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History Department

HIS 101. Survey of Computer History
From the abacus to the personal computer era. Early computers. Uses and limitations of computers in a historical context.

HIS 110. Historical Computer Design
Structure and design of major computers, from the hulking gymnasium-sized giants of the 40s to those ones that used punch cards in the 70s to the mordern era.

HIS 113. Military Use of Computers
Early computers as used by the military from World War II. Role of the rise of the computer age in the Space Race. Computer use in war and peace by the US government agencies.

HIS 145. Programming and Programmers
The major programming languages for historical systems and today's computers. Important figures, including developers and the hackers who pushed the languages to their limits. Prerequisite: At least one semester of programming, or permission of the instructor. PRO 202, "Advanced Survey of Programming," or proficiency in any of the six mother languages required for inclusion into a number of interactive sections which allow students to learn to program in the outdated languages.

HIS 150. History of the Internet
From ARPANET to Amazon, this class explores the ways in which the Internet permeates our lives and changes our world. How did such a behemoth rise so prominently? Recommended: HIS 113.

HIS 155. Security, Encryption, and the Internet
The history of encryption, from simple codes to the technology of modern cryptography. A survey of the major security systems used to protect documents and allow for important transactions on the Web. After the first week the class will divide into sections based on student interest, exploring everything from the need for reliable security in a philosophical context to the use of codes in ancient eras to the nitty-gritty of creating your own encryption.

HIS 212. Mistakes Made by Xerox-PARC
Become an expert on the rise and fall of Xerox-PARC, just like Bug Barbecue. Get to know the mild-mannered and largely unacknowledged men and women behind the technology of today.

HIS 214. Rise of the Modern Software Giants
Beginnings of Microsoft and Apple, including the Homebrew Computer Club, significance of Woz, and the anti-trust debates going on today.

HIS 220. Open Source Culture
The anti-corporate backlash and idealistic freedom of information philosophy presented by open source technologies like Linux and FreeBSD. How can we bring "open source" to our way of life, and is it feasible in a larger context? Prerequisite: Proficiency in or at least one semester of use of Unix, Linux or FreeBSD.

HIS 250. Hackers to Crackers
An in-depth study of hacker culture from the early programmers to the cyberpunks and virus developers. Motivations of hackers, from noble exploration to wanton destruction. The Kevins. Note: The movie "WarGames" will be viewed.

HIS 300. History of Piracy
About actual pirates that sailed the seven seas.

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