apple Not Buying Things: From Sony to Sun to Nintendo to Adobe. (July 2011)

Polaroid’s SX-70: The Art and Science of the Nearly Impossible: The bittersweet story of the greatest gadget of all time. (June 2011)

“Why Should Somebody Buy This Instead of an iPad?: The crucial question which so many tablets failed to answer. (June 2011)

Is Samsung’s New Galaxy Tab Fibbing About Its Figure? And About Those Galaxy Tab Fans… (March 2011)

Fanboy!: The most famous insult in tech, and where it came from. (May 2010)

The IBM Muppet Show: Andrew Leal on Jim Henson’s little-known, extremely entertaining collaborations with Big Blue. (May 2010)

The True Face of Mario: Benj Edwards looks at the man who–unwittingly and unwillingly–gave Nintendo’s iconic character his name. (April 2010)

Men Who Plan Beyond Tomorrow!: The future, as predicted by a bunch of 1940s whiskey ads. (March 2010)

The Bob Chronicles: The longest article about Microsoft Bob which you’ll ever read. (March 2010)

The Secret Origin of Windows: By Microsoft veteran Tandy Trower, the guy who shipped Windows 1.0. (March 2010)

Mr. Edison’s Kindle: Did you know that Tom Edison wanted to build 40,000 page books? (January 2010)

Windows Vista: A Review Recap: Microsoft’s famously-despised operating system wasn’t despised at first. (October 2009)

40 Years of Lunar Lander: Benj Edwards looks at the history of a remarkably durable video game. (July 2009)

The Amazing World of Version Numbers: No, really–software version numbers are interesting. (July 2009)

15 Classic PC Mistakes: Benj Edwards on design errors which are as fascinating as they are bone-headed. (June 2009)

The 13 Greatest Error Messages of All Time: This is the most popular Technologizer post ever. (September 2008)

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