Friends of Computing Blog

Nov 282011

We’ve launched a Kickstarter project to help kick start Computing.

Kickstarter is “the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects.” As we explain on our Kickstarter project page:

But, we need your help in kickstarting the Powers-That-Be-Who-Make-Television to help THEM make that all-important creative leap of faith. We need to push the envelope of what it means to broadcast a documentary of this form to a massive global audience using the Web as well as traditional broadcast media. We need to convince the various foundations and other individual financial contributors that we are serious and that we have the chops and the team and the talent to pull this off. We need to show them all – in a way they totally understand – that Computing is distinctly not a boring technical video of talking heads, but that it is really the unbelievable, exciting, provocative story of humanity’s ongoing fight between extending and not surrendering ourselves to our digital doppelgangers.

In other words, what we are doing here is creating the initial material that proves just how fascinating, jaw-dropping, and cool Computing really is.

Very. Wickedly. Cool.

We have been developing this project for almost four years now. But, we need a kick to help us take this to the next level. And that’s why we need you.

We hope to raise $25,000 over by the first of the year. We will use that money to fund three activities: we will launch a lecture series, we will kickstart the development of a book, and we will further develop our web presence, including the production of a series of videos in the spirit of the Kahn Academy that teach, present, examine, and contemplate the science and the stories and the future of computing.

In the sidebar of each page on the Computing site, you’ll see a widget that links to our Kickstarter project (and that indicates the current fund raising tally. Please, if you are so able, consider contributing, even if it’s only a dollar. And please also, tell others about our project: your tweets and blogs and Facebook and LinkedIn posts will help spread the word.

Nov 262011

In the next couple of days, we’ll be launching a Kickstarter project to help take our Computing project to the next level, and so this past week we’ve been consumed with producing a short video about Computing.

On the technical production side, this amounts to a five-ish minute video, which is an amalgam of four different takes plus some clever Photoshop animation plus a self-made mix of some wonderful public domain music (from incompetech), all sliced and diced and whipped up with Final Cut Pro.

This video will be on our Kickstarter project project page; we’ll also post it here and on a Computing YouTube channel.

Nov 222011

I’m delighted to report that we have two new additions to Computing‘s board of advisors.

Alan Kay – winner of the ACM Turing Award, the Kyoto Price, and the Charles Stark Draper Price – has gracefully agreed to join our merry band. Oh, yeah, Alan “created the concept of modern personal computing”. Remember the Dynabook? You can read more about Alan here. (Smalltalk is still my all time favorite language/platform. Thank you, Alan!).

Also joining the board is Lieutenant General William Lord, Chief of Warfighting Integration and Chief Information Officer, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. You can read more about him here.

Thank you, Alan and Bill, for joining us on this journey.

Nov 192011

I am sad to report that Tony Sale passed away in August. Tony had been a member of our board since its inception; his work in restoring the Colossus at Bletchley Park was phenomenal. I have fond memories of Tony giving my wife and me a tour of the cryptography center and in booting up Colossus to make a run. Tony, you will be missed.