What is Computer Science?

Unique ID tells Adelie the story of Computer Science, from Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace to ENIAC and the GUI, using his CompSci calendar, 6000 penguins and Conway’s Game of Life to illustrate.

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    >>ID: Yo, uh, computer science. History. Binary. Powers of two, DIY; hardware: the C-P-U! Learn to code and write software. The Mighty O-S. http, CG, 3D, AI, ya heard? Like zen zen zen zen zen. zen zen zen. zen zen zen zen zen.

    >>ADELIE: [squawking questioningly]

    >>ID: I’m droppin’ compsci like Galileo dropped the orange.

    >>ADELIE: [squawking]

    >>ID: This is not merely ‘bling’, it’s my iBacus. Wearable tech is all the rage.

    >>ADELIE: [squawking questioningly]

    >>ID: I am not a hipster. The abacus is more than a passing fad. It was an early tool for performing computations.

    >>ADELIE: [squawking questioningly]

    >>ID: Here, let me show you on my compsci calendar… My calendar compresses the local history of computer science, from 2400 BC to present day, into a single year. Each month represents 368 years, each day 12 years. If the first computational tools were made sometime in January, then it wasn’t until December that the modern computer began to take shape. In 1834, Charles Babbage developed plans for a computational machine called the “Analytical Engine”, and his assistant Ada Lovelace designed the first algorithm for it.

    >>ADELIE: [squawking proudly]

    >>ID: That’s right, Ada was the first computer programmer, but the Analytical Engine was never built.

    >>ADELIE: [squawking incredulously]

    >>ID: It wasn’t until 1946 that the first electronic, general-purpose computer was built; the ENIAC!

    >>ADELIE: [awed squawk]

    >>ID: The ENIAC was colossal. It was as big as an iceberg and weighed as much as 6,000 penguins. You know who else is a huge computer?

    >>ADELIE: [inquisitive squawk]

    >>ID: My mom!

    >>ADELIE: [annoyed squawking]

    >>ID: I’m not joking. Before the 1920’s, a human that performed computations was called a computer, and a machine capable of performing the work of a human computer was called a computing machine. Once everyone realized that machines were superior to humans, they simply called them computers.

    >>ADELIE: [squawking defensively]

    >>ID: I admit, there are still plenty of fields in computer science that haven’t been replaced by robots… yet. Programmers and software engineers are needed to develop the applications that command the hardware designed by computer engineers.

    >>ADELIE: [squawk]

    >>ID: In the beginning was the command line, and the user interface was without form, and void. And the command line saw that there were noobs and there were leet, and it divided the leet from the noobs. And so it came to pass that Jobs, a great seer and revelator, was visited by the galactic emperor Xerox, son of Haloid, who bestowed upon him blueprints for an advanced user interface technology. And it was shown unto him in Real-D 3D, which was totally rad. And he saw that the interface was to be known as the GUI, and it’s goodness was exceedingly great. And verily it came to pass that the GUI brought forth great peace unto the noob.

    >>ADELIE: [squawking]

    >>ID: Of course I embellished the story. Computer science is the anesthetic of the masses.

    >>ADELIE: [explanatory squawking]

    >>ID: I can’t argue with that. Computer science is about empowering young people to make their own media and engage critically with contemporary advances in technology.

    >>ID: Adelie! I think I’ve just achieved enlightenment!

    >>ADELIE: [squawk]

    >>ID: Well I feel very intelligent nonetheless. What do we do now?

What is Computer Science? was produced by Dototot on . Dototot is a creative media company and think tank specializing in educational material.

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