Stories by John Pratt

Machines that count: the hard drive

Spare a thought for your hard drive. It is one of the most overlooked miracles of computing, but without the hard drive there would be no personal computer. Every time you start up your PC or start an application, or open, edit or save a document, you are accessing the storage in your machine.

Machines that count: the mouse

You can say what you like about Microsoft’s software, but the one thing that Microsoft has excelled at is developing the humble mouse.

Machines that count: the Apple Macintosh

It’s old news: Apple started a revolution. The truth is that the original Macintosh was more than just a piece of software — it was an engineering masterpiece that has rarely been equalled for either ingenuity or precision.

Machines that count: the Apple II and IBM PC

Computer historian John Pratt, curator of the "machines that Count" exhibition on now at Auckland's Museum of Transport and Technology, provides weekly insights into the history of computing.

Machines that count: the NeXT cube

Computer historian John Pratt, curator of the “Machines that Count” exhibition on now at Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology, provides weekly insights into the history of computing.

Machines that count: the IBM System 360

Many people rank IBM’s System 360, alongside the Boeing 707 and the Model T Ford, as one of the most influential innovations of the 20th century. But was it?

Machines that count: Colossus

It’s possible to feature the world’s first computer every week and never mention the same machine twice, but for a lot of people, the seminal machine was the Colossus computer.

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