January 29th, 2014

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Computers for Cynics: a wise, wry, biased (but fair) history lesson from one of the great prophets

Ted Nelson, creator of Project Xanadu, widely-hailed as the inventor of hypertext. Xanadu never quite happened; what we got was a very watered-down version, the WWW.

Nelson's written several books, none of which I've read - but now, I really want to. In a series of bite-sized, sub-15-min videos, he presents his jaundiced but remarkably perceptive and insightful overview of the history of the personal computer - he's been there since the start.

Videos 0 through 4 are excellent high-level overviews. Number 5 is on hypertext, his specialist field, and he starts letting his bias show a bit; numbers 6 and the concluding N are, with the best will in the world, rants - but amusing ones and still informative as anything you could hope to find.

Strongly recommended viewing.

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