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ONLamp: Eight Questions for George Dyson

Jun 19, 2003, 07:00 (0 Talkback[s])

"O'Reilly Network: What should an OSCON attendee expect to understand after your keynote?

"George Dyson: OSCON (as I understand it) consists of people who are working in the digital universe (including its open and less-open subsystems) of today. My contribution (as a historian, or, in this case, more of a paleontologist) is to offer a firsthand glimpse into the birth of this universe, a little over 50 years ago. When von Neumann's engineers here at the Institute for Advanced Study started building the first 5,000 bytes of high-speed random-access memory in 1946, it was an empty universe, completely devoid of code. By the time they got the machine running, in 1951, both code and data were waiting, and the machine was operated more or less without interruption until it was shut down (in 1958) having been superseded by its offspring all around the globe..."

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