• Issue #65: Pascal,  Library

    Edward Nash Yourdon

    Here is a confession. The first drafts of this issue of De Programmatica Ipsum were written under the name "Structured Programming". Understandably enough, the news of Niklaus Wirth's passing triggered a prompt renaming and the choice of a somewhat narrower focus. However, Pascal's rise in popularity during the 1970s and 1980s cannot be explained unless we elaborate on Structured Programming, and this month's Library book is among the most important ones ever written about the subject.

  • Issue #64: Retrocomputing,  Library

    Alex Wiltshire & John Short

    Last September, we reviewed our first "coffee table book": a precious and unwieldy volume by Taschen called “The Computer”, written by Jens Müller and Julius Wiedemann. At the end of that article, we mentioned another coffee table book, and it is about time we talk about it in detail. This month's Library entry is, then, "Home Computers: 100 Icons that Defined a Digital Generation" by Alex Wiltshire, featuring photographs by John Short, published by MIT Press in 2020.

  • Issue #63: Space,  Library

    Carl Sagan

    The news of a software patch uploaded to the Voyager probes reminded me of a 1980 book telling precisely the story of how their journey began 46 years ago. When said book hit the publishing press, Voyager 1 had just finished its flyby of Saturn, a planet which Voyager 2 was about to survey a few months later. Assisted by gravity slingshots, the latter probe would reach Uranus in 1986 and Neptune in 1989. Both Voyagers would cross the Heliopause decades later, one in 2012, and the other in 2018. Against all odds, they are both beeping back to Earth as you read these lines.