From Capone to Cray: Where Computers Really Came From
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From Capone to Cray: Where Computers Really Came From

The Secret Agenda #1

About the Book

It's surely weird to connect Al Capone to the Medal of Honor, but the connection's there in front of us. The Prohibition-era rum runners bring us to Elizebeth Smith Friedman who solved Enigma during World War II with pencil and paper. She, in turn, left us a secret in plain sight, on her headstone in Arlington National Cemetery. That secret waited decades for another woman to notice.

Friedman and her husband, William F. Friedman, bring us to the National Security Agency (NSA) and its predecessors. The NSA's needs included Top Secret "Task 13," the first stored-program digital computer. The NSA's role in creating digital computers was not acknowledged until 67 years later in July 2017. It's time we knew!

Ed tells this story from his personal perspective--because he's in it.

About the Author

Ed Barnard
Edward Barnard

Edward Barnard has experienced two consecutive 20-year careers in software development. He soldered together his first computer from a handful of resistors, diodes, switches, and lights in 1968 at age 10. He taught himself FORTRAN IV two years later. High school brought BASIC. College introduced ALGOL, assembly language, and Pascal.

His first career was operating system development amongst the wizards of Cray Research. Ed's second 20-year career has been web software development for countless clients, companies, and projects. He enjoys sharing what he's learned along the way through magazine articles, books, and speaking at conferences. He and wife Susan get outdoors when they can to camp the Minnesota winter with no mosquitoes.

Edward Barnard

Episode 220

Table of Contents

  •  
    • About This Book
    • Bundled Extras
  • Part I: Welcome to Supercomputing
    • Chapter 1. Al Capone and the Medal of Honor
      • Orchard Field
      • Al Capone
      • Medal of Honor
      • Chicago O’Hare
      • Citation
      • Mayor Daley
      • Summary
    • Chapter 2. The Rum Runners
      • The Purple Gang
      • U.S. Coast Guard
      • Oral History
      • Summary
    • Chapter 3. The Secret in Arlington
      • The Photograph
      • Arlington
      • Hiding in Plain Sight
      • Coast Guard Unit 387
      • Summary
    • Chapter 4. Where Computers Come From
      • It Gets Personal
      • Cryptology
      • Herbert O. Yardley
      • Sensitive Disclosures
      • NSA-Related Reading
      • Summary
    • Chapter 5. Top Secret Ultra
      • Ultra
      • Lorenz Machine
      • Colossus
      • D-Day
      • Declassification and Recognition
      • Colossus Rebuild Project
      • See Saw
      • Glider Factory
      • ATLAS
      • NSA Acknowledgement
      • Summary
    • Chapter 6. Bill Norris and Seymour Cray
      • From Code Breakers to Supercomputers
      • Engineering Research Associates
      • University of Minnesota
      • Drum and Demon
      • Task 13
      • ENIAC
      • Honeywell v Sperry
      • ERA 1101
      • Remington-Rand
      • Summary
    • Chapter 7. Control Data Corporation
      • CDC
      • Little Character
      • Transformer
      • CDC 6600
      • Supercomputing
      • Chippewa Falls
      • Summary
    • Chapter 8. Cray Research
      • John Rollwagen
      • George Hanson
      • Serial Two
      • Cray Design
      • The Cray Style
      • Storytelling
      • Summary
    • Chapter 9. The Navy’s Big Mistake
      • Spread Spectrum
      • The Most Beautiful Woman in the World
      • Barbara La Marr
      • Hollywood
      • Fritz Mandl
      • U.S. Navy
      • Waves
      • Player Piano
      • Summary
  • Part II: It Gets Personal
    • Chapter 10. The Transitive Property of Keeping Your Mouth Shut
      • Minnesota
      • Valley Girls
      • Transitive Property
      • 9-Track
      • One More Play
      • My Turn to Teach
      • Equality
      • Summary
    • Chapter 11. The Veil
      • Photo Album
      • Sunday, May 20, 1990
      • Saturday, May 26, 1990
      • Morning
      • Hospitality
      • Feast
      • Departure
      • Hospital-ity
      • Summary
    • Chapter 12. Oil Across the Water
      • Revisionist History
      • Grapevine
      • Standard Oil
      • The Relationship
      • Desert Shield
      • Notary Public
      • Video and References
      • Summary
    • Chapter 13. Remembering “Scuzzy”
      • Software Division
      • Summary
    • Chapter 14. The Secret Agenda
      • Discovering the Gaps
      • William F. Friedman
      • Intuition
      • Techniques
      • Abstract Concepts, Concrete Examples
      • Independent Evolution
      • Summary
    • What’s Next

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