The Computer History Museum YouTube Channel
I’ve been going down a bit of a rabbit hole recently. For a few months I’ve been thinking about how services like Netlify and Zeit function like “operating systems” over new computing primitives provided by major public clouds. Then I heard Pulumi’s Joe Duffy mention that Azure used to be codenamed “Red Dog”, and then found out that Dave Cutler literally worked on it as a “Cloud Operating System” and then found out that he was responsible for Windows NT and all its variants…
…and that is what led me to his autobiographical interview on the Computer History Museum YouTube Channel.
This channel is the motherlode for history buffs. I wouldn’t call myself a “History Buff”, but I certainly care a good deal about how the things we have now came to be, and what we can learn from that.
I also love the Lindy Effect as a heuristic for worthwhile content - if this thing recorded 10 years ago is still as relevant today, then it will be as relevant 10 years from now, and therefore is a good use of time. If you switch your content consumption from short lived ephemera to time-tested stuff, your knowledge compounds. Plain and simple.
Here are things that jump out at me from this incredible channel:
- Secret History of Silicon Valley: One of the best talks I’ve ever seen. Not that many histories of SV END with William Shockley. It elevates Fred Terman’s role in bringing talent and military funding from the east coast, and blessing entrepreneurship, and definitively traces exact cause of why Silicon Valley is what it is today.
- The Origins of Linux from Linus Torvalds
- The Design of C++ from Bjarne Stroustrup
- Steve Jobs Introduces the Macintosh - full 90 minute premiere from 1984 in shockingly good quality.
- Elizabeth Holmes interview - I havent seen this yet but 🍿
- Morris Chang interviewd by Jensun Huang - I love it when CEOs interview CEOs. Here’s Jensen Huang (Nvidia) interviewing Morris Chang (TSMC), two Taiwanese-American semiconductor titans, a generation apart but both visionaries in their fields.
- Oral History of Guido van Rossum
I have not vetted everything and to be sure the quality varies widely. But there are certainly some original-source gems to be had, and hours of highly curated direct source content to crawl through here. It’s like being able to visit the CHM from your own home!
Do you see an overlooked CHM interview that you really enjoyed? Let me know!