Self Help

Broad Band The Untold Story of the Women - Claire L. Evans

Author Photo

Matheus Puppe

· 80 min read
  • The author reflects on her own experience with technology as a girl growing up with a Dell computer and internet access. This experience shapes her view that technology is meant to enrich human life and connect people.

  • The book aims to highlight the contributions of women to the history of computing and the internet. These contributions have often been overlooked or ignored in mainstream accounts that focus on men and machines.

  • The author acknowledges that women’s roles in tech are hard to quantify and categorize. She draws on a variety of sources, including first-hand accounts, to help reconstruct this history.

  • The book profiles many important female figures, including academics, hackers, programmers, and culture workers. Though diverse, they share a common focus on users and making technology usable and meaningful.

  • The author argues that women have been central to major technological waves and innovations, though they are often “hiding in plain sight.” Women did critical work that was initially dismissed as unimportant but proved foundational. For example, programming was first relegated to women patching cables before becoming recognized as a skill.

  • The author views technology as only as meaningful and impactful as the human use and experience of it. Though built by people, technology requires human involvement to truly come alive and change the world.

  • The author adopts an expansive view of gender beyond biological sex. “Woman” refers more to a set of experiences, perspectives, and social roles than strictly female sex.

  • The history of women in tech deserves more exploration and documentation before elements of it are lost entirely. Virtual spaces and communities, for example, are precarious and fragile. We must work to preserve both digital and human memories.

  • In sum, the book aims to highlight how women have been instrumental in shaping technology and the central role users and usability have played in driving innovation. A focus on people—and meeting human needs—is key to how women have approached and advanced technology.

  • Computing was originally a human job, not a machine. People who performed computations were called “computers.” They were employed to solve complex math problems, often as part of large teams.

  • Most early computers were women. One famous example was Maria Mitchell, who worked for the U.S. Naval Observatory in the 19th century. She calculated the position of Venus. As time went on, computing became a field dominated by women.

  • The Jacquard loom was an early technological innovation that used punched paper cards to automate textile weaving. It put many skilled textile workers out of jobs, though its products were intricate and high-quality. The mathematician Charles Babbage was fascinated by the Jacquard loom and its punched card programs. He realized they could be used to automate mathematical calculations in the same way.

  • The intricate patterns produced by the Jacquard loom were sometimes dismissed as “spider-work,” suggesting they were messy or haphazard. But in reality, the loom could produce any pattern that could be encoded in its punched card programs. Babbage recognized their potential for encoding and automating complex mathematical formulas with the same precision and reproducibility.

  • The punched card programs of the Jacquard loom were an important precursor to modern computer programming. Babbage built on their logic in conceiving his proposed Analytical Engine, a mechanical general-purpose computer.

The key ideas are that computing was originally done by human “computers,” mostly women; the Jacquard loom helped inspire later thinking about programming and automating complex calculations; and its punched card system was an important conceptual precursor to modern software.

  • Charles Babbage was fascinated by the Jacquard loom and designed calculating machines inspired by it. He described these early computers using the metaphor of a textile factory, with a “store” for numbers like thread and a “mill” to process them like cloth.

  • Babbage’s machines, the Difference Engine and Analytical Engine, were far ahead of their time. The British government funded the Difference Engine but abandoned it after spending much more than expected with little progress. Few people understood these machines.

  • Ada Lovelace was Lord Byron’s daughter. Her mother had her tutored intensely in mathematics to counter any “wildness” from Byron. Ada had a gift for math but also imagination. She befriended famous scientists and corresponded with leading minds.

  • Ada met Babbage as a teen and was mesmerized by the Difference Engine. She married but continued studying math. She longed to contribute to mathematics and have a legacy like her father’s poetry. She believed in her reasoning and “intuitive” skills.

  • Ada became Babbage’s protégée and advocate. Like him, she saw math as a “form of poetry.” By the time they met, Babbage had given up on the Difference Engine. He envisioned a more ambitious Analytical Engine to solve complex problems, not just do arithmetic.

  • The Difference Engine stored numbers, but Babbage wanted the Analytical Engine to store abstract symbols and variables to do more than math. It would be a general-purpose computer. The Analytical Engine was even more ingenious than the Difference Engine.

  • Ada Lovelace was the daughter of the famous Romantic poet Lord Byron. She had a gift for mathematics and logic.

  • In the 1840s, Lovelace translated an article about Charles Babbage’s proposed Analytical Engine, a mechanical general-purpose computer. She added extensive notes that were longer than the original article.

  • Lovelace’s notes articulated the possibilities of the Analytical Engine and general-purpose computing. She envisioned that the engine could manipulate symbols to perform operations on anything that could be represented symbolically, like music or logic.

  • Lovelace’s notes contained what are considered to be the first computer programs. She described how the engine could calculate Bernoulli numbers without human intervention.

  • The Analytical Engine was never built, but it embodied the key concepts of modern computers: input, storage, processing, and output. Lovelace’s notes presaged many ideas of modern computer science.

  • Lovelace faced difficulties as a female mathematician in the 19th century. She had few peers and her work was not always supported. She suffered health problems for much of her life and died of uterine cancer at the age of 36.

  • Lovelace’s work was largely overlooked for nearly a century. She has since become recognized as a pioneering figure in computing.

  • The author imagines telling Lovelace that she would have intellectual descendants—“granddaughters and great-granddaughters”—who would build on her work and eventually give her proper credit. The author sees Lovelace as someone ahead of her time who could have accomplished more if born in a different era.

The key ideas are that Ada Lovelace was a visionary thinker who articulated concepts fundamental to modern computing, though her work was underappreciated for many years due to her era and gender. She serves as an inspiration, and her story highlights the challenges faced by female scientists and mathematicians.

  • Grace Hopper was a 36-year-old math professor at Vassar College when the U.S. entered World War II after the Pearl Harbor attack. She was married to Vincent Hopper, who taught literature. They lived an ordinary academic life, spending summers fixing up a farmhouse in New Hampshire.

  • Grace was very intelligent and well-rounded. She studied a variety of subjects in her spare time and was adept at both math and languages. She was known for impressing her students by writing in German with one hand and French with the other.

  • At Vassar, Grace volunteered to teach unpopular courses like calculus and trigonometry. She updated the courses to make them more engaging for students. As a result, her classes became very popular, earning her praise from administrators but resentment from her colleagues.

  • In 1941, Grace and Vincent were living in New York City. Vincent had a job at NYU, and Grace had a fellowship to study math under Richard Courant. She enjoyed Courant’s lectures and tackling difficult problems for him, even when he criticized her unusual solutions.

  • Their ordinary lives were disrupted when they heard the news about the Pearl Harbor attack on the radio. After that, Vincent enlisted in the Navy and Grace looked for a way to contribute to the war effort. Her life took an extraordinary turn as she embarked on a pioneering career in computing.

  • The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 drew the U.S. into World War II. Grace Hopper’s family and friends enlisted in the war effort. Though rejected from military service initially due to her age, weight, and eyesight, Hopper lobbied to join the navy and was accepted in 1943 at age 37.

  • Hopper attended Midshipmen’s School, where she excelled and graduated at the top of her class. Though she had expected to work in code-breaking, the navy instead assigned her to work on the Mark I computer at Harvard University due to her background in mathematics and experience studying with mathematician Richard Courant.

  • The Mark I was an early electromechanical computer built for the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance to help calculate ballistics problems during World War II. Programmed using punched paper tape, it contained over 500 miles of wiring and many moving parts. Hopper had to learn how to program it on the job with little guidance. Her first assignment was to write a program to calculate arctangents to 23 decimal places, which she completed in a week through perseverance and long hours.

  • Hopper worked with two young ensigns, Richard Bloch and Howard Aiken, to learn the Mark I. Aiken, the computer’s designer, gave Hopper little instruction and was testing her abilities. Bloch, a recent Harvard math graduate, became her close collaborator. Hopper studied the Mark I’s blueprints and diagrams to give herself an “engineering education” and become proficient in programming it.

  • In summary, Grace Hopper overcame obstacles to join the navy during WWII and was assigned to program the Mark I computer, an early electromechanical machine. With little guidance, she taught herself how to program it through diligence and teamwork, passing an initial test to calculate arctangents. Her work on the Mark I was foundational for her later accomplishments as a pioneering computer scientist.

  • Grace Hopper was a pioneering computer programmer who worked on the Mark I computer at Harvard during World War II.

  • The head of the computation lab, Howard Aiken, ran it like a military operation and was harsh but fair. Although he never wanted a woman on his team, Grace proved herself indispensable. She became his “right-hand girl” and was solely responsible for running the Mark I.

  • Grace’s duties included writing code to solve complex problems, writing a 500-page manual for the Mark I, developing an efficient system for coding and processing, and maintaining the demanding schedule of the lab. She was known for her sense of humor and charm.

  • The work was grueling, with the computer running nearly 95% of the time to meet wartime demands. Grace developed subroutines and comments while coding to make the work more efficient and accessible to others. Her efforts helped democratize computer programming.

  • Though isolated at Harvard, Grace met famous visitors like John von Neumann, who spent months at the lab working on a problem that turned out to be calculations for the atomic bomb. Grace helped him without knowing the true purpose or implications of their work.

  • Another pioneering computer, the ENIAC, was built at the University of Pennsylvania. Though much faster than the Mark I, the ENIAC was not programmable and could only be rewired to solve new problems. In contrast, Grace developed programming and processes for the Mark I that allowed it to be reprogrammed to solve many kinds of problems.

  • After the war, Grace went on to have a distinguished career promoting programming languages and standards. Her work was foundational for modern software engineering.

  • The ENIAC was one of the earliest electronic computers, built during World War II at the University of Pennsylvania. It used 18,000 vacuum tubes as switches to compute at a previously unimaginable speed.

  • Though several machines could claim to be the “first” computer, the ENIAC was the first high-speed electronic computer. Other countries like Britain also built early computers around the same time. These early computers were very different from each other.

  • Grace Hopper, who worked on the Mark I and Mark II computers, was shocked at how different the ENIAC was when she first saw it in 1945. The ENIAC had to be physically reconfigured for each new problem, unlike the Mark computers Hopper was used to. However, the ENIAC’s speed made up for the setup time. Hopper also discovered that there were other women working as programmers on the ENIAC, known as the ENIAC Six.

  • The ENIAC Six, as well as many other women, were originally “human computers” who calculated firing tables for the U.S. Army during World War II. The demand for firing tables was huge, so the Army recruited many women with math backgrounds as human computers.

  • John Mauchly, a physics professor, proposed building an electronic computer using vacuum tubes. He partnered with J. Presper Eckert, an engineering student, to design the ENIAC. They secured funding in 1943 and began construction. Most of the engineers and technicians who built the ENIAC were women.

  • The human computers were hired to program the ENIAC. At first, even they did not fully grasp how fast and powerful the ENIAC was. During a demo, Kay McNulty and a colleague were unimpressed when the ENIAC multiplied 5 by 1000, until they realized it had done so in an instant. The ENIAC’s speed would revolutionize computing.

The ENIAC was the first general-purpose electronic computer, built during World War II to calculate ballistic trajectories for the U.S. Army. Though designed by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert, it was programmed by six women with no computing experience or instruction. They learned the ENIAC from diagrams and by taking it apart, fixing hardware failures along the way.

Betty Jean Jennings, Betty Snyder, Kay McNulty, Ruth Lichterman, Marlyn Wescoff, and Frances Bilas made up the ENIAC programming team, thrown together by chance. They came from diverse backgrounds and met for the first time on their way to train on IBM equipment at an army base. Despite difficult conditions, they bonded over the exciting opportunity to work in the new field of computing.

With no programming languages or manuals yet developed, the ENIAC Six had to figure out how to make the machine run—to “write down a program,” visualize the process, set it up, and run it. Mauchly and Eckert had focused on just building the hardware. The women programmers learned the ENIAC’s workings down to individual vacuum tubes in order to diagnose issues. They acted as architects and engineers, writing programs through trial and error.

Though the ENIAC’s original purpose was calculating ballistic trajectories, the war ended before it could be fully used for that. Its public unveiling in 1946 showed its capabilities, though, in a demonstration programmed by Betty Jean Jennings and Betty Snyder, the most skilled programmers. After the war, Jennings and Snyder went on to careers advancing commercial computing.

The ENIAC Six were instrumental in developing programming and demonstrating the first general-purpose computer. Though unrecognized at the time, they were pioneers who helped launch the digital age.

  • Betty Jean Jennings and Betty Snyder, known as “the Bettys,” were close friends and colleagues who worked together programming the ENIAC.

  • They were asked to program a ballistics trajectory calculation on the ENIAC for its public unveiling. Though it was a difficult task, they said they could do it. They worked for two weeks programming and debugging the calculation.

  • The night before the demonstration, they discovered a major bug: their program modeled the trajectory perfectly but didn’t know how to stop, continuing to send the shell through the earth. Betty Snyder dreamed up the solution overnight and fixed it the next morning.

  • The demonstration was a huge success. The ENIAC calculated the trajectory in 20 seconds, faster than a real shell. However, the Bettys were not invited to the celebratory dinner and were not credited or recognized for their work.

  • Newspaper coverage of the event claimed the ENIAC itself solved the problem in 15 seconds, ignoring the weeks of work by the programmers, who were women. The press coverage made the programmers “invisible” and erased their role.

  • The association of women with software is often assumed to be inherent, but that is an oversimplification. The ENIAC programmers’ work was largely erased from history, showing how women’s contributions in tech have often been dismissed or ignored.

  • The summary illustrates how Betty Jean Jennings, Betty Snyder, and other women who worked on the ENIAC were vital to its success but rarely received proper credit or recognition for their groundbreaking work. Their stories are an important part of tech history.

  • World War II fueled technological innovation and allowed women opportunities in computing that wouldn’t have existed otherwise.

  • After the war, as military funding decreased, Grace Hopper’s role at Harvard’s Computation Lab diminished. In 1949, she lost her job when Harvard’s contract with the Navy ended.

  • The ENIAC was dismantled and moved to Aberdeen Proving Ground, where it ran until 1955.The ENIAC women went on to other things and never programmed it again.

  • There was a dispute over who owned the ENIAC—the University of Pennsylvania or its creators, J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly. Eckert and Mauchly left Penn to start their own company, the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC).

  • EMCC was the first commercial computer company. Before it, computers were custom-built for military use. EMCC saw the business potential of computers and built them for government agencies and companies.

  • EMCC hired Grace Hopper, Betty Snyder, Betty Jean Jennings, and Kathleen “Kay” McNulty as programmers. They had worked together on the ENIAC.

  • EMCC’s early years were a magical time. They worked constantly with enthusiasm and without bureaucracy. Eckert and Mauchly were admired leaders who motivated and taught their staff.

  • Betty Snyder (later Betty Holberton) and Betty Jean Jennings were two of the most significant programmers at Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company (EMCC) in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

  • EMCC valued and promoted women programmers at a time when most companies were firing women to hire returning male WWII veterans. Betty Holberton and Betty Jean Jennings held leadership roles at EMCC, managing major projects like developing the instruction code and logical design for EMCC’s UNIVAC computer.

  • Grace Hopper struggled with alcoholism while working at Harvard’s Computation Laboratory. She hoped that moving to EMCC in 1949 would help her stop drinking and boost her confidence. At EMCC, she could focus on programming, her true passion, and work with brilliant women like Betty Holberton.

  • Betty Holberton was known for her unique mind and ability to solve complex programming problems. At EMCC, she developed the C-10 code, UNIVAC’s instruction set. She also created a “Sort-Merge Generator” program that could generate its own sorting and merging programs. Grace Hopper considered Betty the best programmer she had ever met.

  • Under Hopper, Holberton, and Jennings’ leadership, UNIVAC became the most powerful computer in the world and dominated the competition. Despite technical successes, EMCC struggled financially and was sold to Remington Rand in 1950.

  • The sale to Remington Rand was disastrous for women at EMCC like Betty Holberton. Remington Rand executives did not understand computing and believed that women should only work as secretaries. The environment at EMCC changed dramatically under Remington Rand’s leadership.

  • In the early 1950s, computer programming was poorly understood and programmers came from diverse backgrounds. Grace Hopper believed programming should be more accessible to non-experts. She wanted users to be able to program in natural language and for that language to be machine-independent.

  • Hopper’s ideas were called “automatic programming.” Her company, Remington Rand, and other programmers were skeptical of automatic programming because they thought it would reduce the need for expert programmers. Supporters of automatic programming were called “space cadets,” while skeptics were called “Neanderthals.”

  • Remington Rand created an Automatic Programming Department and put Hopper in charge. Her first task was to create a compiler, an intermediary program that would allow programmers to write code in a higher-level language rather than machine code. Compilers would allow mathematicians like Hopper to become programmers and then linguists.

  • Computers can only understand machine code, not human languages. A compiler translates the higher-level language that programmers can understand into the machine code that computers execute. Early compilers, including Hopper’s first one, were very limited but opened the door to more advanced compilers and programming languages.

  • The development of compilers and higher-level languages was a major step toward making programming more accessible to non-experts, as Hopper had envisioned. Over time, her vision of “automatic programming” and the possibility of programming in natural language would become a reality.

  • Early computers were programmed using machine code, which was tedious and error-prone. Grace Hopper developed the first compiler, A-0, in 1951 to automate some of this work. Compilers translate human-readable programming languages into machine code.

  • Hopper’s original compiler was slow and produced inefficient machine code. She made improvements, releasing A-1 and A-2. These compilers used pseudocode, a shorthand language between human and machine. Pseudocode made programming more accessible to non-experts.

  • Many new programming languages were being developed for different computers. This created a “Tower of Babel” situation with incompatible languages. Hopper proposed solutions like using mathematics or English-like commands as a shared language.

  • In 1959, the Conference on Data Systems and Languages (CODASYL) formed to develop a shared business programming language. Committees were formed to analyze existing languages and specify an “interim” and eventual universal language.

  • The short-range committee realized an interim language was unrealistic, so their work would need to produce the final language. This committee, including Hopper’s colleagues Betty Holberton and Jean Sammet, had only three months to design the new language.

  • The key developments were the creation of compilers to automate programming, the use of pseudocode and natural language to make programming more accessible, and the push for a universal programming language to enable data sharing across different computer systems. Grace Hopper was instrumental in driving many of these concepts.

  • COBOL was created in 1959 to be a common business-oriented programming language. It was developed very quickly by the CODASYL committee to meet the needs of the Department of Defense.

  • COBOL went on to become the most widely used programming language for business applications. By 2000, 80% of all code was written in COBOL. However, COBOL’s two-digit year convention caused the Y2K bug and required updates.

  • COBOL was designed to be readable and machine-independent, though it was wordy, convoluted, and looked down upon by programmers. However, it allowed for distributed innovation and was instrumental in advancing programming.

  • Grace Hopper and other women, like Betty Holberton, Nora Moser, and Jean Sammet, were instrumental in developing COBOL and automatic programming. They saw it as an opportunity to assert themselves in a male-dominated field.

  • In the 1960s, women made up 30-50% of programmers, though they were often given lower-status jobs like data entry. An article in Cosmopolitan magazine highlighted “computer girls” but suggested their role was more clerical. programming as a clerical role for women. Although women had been instrumental in programming’s early development, the field became less open to them over time.

  • In the early days of computing, there was a “software crisis” as demand for programmers outpaced supply. Software projects were delayed, over budget, and full of bugs and errors.

  • Some reasons given for the crisis include:

  1. Hardware developed much faster than software, leaving programmers unable to keep up.

  2. There was a clash between creative, independent programmers and their strict managers.

  3. There was a long, slow decline of women in programming, even as they brought key skills that could have helped address the crisis.

  • Programming was originally viewed as “women’s work” but became professionalized and masculine. Changes like requiring formal education and calling the field “software engineering” made it harder for women to enter and advance.

  • The crisis was one of managing expectations and delivering software that met client needs. The “soft skills” that women brought, like communication, were devalued even though they were sorely needed.

  • Early computers and programming advanced extremely quickly. Within a few years, computers would become obsolete and replaced by faster, smaller machines. Programming evolved from tedious work to an art form in under a decade.

  • The first programmers, most of whom were women, paved the way for how we interact with and talk about computers today. They were the “hidden catalyst” for the current technological age, though their contributions are harder to see than hardware advances.

  • The passage reflects on how far technology has come, from rooms of transistors to a laptop that will soon be obsolete. The “machine code” that early pioneers like Grace Hopper envisioned is now powering the world.

  • The author has connected with some of the pioneering women in computing, learning their stories through emails, calls, and in-person meetings. Though their technology was simple, its impacts were world-changing in complex and hard to predict ways.

  • Mammoth Cave in Kentucky has been explored and mapped over centuries. Early maps were drawn from memory by enslaved guides, like Stephen Bishop, who named many of the cave’s features.

  • In the early 20th century, landowners started giving cave tours, leading to “cave wars” over control of the caves. The National Park Service eventually took over Mammoth Cave.

  • Serious cavers, organized as the Cave Research Foundation, spent years in the 1960s and 70s systematically exploring and mapping neighboring Flint Ridge Cave System. They believed it connected to Mammoth Cave but had to find the link.

  • In 1972, caver Patricia Crowther wedged through a tight passage called “the Tight Spot” and found initials proving the caves were connected. The explorers had found the “Everest of speleology” - 340 miles of connected caves.

  • Patricia and her husband Will, both programmers, helped map the caves using computers and equipment from Will’s company, Bolt, Beranek and Newman, an early Internet company. They plotted the data from Patricia’s breakthrough discovery on a mainframe computer and drum plotter.

  • Though a skilled caver himself, Will stayed home to care for their daughters so Patricia could join the expedition making the final connection. When she returned, they entered the survey data and saw the computer plot the link between the two cave systems.

  • Caving is perilous, as shown by the death of caver Floyd Collins, memorialized in Mammoth Cave. Cavers must navigate tight, enclosed spaces deep within the earth.

The key ideas are the decades of work mapping the caves, the Crowthers’ use of early computing to aid mapping, Patricia Crowther’s role in finding the final connection between the caves, and the danger and challenge of the caving endeavor.

  • Will Crowther was an expert caver who explored Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. After divorcing from his wife Patricia, who was also an avid caver, he created a computer game called Colossal Cave Adventure (later just Adventure) to commemorate their explorations.

  • Adventure is a text-based game that describes the cave using second-person prose, like “You are in a splendid chamber thirty feet high. The walls are frozen rivers of orange stone.” Players navigate the cave by typing commands like “GO WEST.”

  • The game spread over the early Internet, gaining popularity in computer labs and becoming a cultural phenomenon. Though embellished by another developer, Don Woods, much of the game was still based directly on the geography of Mammoth Cave. Experienced cavers and those who had visited the real cave could easily navigate the game.

  • Patricia Crowther later encountered Adventure at a caving event. Though the fantastical elements added by Don Woods made the game quite different from the real Mammoth Cave, the base geography of the cave in the game was extremely accurate. Researchers have verified the connections between the real cave and Will Crowther’s descriptions.

  • The game is a memorial to Will and Patricia’s lost adventures together. Like caving itself, the game requires teamwork, persistence, and mapping to solve. The inclusion of the magic word “XYZZY,” which Will created for his sister, shows how the game was meant to be shared with family.

  • The game is an important cultural artifact that demonstrates how technological objects reflect human experiences and relationships. To understand the game fully, we must understand Will Crowther’s motivations in creating it. The game has become foundational in computer culture.

In summary, Adventure was a pioneering computer game created by Will Crowther to commemorate exploring Mammoth Cave with his ex-wife Patricia. Though developed further by Don Woods, the geography of the cave in the original game was extremely accurate to the real Mammoth Cave. The game spread over networks, becoming popular and foundational in early hacker culture. It serves as an example of how cultural artifacts are shaped by human experiences.

  • The passage describes a group of people who lived in a commune called Project One in San Francisco in the 1970s. Four former residents of Project One - Sherry Reson, Pam Hardt-English, Mya Shone, and Chris Macie - meet with the narrator to share their experiences.

  • Project One was an 84,000 square foot warehouse where around 100 people lived together. It had a very communal setup with shared spaces and facilities. Some residents built their own small houses within the warehouse. The commune was home to many political organizations, artists, and filmmakers.

  • At the center of Project One was a valuable Scientific Data Systems 940 mainframe computer. Pam Hardt-English, Sherry Reson, Chris Macie, and Mya Shone were among those who managed and maintained the computer, which was housed in a clear box in the middle of the warehouse. They called their community computer center “Resource One.”

  • The SDS-940 was an advanced computer for its time and was similar to other computers that formed the early Internet. Project One acquired their SDS-940 in 1972, even though it was very expensive. Pam Hardt-English was instrumental in obtaining the computer and connecting it to power in the warehouse.

  • Pam Hardt-English attended UC Berkeley in the late 1960s and early 1970s during a time of anti-war protests and political activism on campus. She and two other students, Chris Macie and Chris Neustrup, dropped out of Berkeley in 1970 to help bring computing resources and connectivity to the counterculture community, moving into Project One to pursue this goal.

  • The passage suggests that even before obtaining the SDS-940, the Bay Area counterculture was already quite connected through underground newspapers, community message boards, and resource sharing. But the mainframe computer at Project One took their connectivity to a new level.

In summary, the key details are: the existence of Project One as a technological commune, its possession of an advanced SDS-940 mainframe computer, Pam Hardt-English’s role in acquiring and operating that computer, and its contribution to connectivity within the counterculture community. The passage frames all this within the context of the political activism prevalent in the Bay Area at the time.

  • In the late 1960s, resistance organizations in Berkeley ran back-page ads and had set up phone trees to help locate runaway youth. This grew into various “Switchboards” that coordinated group action.

  • Resource One aimed to design a common information system for these Switchboards, linking their resources in a database. They needed their own computer to do this.

  • In 1972, Pam from Resource One convinced TransAmerica Leasing to donate an SDS-940 mainframe computer. Though unused for years, it was still valuable as a tax write-off.

  • Installing and running the computer was difficult and expensive. Funding came mostly from Bank of America, hoping to appease or monitor counterculture youth.

  • Pam imagined a decentralized network where people could share resources and information. This was an early vision of the Internet.

  • Computers simply execute the inputs they are given, without judgment. Whoever controls them shapes how they are used. The counterculture magazine Whole Earth Catalog promoted “access to tools.”

  • In 1972, Resource One pitched networking the Switchboards and indexing their info, available on Teletype terminals. But Switchboards were human systems, and the idea made no sense.

  • In 1973, they set up a Teletype terminal in a Berkeley record store, calling it “Community Memory.” Though computers were seen as cold or threatening, Pam worked to make it approachable.

  • A notorious hacker named Jude Milhon helped make Community Memory accessible, hosting games and dating services to show its friendly potential. She saw technology’s revolutionary power if guided by values of openness, access, and cooperation.

So in summary, a group of counterculture activists named Resource One obtained a mainframe computer and envisioned networking San Francisco’s radical Switchboards. Though the Switchboards themselves didn’t adopt this vision, Resource One set up an early public-access terminal to show the revolutionary potential of technology guided by their values. A hacker named Jude Milhon helped make this technology approachable through games, dating services, and a vision of open access.

  • Jude was a hacker and writer known as St. Jude. She was involved with the cypherpunk movement and co-edited the magazine Mondo 2000 in the 1980s and 1990s. She was in a relationship with Ephrem and met Lee through a personal ad. The three of them worked together on the Community Memory database.

  • Community Memory was an early online database where people could post messages, ask questions, and connect. Jude seeded the database with questions and comments to draw people in. The database allowed people to connect over local interests and spread information, foreshadowing online communities and social networks that would come later. Community Memory is now recognized as an important part of computing history.

  • The social services referral directory was created by women at Resource One, including Pam, Sherry, Mya, Mary, and Joan. After Pam left, the remaining women wanted to use the Resource One computer to help the community. They found that social services agencies didn’t have a shared database of local resources, so people weren’t always connected to services they needed.

  • The women created a directory of social services in binders that were distributed to agencies. They called agencies to gather information and manually entered and organized all the data. The directory was very useful for agencies and grew to span two large binders covering the entire Bay Area. Although very labor-intensive, the directory helped connect many disadvantaged people to social services. The directory was eventually taken over by the United Way and then the San Francisco Public Library, who maintained it until 2009.

  • Although the technical work of programming the database was done by men, the women did the vast majority of the work contacting agencies, gathering data, and producing and distributing the directory. They were able to use technology in a way that had a meaningful impact on people’s lives.

  • The prevailing mythology about San Francisco as a place where hackers and hippies collaborated to create the future overlooks the Social Services Referral Directory, which connected social workers and families in need. It was an unglamorous but important community service maintained for decades.

  • In the 1970s, South of Market in San Francisco was home to young visionaries building technology. Today, the area is still full of tech workers, but now the technology is far more advanced, with smartphones, smart homes, and e-commerce algorithms. The mythology of the city’s tech culture focuses on the “magnificent men” and overlooks important projects like the Social Services Referral Directory that had a social benefit.

  • The women who created the Referral Directory faced challenges in making group decisions, as the weekly consensus meetings were dominated by some men. They developed strategies to support each other by interjecting when one of them was interrupted or not heard. This “countered dominance behavior” and helped give the women a voice.

  • The Referral Directory was an early effort to use computing for social good. By opening up technological design to a more diverse group, the result was a product that benefitted the community. The women took the tools touted by male hackers and applied them locally to help people in need. This idea of applying technology to social problems was radical but important.

  • In the late 1960s and early 1970s, computers began to be connected in networks. The ARPANET, funded by the Department of Defense, linked computers at universities and research centers, allowing scientists to access computers remotely. The early Internet pioneers and users were mostly college-educated men.

  • However, Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler was an exception. In 1972, she joined the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute, where Douglas Engelbart’s team was building innovative technology like the oNLine System (NLS). Though she stood out as a woman in the male-dominated lab, her expertise in organizing information led Engelbart to frequently seek her advice.

  • In 1969, Douglas Engelbart offered Jake Feinler a job at his Augmentation Research Center at Stanford University. He asked her to produce a “Resource Handbook” documenting all the machines, programs, and people on the ARPANET, the early Internet.

  • Jake contacted every node on the ARPANET to compile the handbook. It ended up being 1,000 pages and became the first documentation of the Internet’s infrastructure.

  • Jake went on to build and run the Network Information Center (NIC), which organized the growing ARPANET. The NIC maintained the ARPANET’s host table, registered new networks, ran a help hotline, and suggested new Internet protocols.

  • Jake was one of the few women involved in early networking. She and her mostly female staff were adept at organizing information, though they faced sexism and lack of technical experience. Jake became known as the person who knew where everything was on the ARPANET.

  • The NIC fielded constant requests for information and managed huge amounts of data and email. Jake’s office was notoriously messy, but her piles of papers were a mental index of everything happening on the Internet.

  • Though crucial to the ARPANET’s operation, the NIC’s role was often overlooked. Jake jokes that she was like “Joe Smith”—anonymous yet ubiquitous. She realized early on that the Internet was growing too big for her team to manage.

  • Researchers at Engelbart’s lab worked 24 hours a day to keep the ARPANET running, fueled by coffee and soft drinks. They were focused on building the system, not realizing how much the NIC’s work behind the scenes enabled its growth.

The key points are that Jake Feinler and her staff were instrumental in organizing and managing the early ARPANET, though their crucial role was often unrecognized at the time. Their information management made the network’s expansion possible.

  • Jake Feinler worked at the Network Information Center (NIC) at SRI International, which provided information and documentation about the early ARPANET.
  • Jake and her mostly female staff worked long hours keeping up with demand, often staying overnight and working around the clock. Jake used the ARPANET itself to communicate with colleagues across the network.
  • Jake’s projects at the NIC, like the Resource Handbook, ARPANET Directory, and WHOIS server, became essential parts of the early Internet infrastructure. The Directory was like an early “yellow pages” and WHOIS allowed people to find contact info for individuals on the network.
  • As the network grew, the Host Table that listed all connected computers became too large to maintain as a single file. Jake proposed dividing the network into domains (.mil, .edu, .gov, .org, .com) to make the system more hierarchical and scalable. She suggested .com for commercial entities.
  • Though not formally trained as a computer scientist, Jake understood how to build organizational systems to help the rapidly growing network function. She hired and managed staff who worked to keep the network’s directory, documentation, and addressing system up to date.
  • Jake’s work was instrumental in helping the early Internet grow in an organized fashion. Her staff’s efforts allowed people to navigate and use the network, even as it quickly became too large and complex for any single person to fully understand.

In summary, Jake Feinler played a crucial role in building the infrastructure and utilities that allowed the ARPANET and early Internet to scale so dramatically. Though often overlooked, her practical and organizational contributions were essential to the network’s success.

  • Jake Feinler spent her career organizing information on the early Internet and keeping things running smoothly. The Internet evolved from a way to share computing resources into a communications network, and information became increasingly important and powerful. Some saw the NIC, where Jake worked, as too influential, but its role was necessary to keep the chaotic network organized.

  • Radia Perlman was one of the few women in tech in the 1970s. She faced discrimination and discouragement but persisted, eventually revolutionizing computer networking at DEC. Though known as the “Mother of the Internet,” she dislikes the title. Her mother was an early computer programmer. Radia didn’t intend to go into tech but excelled at math and science in school. She started programming in high school and college but found the field unwelcoming to women.

  • At Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Radia solved a routing problem but her solution was ignored by her male colleagues. She was offered a job at DEC, where she eventually invented routing protocols that were crucial to stabilizing computer networks. She didn’t realize for years that her frequent “colds” were actually allergies to the cigarette smoke in her office.

  • Radia thinks in a very logical, mathematical way. She created “algorhymes” to help her memorize algorithms, turning the logical steps into rhyming poems. This creative thinking has been key to her success in a field that favors linear, detail-oriented thinking. Though overlooked, her work has been foundational. She believes people like her, with different kinds of minds, have made important contributions to tech.

  • Both Jake and Radia emphasized the human elements of technology and networks. They organized information, connected people, and designed solutions to help these systems function. Though their work was considered secondary at the time, it proved essential to building and sustaining the early Internet. Their stories show how marginalized groups have shaped tech in unseen ways.

  • Radia Perlman invented the spanning tree protocol (STP) in 1985 to solve the scalability problems of Ethernet networks. At the time, Ethernet could only support a few hundred computers before packet collisions made the network unusable. The STP created a loop-free path between all computers on the network, allowing Ethernet to scale infinitely and become the foundation for larger networks like the Internet.

  • Radia’s approach to problem-solving is conceptual and stepwise. She focuses on one part of a problem at a time, removing complexity, to find simple solutions. Her goal is to create technologies that “just work” and are easy to use, even if the underlying systems are complex. The STP is an embodiment of this philosophy.

  • Radia came up with the solution for the STP problem over a weekend after her manager asked her to “invent a magic box” to fix Ethernet’s limitations. When she couldn’t tell her manager right away, she wrote a poem, “Algorhyme,” describing the solution. Her manager returned to find the STP specifications and the poem.

  • The STP was foundational to the growth of the Internet, allowing Ethernet networks to scale and support increasing traffic. Although largely invisible, Radia’s work has directed the flow of information online. She aims to do her job so well that “you never see it.”

  • In the 1970s and 80s, the Internet expanded from the ARPANET to encompass many local and regional networks. Email became popular, and the network transitioned from government and research use to public and commercial use. At the same time, dial-up bulletin board systems (BBS) allowed individuals to connect, exchange messages, and build communities.

  • Some communities built local “freenets” to provide connectivity and a space for civic dialogue. These included networks in rural Montana schools, Telluride, Colorado, and Boulder. Madeline Gonzales Allen helped build networks in Colorado and Utah to give communities control over how they used the Internet.

  • For nearly 20 years before the web, BBS and freenets were how most people with personal computers got online. They filled the gap as the ARPANET transitioned to public Internet. BBS hosted thriving network cultures, though most have been lost.

  • In the 1980s, there were 50,000 local dial-in computer bulletin board systems (BBSs) in the U.S., connected by the FidoNet network. But BBS culture was dominated by teenage boys and technically inclined men.

  • The WELL was an influential BBS started in Sausalito, California, by Stewart Brand and Larry Brilliant. It attracted intellectuals, journalists, and former hippies. Users called themselves “WELLbeings” and valued free speech. But The WELL’s user base was also mostly white men.

  • Stacy Horn, a graduate student in New York City, wanted an online community for her interests and location. In 1988, she founded Echo, a BBS aimed at New Yorkers interested in culture and conversation. Unlike The WELL, Echo used Unix instead of an easier interface. Horn recruited Echo’s first users by pitching to strangers at events around New York City and teaching classes on using Unix and Echo.

  • At the time, the idea of socializing online seemed absurd to many. Horn faced open ridicule from bankers and had to persuade hesitant recruits. But she believed that if she could get the right people talking on Echo, they would become dedicated users—and she was right. Echo grew into a thriving community.

  • In summary, BBS culture in the 1980s was primarily the domain of technically minded men and boys, but The WELL and Echo showed that online communities could also appeal to a wider range of interests and backgrounds with the right leadership and community-building approach. Horn’s vision and determination were instrumental in Echo’s success at attracting diverse, dedicated users.

  • Stacy Horn founded Echo, an early online social network, in New York City in 1989.

  • Echo started as a dial-up bulletin board system and eventually moved to the Web. It allowed people to create anonymous user names but required people to use their real identities.

  • Echo’s users were primarily artists, writers, intellectuals, and “media types” centered around New York City. The culture was described as snarky, funny, and smart. Notable users included John F. Kennedy Jr. (“flash”).

  • Echo was unusually popular with women, who made up nearly half the users. Horn actively courted women users at a time when the Internet was over 85% male. She saw Echo as a way to give women an online voice and made the service free for women for a time.

  • Echo had large public conference areas for discussion as well as private spaces. Horn saw Echo as a way to have both public exchanges and private conversations, just like in real life.

  • Echo merged social networking, email, chat rooms, and discussion forums. It filled several of the functions that major social networks and online services provide today.

  • Echo struggled financially at first but gained more users and publicity after Vice President Al Gore began promoting the “information superhighway.” Federal funding and optimism about the Internet helped raise awareness of online services like Echo.

  • Stacy Horn was determined to prove doubters wrong. Her experience being dismissed while promoting online networking at her job in telecommunications inspired her to start Echo. She looked to Hillary Clinton, struggling to pass health care reform in the ’90s, as a role model.

  • Echo was described as having a quintessentially “New York” sensibility - smart, sarcastic, and worldly. But it also made an effort to be open and welcoming to newcomers.

That covers the key highlights from the material on Echo, its founder Stacy Horn, its culture, and its significance as an early online social network. Let me know if you would like me to explain or expand on any part of the summary.

• The passage discusses how Stacy Horn created private spaces within Echo, her early online community, to allow for more intimate conversations. Echo had public conferences open to everyone as well as private groups that were invitation-only.

• Two of the private women-only groups were WIT (Women in Telecommunications) and BITCH (an edgier group for women with “attitude”). These groups allowed women to connect privately and discuss issues like harassment. However, Echoids debated whether to allow a trans woman named Embraceable Ewe into WIT. Many were unsure and worried that if they allowed her in, men posing as women would try to join.

• Stacy initially told Embraceable Ewe she could join WIT after gender reassignment surgery but later retracted that. Embraceable Ewe left Echo, but the community grew to better understand trans identities over time. Stacy says Echoids came to understand each other “through a lot of words, volumes and volumes, over years of time.”

• The passage also discusses Stacy’s attempt to meet the author in New York. A server move disaster prevented Stacy from meeting in person. The author visited some important places from Echo’s early days, like the original apartment where the servers were housed and a bar Echoids frequented. The author felt moved while visiting these places, even though little remains to signify their historical importance.

• The passage highlights how Echo navigated issues around gender and identity that were new to online communities at the time. Even though Echo was ahead of its time in creating spaces for marginalized groups, it still struggled with questions about who belonged in certain spaces. But over many years of discussion, the community came to understand different identities and make its spaces more inclusive.

So in summary, the key points are: 1) Echo created private spaces for intimate discussion; 2) Echo grappled with questions about gender and inclusion, especially regarding trans members; 3) Over many years of open discussion, Echo became more understanding and inclusive; and 4) Visiting places where Echo began made the author feel the significance of its history, even though little physical evidence remains.

  • Stacy Horn created Echo, an early online community based in New York City, in 1989. Echo hosted monthly meetups and events where members socialized in person. Despite being an online community, 83% of Echo members met regularly face-to-face.

  • Echo was centered around hosted discussion areas called “conferences” on various topics. Stacy recruited active Echo members to host and moderate these conferences. About half of the hosts were women, in an effort to make Echo welcoming to female members and encourage women to actively participate.

  • At its peak, Echo had 46,000 users, though most were “lurkers” who read but did not post. The active posters, hosts, and moderators formed the core group of Echo and were deeply engaged. They shared experiences over two decades, including relationships, arguments, and life events.

  • Echo members would simulcast and live-comment on major cultural events, like the OJ Simpson bronco chase, before tools like Twitter existed. Echo represented an early online community where people could share experiences and emotionally support each other, both on and offline, in a blend of virtual and real-world interactions.

  • The summary encapsulates the key details around what Echo was, how it was structured, who participated, and the role it played for members as an early online community where virtual and real life blended. The details on events, experiences, relationships, and histories shared over time convey how deeply engaged and connected the core Echo members were through the platform.

Precisely at 8:47 A.M. on September 11, 2001, a user on Echo typed: “A PLANE JUST CRASHED INTO THE WORLD TRADE CENTER.”

Echo was an early online community based in New York City that allowed users to connect via telephone lines and modems to post messages and chat. Echo was founded in 1991 by Stacy Horn and ran for over 20 years. Echo functioned like an online city, with various discussion areas on many topics where people could connect and build relationships.

Though Echo predated the modern World Wide Web, it exemplified the earliest forms of online community and social media. Echo was based on the same principles of open exchange and user-generated content that define major social networks today. However, Echo lacked many of the features we now associate with the web, like hyperlinks, graphics, and a graphical user interface. Users connected to Echo via text-only terminals and exchanged messages on various discussion boards.

Echo provides a glimpse into what online life and culture was like before the mainstream commercial internet. By donating Echo’s archives to the New-York Historical Society, Stacy Horn helped preserve this snapshot of early online community for future generations. Though Echo itself is mostly obsolete, its legacy lives on in the types of open online communities and social networks that are now common.

So in summary, on the morning of September 11, 2001, a user alerted the Echo community in real time about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center in New York City. Echo was an early online community that ran for 20 years and exemplified the first forms of social media, though in a purely text-based format. Echo provides a glimpse into online life before the graphical World Wide Web and modern social networks.

  • The Domesday Book was a survey of landholdings and resources in England compiled by William the Conqueror in 1086. It served as the inspiration for the BBC’s Domesday Discs project in 1986, which aimed to create a modern census of Britain on interactive multimedia LaserDiscs.

  • Wendy Hall, a computer scientist, saw the Domesday Discs and was amazed by their interactive, interconnected nature. Although her interest in multimedia computing was initially seen as frivolous by her colleagues, she traveled to the U.S. and learned about hypertext systems.

  • Hall returned to the University of Southampton, where the archives held the papers of Louis Mountbatten, a prominent 20th-century British figure. The archivists asked Hall if she could create a hypertext system to link together the photos, films, and documents in Mountbatten’s archive.

  • Hall and her team created Microcosm, an innovative hypertext system that kept links in a separate “linkbase” rather than embedding them in documents. This allowed for flexible, intelligent connections between materials. For example, a mention of Mahatma Gandhi’s name could be linked to a video of him giving a speech.

  • Microcosm demonstrated a new way of navigating and connecting information, similar to what the World Wide Web would enable a few years later. However, Microcosm’s linkbase allowed for more contextual, metadata-rich links between information.

In summary, Wendy Hall was inspired by early interactive multimedia to create one of the first hypertext systems, Microcosm. Using the Mountbatten archive, Microcosm showed how linking together documents, images, videos, and other media could enable new ways of exploring and understanding information.

  • Hypertext systems like Microcosm allowed links between documents to be tailored to a user’s knowledge and interests. Links could point to multiple documents and new links could be generated on the fly through searching. This allowed the systems to adapt to users and provide more opportunities for learning.

  • Hypertext research was dominated by women in the 1980s and 1990s. The field attracted scholars from diverse disciplines who were interested in human-centered design.

  • Cathy Marshall worked as a hypertext researcher at Xerox PARC. She felt like an outsider as one of the first women at CalTech but found a collaborative environment at PARC. There, she worked on NoteCards, a hypertext system for organizing ideas modeled after physical note cards and file boxes.

  • NoteCards was designed for intelligence analysis but was never picked up by the intelligence community. However, it spread beyond PARC and influenced Apple’s HyperCard application. HyperCard was bundled with Macintosh and Apple IIGS computers and was used to build databases, interactive fictions, presentations, interface prototypes, and more.

  • In short, hypertext systems and their developers, especially women, envisioned new ways of connecting and navigating information that anticipated how we use technology today. Although not always commercially successful, their ideas lived on through applications like HyperCard.

  • 1987 was a pivotal year for hypertext research. The first academic hypertext conference, Hypertext ‘87, was held and brought together researchers from various fields.

  • The conference attendees came from diverse backgrounds, including computer scientists, classicists, professors, and entrepreneurs. The interdisciplinary nature of hypertext research attracted more women to the field.

  • Cathy Marshall’s research focused on how people used hypertext systems to organize information. Her systems, like NoteCards, Aquanet, and VIKI, allowed users to spatially arrange ideas. This supported “knowledge-structuring” and “kinesthetic thinking.”

  • The piles and clusters people create in the physical world reflect their thinking. Hypertext systems moved these mental patterns on-screen and integrated them into writing workflows. They modeled the complex nature of human thought. For Marshall, the documents themselves were less important than the thinking they represented.

  • The hypertext community grew rapidly, culminating in Hypertext ‘91 in San Antonio. Researchers demonstrated many hypertext systems, including Microcosm, NoteCards, and the World Wide Web.

  • Tim Berners-Lee demonstrated the World Wide Web, but attendees were unimpressed. Compared to other systems, the Web seemed simplistic, expensive, and counter to accepted hypertext principles. However, within two years, the Web dominated Hypertext conferences.

  • The Web suffered little from being ignored at Hypertext ‘91. It quickly became popular and altered the course of technology. Meanwhile, hypertext systems served as desktop tools, and HyperCard remained in use for over a decade.

In summary, this overview follows the growth of hypertext research from 1987 to the early 1990s. It focuses on Cathy Marshall’s work and the reaction of the hypertext community to the World Wide Web. Despite initial indifference, the Web rapidly changed technology in unforeseen ways.

  • Wendy Hall was a pioneer in the field of hypertext. She created a multimedia hypertext system called Microcosm in the 1980s.

  • Microcosm was more advanced than the early World Wide Web. It could connect many different types of media, had bidirectional links, and created contextual links dynamically. Hall assumed Microcosm and the Web would coexist.

  • However, the Web became dominant due to network effects. As more people used the free Web, its popularity skyrocketed. Meanwhile, Microcosm was commercial software, hampering its spread.

  • Hall adapted Microcosm to work with the Web by creating a Web viewer and the Distributed Link Service. These allowed Web users to create Microcosm-like links between Web pages. But people preferred the simpler Web linking.

  • Had Hall made Microcosm free and focused on it as a Web browser, it’s possible it could have become the dominant browser. But Hall wanted to commercialize Microcosm, and its company Multicosm struggled as the free Web took off.

  • Still, Hall’s work was prescient. Microcosm’s dynamic, contextual linking anticipated modern metadata and AI applications. The Web has since developed some of the capabilities of Hall’s earlier hypertext systems.

  • Hall herself went on to become an important figure in the early Web community. Though she initially didn’t see the Web as the ultimate solution, she helped organize early Web conferences and worked with Tim Berners-Lee. She pointed out some of the Web’s early shortcomings in her 1997 lecture.

  • In summary, Wendy Hall was a pioneer who built a powerful hypertext system ahead of its time. Though Microcosm lost out to the Web, Hall’s contributions and vision have enduring influence and importance. She helped guide the development of the Web even as her own system faded away.

  • Marisa Bowe discovered online communication as a teenager in the 1970s using her father’s PLATO terminal, an early computer network used for education. She mostly used it to flirt with boys.

  • Bowe moved to New York City in 1985 and got involved in the early online service Echo, an alternative to The WELL that focused on the East Coast. She gave herself the username “Miss Outer Boro.”

  • Bowe became very popular on Echo for her engaging conversation and wit. The founder, Stacy Horn, asked her to host Echo’s Culture conference. Bowe had a knack for drawing people into interesting discussions. She developed a cult following and mini-celebrity status on Echo.

  • Although Bowe was shy in person, she was bold and irrepressible online. Her experience flirting on PLATO as a teen served her well in navigating online communication. She saw the potential for computers to be used for social connection before most people.

  • The Echo community was an alternative to mainstream media. It allowed people to connect across distances and get exposed to a diversity of opinions beyond the “twelve guys from Harvard” who controlled most media.

  • Bowe’s real-life friends worried that she spent too much time online, but she found Echo and its community seductive. She said “I logged on to Echo and four years later I looked up.”

  • In summary, Marisa Bowe was an early pioneer of online culture who helped popularize Echo through her charismatic online persona as Miss Outer Boro. She intuitively understood the potential of computer networks for fostering community and connection.

Does this summary accurately reflect the key details and events in the passage? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

  • Jaime Levy grew up in Los Angeles in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was interested in film, punk rock, and skateboarding, not computers. She learned about computers and interactive media while studying at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

  • For her master’s thesis, Levy created an electronic magazine called Cyber Rag on floppy disks. It combined her interests in punk rock, DIY culture, and desktop publishing. She distributed Cyber Rag at indie bookstores and record stores, and it sold over 6,000 copies.

  • Levy moved back to LA, renamed her magazine Electronic Hollywood, and continued to distribute it on floppy disks. Her magazines got national media attention, and Levy became known as an iconoclastic figure of electronic publishing and digital culture. She photographed well and gave attitude-filled interviews that captured her irreverent style.

  • Levy’s magazines were admired in tech and cyberculture circles. Billy Idol paid her $5,000 to create an interactive floppy disk to include with his album Cyberpunk. Although the album flopped, Levy’s reputation grew. She did some corporate work but found CD-ROMs boring. When she saw the Mosaic browser, she realized her electronic magazines were like early websites.

  • Levy moved to New York and became known as the “Kurt Cobain of the Internet.” She leveraged her status as a pioneer of electronic publishing into more corporate work, though she maintained her rebellious image. She helped define the visual style of websites in the 1990s. Though her real life wasn’t always glamorous, she combined her interests in technology and culture in influential ways.

  • Jaime Levy was an early proponent of electronic publishing and created an online ‘zine called Cyber Rag in the early 1990s.

  • In 1995, a software company called Icon CMT hired Jaime Levy to be the creative director of a new online magazine called Word.

  • The editor-in-chief of Word was Jonathan Van Meter, an industry veteran. However, he dropped out shortly before the launch.

  • Marisa Bowe, Jaime Levy’s friend, was hired as the managing editor of Word despite having no experience in magazines. She was fascinated by amateur online content and brought that sensibility to Word.

  • Word published stories and testimonials from everyday people, gathered through interviews. Marisa Bowe and her brother conducted many of these interviews. The staff also shared details of their own lives.

  • Jaime Levy focused on interactive features for Word. These included Fred the Webmate, an interactive chatbot, and many weird interactive toys and games.

  • Word demonstrated the creative possibilities of online publishing, though it wasn’t the first online magazine. It had a homemade, authentic feel that captured the spirit of the early internet.

  • The business model of Word assumed that online subscriptions would be very profitable, though this turned out not to be the case. The magazine only lasted a couple of years.

In summary, Word was an influential early web magazine known for its authentic, interactive content and homemade style. Though short-lived, it helped establish the creative potential of online publishing.

  • was an innovative online magazine in the 1990s that epitomized the creative spirit of Silicon Alley. It was founded in 1995 by Jaime Levy and Marisa Bowe, who had an edgy, pop culture aesthetic.

  • The magazine was an early success and considered a pioneer in experimental web design. It received massive traffic and recognition from major media. However, as the dot-com boom intensified, tensions emerged. Jaime left after a year and a half to pursue other opportunities, while Marisa stayed on as editor.

  • Though Word was a product of the dot-com bubble, its staff saw themselves more as artists than businesspeople. The site lacked a clear revenue model and was acquired in 1998 by a fish meal company trying to get into online media. The new owners revived Word and rehired its staff. The site had one last burst of creativity before shutting down for good in 2000.

  • After leaving Word, Jaime struggled to find work as the web became more commercial. She started a company called Electronic Hollywood that failed after a year. She went on to tell students about her experiences and mistakes.

  • Word epitomized the creative spirit of 1990s Silicon Alley, but lacked a sustainable business model. Though short-lived, it pioneered experimental web design and left a lasting influence. Its story reflects the boom and bust of the dot-com era, and how the early idealism of the web gave way to commercial pressures.

  • Jaime Levy was an entrepreneur in New York City during the late 1990s tech boom known as Silicon Alley. She founded a company called Electronic Hollywood that produced multimedia and web content.

  • Jaime and her friends benefited greatly during the tech boom. Venture capital was easy to raise, and there were many lucrative jobs for people with web design and development skills. Jaime rapped about being the “biggest bitch in Silicon Alley.”

  • However, Jaime’s company struggled. She hired many friends and family who did not work out. Her ex-boyfriend called their investor to report that Jaime was smoking pot in the office. They wasted almost all of their $500,000 in funding.

  • Jaime’s main project was a Flash cartoon series called CyberSlacker that satirized Silicon Alley. She hoped it would become a TV show, but that never happened.

  • In 2000 and 2001, the tech bubble burst. The stock market crashed, and many tech companies went under. Razorfish, which Jaime had parodied in CyberSlacker, lost 90% of its value.

  • Electronic Hollywood could no longer pay rent and had to downsize to a single room. Jaime and her remaining employee aimed just to survive the remaining six months of their lease.

  • Marisa Bowe, a friend of Jaime’s, had seen the crash coming. She compared it to the collapse of the steel industry in the Midwest where she was from. For her, being part of the tech bubble was exciting because she knew it would eventually burst.

  • The money that had fueled Silicon Alley turned out to not be real. The crash showed that having a website was not the same as having a viable business model.

  • Jaime Levy was part of the dot-com bubble in New York City during the 1990s. She worked at a digital media company called Word that went under after the bubble burst. The collapse was devastating for her and many others.

  • The 9/11 terrorist attacks then plunged New York into crisis shortly after. This made the hardship from the dot-com crash seem petty in comparison but also compounded the difficulties. The attacks caused massive damage to the city’s economy and infrastructure.

  • For Jaime, 9/11 represented the end of that era. At 34, she left New York and moved back to Los Angeles to start over. She had trouble finding work at first because of her association with the dot-com crash.

  • The dot-com boom was an exciting time creatively, but most of the digital publications and online communities from that era have disappeared. Their archives and the culture they helped define are hard to find now. Still, they were pioneering and revealed the potential of the web. Women like Jaime Levy, Marisa Bowe, and Stacy Horn were instrumental in developing online communities and interactive web content.

  • The web started as an academic network but was transformed in the 1990s into a popular social and commercial medium. As web business models developed and online transactions became possible, web enterprises were able to make money. This commercialization changed the nature of the web, with more focus on e-commerce and advertising.

  • One of the most successful web companies of the dot-com era was It began in the early 1990s as a grassroots online community for women called Women’s Wire. It grew into a major web media company, becoming a symbol of the dot-com bubble’s excesses but also the web’s potential. The site went through many changes over the years before eventually closing.

  • The story of spans the key transitional time in the web’s development and reflects many of the hopes, hardships, and lessons of the dot-com era.

  • Nancy Rhine and Ellen Pack co-founded Women’s WIRE, the first commercial online service targeted specifically at women, in 1993.

  • Rhine was interested in community building and fostering discussion, while Pack was more focused on providing useful information. This tension shaped the nature of Women’s WIRE.

  • Women’s WIRE provided resources on topics such as women’s health, education, and politics. It also hosted discussion forums where women could connect and share advice.

  • In 1994, Rhine and Pack saw the early Web for the first time. They had to decide whether to stick with their existing dial-up service or redesign everything for the Web. This was a risky choice, as it meant abandoning their paying subscribers.

  • Before the Web, online services could be both commercially successful and build strong communities. Services made money based on how long people stayed online, so building community was important.

  • Women’s WIRE ultimately transitioned to the Web, but struggled against larger competitors. The service shut down in 1999.

The key tension was between prioritizing either community or commerce. Transitioning to the Web forced difficult choices, as the business model that had previously sustained Women’s WIRE broke down. Though ahead of its time, Women’s WIRE was ultimately unable to compete against larger web companies.

  • Ellen Bass and Nancy Rankin started Women’s WIRE, a dial-in community for women, in 1992. Though initially a nonprofit, Ellen aimed to turn it into a startup.

  • In 1994, Ellen met Marleen McDaniel, a veteran of Silicon Valley. Marleen came on as a consultant and eventually CEO, helping raise venture capital.

  • Marleen pivoted Women’s WIRE into an online media company, abandoning the dial-in service. They partnered with companies like CompuServe and MSN to gain users. Nancy left in protest over the shift from community to commerce.

  • With funding, Women’s WIRE moved offices and built a magazine-style website. Ellen hired editors and staff. Their assumption that women were tech-savvy and willing to spend money online was ahead of its time.

  • Advertising became their business model. As the web became more female, Women’s WIRE rebranded as They sold the first web ad to Levi’s.

  • represented a new type of women’s media: smart, connected, and commercial. While controversial, their model capitalized on advertisers’ desire to reach female consumers.

  • The story illustrates the tension between community and commerce on the early web. Women’s WIRE began as a nonprofit community but pivoted to an ad-supported media company to survive and scale.

That covers the key highlights and events in the origin story of, including the shift from community to commerce, key personnel, funding and partnerships, and their innovative business model. Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

  • In the 1990s, started as Women’s WIRE, a dial-up online service for women. It evolved into, a popular website for women that featured content on careers, health, and lifestyle.

  • benefited from being featured on Netscape’s homepage and having an easy-to-remember URL. It started making a lot of money from advertising, with ads selling for up to $1 million.

  • competed fiercely with iVillage, another large women’s site. To gain more traffic and ads, both sites moved toward more mainstream content like fashion, sex, and horoscopes. By partnering with Hearst, began featuring content from mainstream women’s magazines.

  • Critics argued that in trying to cater to women, sites like and iVillage ended up isolating and stereotyping them. The sites promised community but delivered consumerism.

  • In 2000, the dot-com bubble burst. Websites started going out of business and laying off staff. The site Fucked Company tracked dot-com failures and gave a “severity rating” of 45 when it laid off 85 staff members.

  • Both iVillage and had planned to go public, but only iVillage was able to do an initial public offering (IPO) before the dot-com crash. remained private.

  • In summary, and iVillage started with the goal of empowering women online but ultimately struggled between their visions and the demands of investors and advertisers. When the dot-com bubble burst, their troubles were exacerbated. Though survived, it lost much of its original spirit.

  • Candice Carpenter founded iVillage, one of the first websites targeted at women. In 1999, iVillage had a very successful IPO, making Carpenter and investors rich.

  •, a competitor to iVillage, also went public shortly after to take advantage of the market interest in women’s websites. However, struggled and its stock price declined.

  • In 2001, iVillage acquired in a stock deal worth $47 million. Soon after, iVillage had to cut half its staff. Analysts concluded the market could not support multiple major websites targeting women.

  • However, the failure of and struggles of iVillage were likely due more to their approach as “portals” that tried to be one-stop shops for women. As the web grew, women did not need portals and preferred to go directly to websites focused on their specific interests.

  • In the 1990s, as women were helping build the commercial web, another battle was being waged to attract girls and women to computers through gaming. Early on, computing was seen as male territory, but gaming offered a way for girls to justify access to computers.

  • Brenda Laurel, a pioneering female game designer, first encountered computers as a child in 1962 when she won a toy computer as a Halloween costume prize. She had an “epiphany” that computers could answer life’s biggest questions. In the 1970s, while in grad school, she saw a real computer creating graphics and knew she wanted to work with computers.

  • Laurel got her start working for a small software company that made programs for the CyberVision, an early home computer system. She pushed the company to let her design games for girls, creating some of the first computer games targeted at a female audience.

  • Brenda Laurel was a pioneer in software and game design. In the late 1970s, she worked for an early personal computer company called CyberVision, where she designed educational software and games.

  • After CyberVision folded, Laurel moved to California and worked for Atari, where she pushed the company to develop software beyond just porting arcade games to home computers. She worked in Atari’s research lab under Alan Kay.

  • Laurel then worked for Activision and Apple, where she explored ideas like using Aristotle’s Poetics to generate game scenarios. She eventually got her PhD, arguing that computer programs are like theater.

  • In 1992, Laurel began working for Interval Research, a think tank funded by Paul Allen. There, she focused her research on why young girls tended not to play computer games. Through interviews, she found that games at the time were tailored more to boys’ interests, emphasizing violence, mastery, and competition.

  • Laurel believed that the lack of girls playing games was due to software issues, not access or skill. Girls found many popular games too violent and stressful, and they weren’t motivated by the same desires for mastery and defeating opponents that boys were.

  • Based on her research, Laurel founded a company called Purple Moon that developed software and games targeted at girls’ interests, focusing on relationships, nature, creativity, and adventure. The company aimed to give girls confidence with technology at a young age.

  • Laurel considers herself part of the “Crash Test Dummy Club” - people who try to develop technologies before the mainstream is ready. Though risky, these early explorations help identify coming trends. Laurel’s work on gender and computing was ahead of its time.

  • In the 1990s, Brenda Laurel conducted research on how girls interacted with computers and found that they preferred an exploratory, collaborative style of play rather than competitive mastery of games.

  • Based on this research, Laurel co-founded Purple Moon in 1996 to create story-based games targeted at girls. The games focused on characters and social/emotional development rather than competition or winning.

  • The Rockett series featured an eighth-grade girl and her friends, and allowed players to navigate social situations. The Secret Paths series focused more on empathy, kindness, and solidarity between girls. The games aimed to provide a safe space for girls to develop social and emotional skills.

  • Purple Moon’s games and website were very successful, outperforming major competitors. They represented a shift toward acknowledging and creating products for female gamers.

  • Other companies followed Purple Moon’s lead in developing more games targeted at girls, though some just repackaged traditional “boy games” in a feminine skin rather than focusing on story, characters, and social/emotional gameplay like Purple Moon did.

  • Purple Moon’s games reflected the real challenges of girlhood and provided a space for players to explore different responses and paths in a low-stakes way. Though some criticized the games, many players found them highly impactful and helpful for their development.

  • In summary, Purple Moon was ahead of its time in recognizing and catering to female gamers. Its girl-centered, socially-focused games provided players both enjoyment and meaningful learning experiences regarding relationships and identity.

  • In the 1990s, a series of studios produced adventure and role-playing games targeted at girls, known as “girl games.” This movement was seen as empowering for women in tech and coincided with a rise in female-owned businesses.

  • The most successful girl game studio was Purple Moon, founded by Brenda Laurel. Their popular Rockett’s New School series featured a red-haired girl named Rockett maneuvering the social world of middle school.

  • Purple Moon’s games were based on research showing that girls enjoyed different kinds of gameplay than boys, preferring social interaction and cooperation. However, the games were criticized for reinforcing stereotypes and a narrow view of girlhood.

  • Although Purple Moon’s first game, Rockett’s New School, was successful, the studio ultimately failed. After being acquired by Mattel, Rockett and other girl game properties were discontinued.

  • The rise of sexually objectified female characters like Lara Croft demonstrated that the game industry and market valued a particular fantasy of womanhood that girl games attempted to counter.

  • The failure of Purple Moon demonstrated the challenges of creating games to empower girls within a male-dominated tech industry and culture. However, their efforts inspired later generations of female game designers and players.

  • In the 1990s, the Australian art collective VNS Matrix proclaimed the rise of “cyberfeminism” - a movement to disrupt and reimagine the relationship between women, gender, and technology. They created provocative artworks envisioning woman as “the virus of the new world disorder” and “saboteurs of big daddy mainframe.”

  • The cyberfeminist movement built upon a longer history of women’s involvement with tech, from Ada Lovelace to human “computers.” They aimed to make women the “signal and the pulse” of the network.

In summary, from the 1990s girl games movement to the proclamations of cyberfeminist artists, women worked to claim space and power within the rapidly growing sphere of digital technology. Though facing many obstacles, their efforts would inspire later progress.

  • Sadie Plant and VNS Matrix were leaders of cyberfeminism, an art movement in the 1990s that believed the early Internet could empower women and counter patriarchal control of technology.

  • Cyberfeminists saw the early Internet as an open, unregulated space for new forms of expression and community. They created art, multimedia works, virtual worlds, manifestos, and networks to claim a space for women in tech culture.

  • However, the commercial Internet perpetuated many of the same problems as the real world, like sexism, racism, and inequality. Anonymity enabled online harassment and abuse. The optimistic vision of an open, liberating Internet didn’t come to pass.

  • But as the digital and physical worlds merge, we have an opportunity to use technology to positively impact society. Diversity and inclusion can help create more human-centered tech. We need to understand the histories of women and minorities in tech to change the stereotype of the “alpha nerd” and see that anyone can contribute.

  • The strategies of past pioneers like Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and cyberfeminists can inspire us. We must see the world clearly, learn from the past, and take responsibility for shaping technology to benefit humanity. Though it’s difficult, we can use tech to remake the world for the better.

  • Overall, the summary conveys that while the early optimistic vision of cyberfeminists didn’t come to pass, we can still work to counter discrimination and harmful stereotypes in tech, create more inclusive spaces online and offline, and build technology that makes a positive difference in the real world. We have to understand history, nurture determination and community, and take an active role in shaping the future.

  • In the late 19th century, “computers” were human beings who performed calculations by hand. Charles Babbage designed mechanical computers called the Difference Engine and Analytical Engine but they were never built in his lifetime. Ada Lovelace, a mathematician, wrote the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine.

  • In the early 20th century, human “computers” were often women. Astronomer Edward Charles Pickering hired women to analyze data at Harvard. During World War II, women known as “Pickering’s Harem” and others calculated ballistics trajectories and aeronautical research data for the U.S. military. Mathematician Katherine Johnson calculated flight trajectories for early NASA missions.

  • Grace Hopper earned a PhD in mathematics in 1934 and worked on the Mark I computer during World War II. She coined the term “debugging” and worked on early programming languages like FLOW-MATIC and COBOL. She pushed for more user-friendly computing and believed programming was more important than hardware. Known as “Amazing Grace,” she had a successful career in the U.S. Navy and was a pioneering figure for women in computing.

  • Howard Aiken, Hopper’s supervisor, could be difficult to work with but recognized her talent. Hopper excelled in the collaborative, creative environment at Harvard where she first learned about computing. Her insatiable curiosity and ability to explain complex topics clearly contributed to her success.

  • Grace Hopper popularized the metaphor of different programming languages as a “Tower of Babel.” In the 1950s, there were many different languages that were incompatible with each other.

  • Programming languages specify instructions for a computer. They are symbolic representations of the binary codes that computers operate on. designing a programming language is like designing a new symbolic logic.

  • Grace Hopper believed that we needed a “common business language” that could be used across different machines. This led to the development of COBOL, the COmmon Business-Oriented Language.

  • In 1959, COBOL was developed through the Conference on Data Systems Languages (CODASYL) consortium, which included many major computer companies. Two subcommittees were formed: one to examine existing languages and another to design a new common language.

  • The COBOL design committee included Grace Hopper, Betty Holberton, and Jean Sammet. They aimed to create a language that was simple, self-documenting, and readable, not just for programmers but also for managers and business people.

  • COBOL was controversial, with many programmers disliking its verbosity and inflexibility. However, it became the most widely used business language and helped standardize programming across different computer systems.

  • The development of COBOL illustrates the drive for compatibility and standardization among different computer systems in the 1950s.It helped advance the use of computers in business and commerce.

  • Grace Hopper critiqued the programming language COBOL, saying “the better COBOL was, the worse it was.” She felt it was no longer an accurate way to think. She also thought the programming language PL/I could end up being harmful.

  • COBOL was created in 1959 by Grace Hopper and her team. It was intended to be a programming language that was easily readable by managers and businesspeople.

  • Jean Jennings Bartik and other women made up a significant portion of early computer programmers. However, their contributions have often been overlooked. Many faced workplace discrimination and lower pay. As programming became more prestigious, the field transitioned to being male-dominated.

  • Max Kaemper created the first comprehensive map of Mammoth Cave in 1908. The cave system was very complex, like “a bowl of spaghetti.” Researchers would get lost exploring it.

  • In 1972, cavers Pat Crowther, Richard Zopf, and Roger Brucker discovered a connection between the Flint Ridge and Mammoth Cave systems, creating the longest known cave system in the world at the time. They had to systematically map and explore the cave.

  • Will Crowther, Pat Crowther’s husband, was inspired by cave exploration to create the text-based computer game Colossal Cave Adventure in 1975-76. The game simulated exploring a cave system and became very popular, helping to popularize interactive fiction.

  • In the 1970s, Community Memory in San Francisco aimed to make technology and computing resources accessible to more people. Pamela Hardt-English helped start the project. Early participants were countercultural but became more mainstream over time. Hardt-English had to overcome sexism in the computing field.

  • In the 1970s, Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler helped manage the Resource One computer at the Stanford Research Institute, which hosted an early version of ARPANET. Few women worked in networking and computing at the time, so she faced obstacles in her career. But she helped popularize concepts like domain names that were foundational to the development of the internet.

Here is a summary of the article:

  • The article profiles Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler, who helped build and run the Resource Handbook, a directory of early Internet hosts and contacts, in the 1970s. Despite facing sexism as one of the few women in tech at the time, Feinler found the work deeply rewarding and formed close bonds with her mostly young male coworkers.

  • The article also profiles Radia Perlman, who created the spanning tree algorithm that allows Ethernet networks to function. Though Perlman faced obstacles as a woman in the male-dominated field of computer networking, she persisted and ultimately revolutionized the field.

  • The article explores the rise of virtual communities in the early Internet, focusing on The WELL and Echo, two early online communities based in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City, respectively. These communities allowed strangers to form meaningful connections over shared interests at a time when online interaction was a novelty. They were overseen by “hosts” who moderated discussions and set a friendly, welcoming tone.

  • The article frames the growth of these early online communities as a reaction against the increasing atomization of daily urban life. They allowed people to find a “sense of place” with like-minded individuals no matter the physical distance between them.

  • The founder of Echo, Stacy Horn, is profiled at length. The community she built at Echo and her first book, Cyberville, offer a glimpse into the excitement and intimacy of these early virtual spaces. However, managing Echo took an emotional toll, showing the challenges inherent in cultivating and maintaining an online community.

  • In general, the article highlights how women built and shaped technology and virtual spaces that were often coded as male. It explores their pioneering work as well as the obstacles they faced in fields where men still dominate.

Interview with David Pescovitz, co-creator of Reality Check,” Reality Check, February 7, 1995.

		a prescient art project: Levy’s work is part of the Rhizome Artbase, a collection of artworks from the early Web. She was ahead of the curve, producing pioneering web art at a time when few art institutions were paying attention to digital works.

		like an interpretive dance: Jaime Levy, “Electronic Art and Cyberformance,”, July 2011.

		“cultural gatekeepers of institutions”: Ibid.

		“GeoCities presented the opportunity”: Levy, interview with the author, August 6, 2016.

		“an emotional rollercoaster”: Ibid.

		some local battles were won: Bowe, “When I Grow Up,” Vice, November 30, 2004.

		“It was very much like being a part”: Bowe, interview with the author, July 26, 2016.

		Bow Wow was shut down: Kait and Weiss, Digital Hustlers, 82–86.

		returned to interview Marisa: Marisa Bowe Interview by Sabin Streeter and John Bowe, Just Think of It: Stories About PLATO,

		“was to challenge gender stereotypes”: Cybergrrl, “Who We Are,” AltaVista Internet Archive, January 27, 1997,

		Bowe helped launch Silicon Alley Reporter: Kait and Weiss, Digital Hustlers, 105.

		“This was in the ‘90s”: Bowe, interview with the author, July 26, 2016.

		“What I wanted was to get great girl geeks”: Ibid.

		like Levy and Marshall: Caryl Rivers, “The Web’s Radical Vision: Cybergrrls and the Gender Gap,” originally published in Wired, issue 4.10 (October 1996). Reprinted online at

		sardonically referred to as “cyberbabes”: Levy, interview with the author, August 6, 2016.

		Cybergrrl gatherings were deeply political: Rivers, “The Web’s Radical Vision.”

		members recall being harassed: Levy, interview with the author, August 6, 2016; Marshall, interview with the author, January 11, 2017.

		“We were there to celebrate women”: Levy, interview with the author, August 6, 2016.

		“more meritocratic platform”: Bowe, interview with the author, July 26, 2016.

		“male geeks calling each other sister”: Ibid.

		male members of the L.A. Web girls: Rivers, “The Web’s Radial Vision.” Some were even spotted wearing their “girl geek” T-shirts designed by Cybergrrl allies Hotwired, a web community and culture publication run by Wired Magazine, but according to Rivers, “the point of the T-shirts . . . seemed lost on most of the male attendees.”

		“At the time, anyone who knew HTML”: Levy, interview with the author, August 6, 2016.

		The Silicon Alley Reporter printed a cover feature: Justine Tunney, “Cybergrrl Power,” Silicon Alley Reporter, cover story, February 1998.

		“what I would call cyber-libertarian”: Bowe, interview with the author, July 26, 2016.

		“We’re the ones who know what’s going on”: Tunney, “Cybergrrl Power.”

		“Queens girl does good”: Dateline NBC, February 21, 1999, Transcript # 9862d1-1.

		“Everything came together”: Bowe, Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs, 367.

		twenty-eighth most influential New Yorker: “The Silicon Alley 100,” Silicon Alley Reporter, December 1999.

		America’s “Most Powerful Women”: Ladies’ Home Journal, “America’s 100 Most Powerful Women,” December 1, 1998.

		“It’s a total sham”: PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer, November 16, 1999.

		“a nice sense of being an upstart”: Bowe, interview with the author, July 26, 2016.

		inner circle of “friends and family”: Philip Kaplan, “The $5 Billion Startup,” Business 2.0, February 29, 2000.

		Valuation: $50,000. Price: $531,415: Brendan Koerner, “Microsuck,” Mother Jones, July/August 2000.

		“happy to take a few nibbles”: Bowe, interview with the author, July 26, 2016.

		“We just cashed those checks and moved on”: Bowe, Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs, 367.

		reportedly valued at over $100 million: CNET, “Whistle-Blower’s Lawsuit Rocks Razorfish,” May 1, 2000. The lawsuit would later be dropped, but it made for sensational headlines in 2000.

		valued at $1.6 billion during its IPO: Wired Magazine, “Razorfish Beyond the Hype,” January 19, 2000.

		“Jeff didn’t want any partners”: Bowe, interview with the author, July 26, 2016.

		“I had a falling-out with Jeff”: Ibid.

		Bowe was pushed out: CNET, “Whistle-Blower’s Lawsuit Rocks Razorfish.” Although there are conflicting accounts, most reports indicate that Bowe was forced out.

		valuation plunged by 80 percent: The Industry Standard, “How the Mighty Have Fallen,” October 25, 2002.

		“It was horrible and traumatic”: Bowe, interview with the author, July 26, 2016.

		“That’s the story of half the startups”: Ibid.

		“giant brick wall”: Bowe, Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs, 368.

		“I want to keep my hands dirty”: Bowe, interview with the author, July 26, 2016.

		“I miss aspects of that so much”: Ibid.

Here is a summary of the article:

  • Jaime Levy founded Electronic Hollywood, an early digital media company, in 1993. It produced an interactive CD-ROM magazine called Cyber Rag. The company exemplified the creative, rebellious spirit of “Silicon Alley,” New York’s equivalent of Silicon Valley.

  • Levy was known as the “Cyberslacker” for rejecting mainstream tech culture. She said, “We called it Smell-o-vision.” Electronic Hollywood’s office was irreverent, with Levy describing it as “my, sorta, digital graffiti.”

  • Levy’s CD-ROM magazine, Cyber Rag, sold 6,000 copies at $6 each. She said, “I was the Kurt Cobain” of Silicon Alley. People admired her authenticity and rebelliousness.

  • Levy collaborated with Marisa Bowe, a journalist who founded the online magazine Word in 1995. Word exemplified the web’s early creative, counter-cultural spirit. However, it struggled financially and was acquired by a large corporation, leading to a loss of autonomy and purpose.

  • The dot-com crash of 2000 hit Silicon Alley hard. Most of its companies went under, and unemployment rose sharply. Levy said, “Something was coming to a head.” She struggled to find work for years.

  • Women’s WIRE was an early online community for women, founded in 1992. It aimed to provide information and resources for women in a supportive environment. The service addressed issues like domestic violence and healthcare.

  • There were disagreements over how political or commercial Women’s WIRE should be. Ultimately, it became more commercial to increase revenue. One founder said, “The original model had been blown out of the water.”

  • The summary touches on the idealistic roots of early web communities, their struggles with commercial pressures, and how this shaped and constrained their development. While aiming to empower users, they often lost their way.

Here is a summary of the source:

The article, titled “Does Even Mark Zuckerberg Know What Facebook Is?” and published on New York Magazine’s website in October 2017, questions whether Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg truly understands the impact and consequences of the social network he created. The article suggests that Facebook has become so large, complex, and embedded in so many aspects of society that no one, including Zuckerberg, comprehends its full effects. The article argues that Facebook’s tremendous scale, its advertising-based business model, and its drive to maximize user engagement and time spent on the platform have contributed to the spread of “fake news,” privacy violations, and other issues. The article calls for Facebook to be more transparent and regulated but acknowledges there are no easy fixes to address social media’s challenges.

The key details and arguments in the summary are:

  1. The article questions whether Mark Zuckerberg fully understands Facebook, which has become huge and complex.

  2. Facebook’s size, business model, and focus on maximizing user time have contributed to problems like the spread of “fake news.”

  3. The article calls for more transparency and regulation of Facebook but says there are no easy solutions.

  4. The article acknowledges Facebook has embedded itself in many areas of society, so no one comprehends its full effects.

Does this summary accurately reflect the key details and arguments presented in the source? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

  • Many early computers were developed to aid military goals, including ENIAC and ARPANET.

  • Grace Hopper and the “ENIAC Six” were pioneering women in early computer programming. Hopper worked on the Mark I and Mark II computers at Harvard.

  • Early commercial computers were produced by companies like IBM, Honeywell, and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).

  • The development of programming languages like COBOL, FORTRAN, and FLOW-MATIC made computing more accessible.

  • The rise of bulletin board systems (BBS), online communities like Echo and The WELL, and community networking projects helped expand the reach of computing and the Internet.

  • Innovations in hypertext, pioneered by people like Wendy Hall, Tim Berners-Lee, and Stacy Horn, led to the development of the World Wide Web.

  • The 1990s saw the rise of electronic publishing, e-commerce, and the dot-com bubble. Sites like CyberRag,, and Word experimented with web publishing.

  • Gaming companies began marketing to girls and women in the 1990s and 2000s, with games like All New Gen and the Purple Moon series.

  • Cyberfeminism explored connections between feminism, technology, and networking. Key figures include Francesca da Rimini and the participants of the First Cyberfeminist International.

  • Many early computing pioneers, including Grace Hopper, Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler, and Stacy Horn, were women who challenged the male dominance of computing. Despite this, computing has remained a male-dominated field.

• 69 - Year ENIAC was unveiled • 73 - Year COBOL programming language was standardized • 75 - Year gender imbalance started to form in programming field • 79 - Year first commercial modem for personal computers released • 161 - Year first web browser released
• 186 - Year first web page created • 197 - Year Google founded

• 1960 - Year EMCC founded • 1943 - Year ENIAC project started • 1932 - Year Mark I became operational • 1964 - Year IBM released OS/360 operating system • 1988 - Year Icon Computer was founded • 1990s - Decade in which the identitiy of cyberfeminism formed • 1980s - Decade in which Billy Idol’s fame peaked • Late 1700s - When the Industrial Revolution began • 1993 - When Mosaic web browser was released • 1968 - When Intel was founded • 1969 - When the first IMPs were installed • 1960s - When the Internet’s precursors (ARPANET) were created • 1990 - When the first web page was created • 1995 - When Netscape had its IPO • 1952 - When the first presidential election influenced by TV took place • 1976 - When the Alto computer was released

Does this summary look correct? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any of the points.

Here is a summary of the companies, technologies, people, and events from the list:

  • Telepresence Research (227): A company focused on telepresence technology, allowing people in different locations to interact via immersive video conferencing.

  • Teletype machines (101, 105, 106): Early text-based communication systems that sent typed messages over telephone lines. Used for person-to-person messaging and data transfer between computers.

  • Telluride InfoZone (131): One of the first community networks, providing Internet access and online services to residents of Telluride, Colorado starting in 1992.

  • Tierney, Gertrude (73): An American programmer who worked on BINAC and UNIVAC, two of the earliest digital computers.

  • Twitter (149, 150, 151): Popular social network and microblogging service founded in 2006. Allows people to share short posts or “tweets,” up to 140 characters.

  • UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer) (57–63, 65, 66, 67, 73): One of the first commercial computers, built in 1951. Used for business data processing, government administration, and scientific research. Coded using the C-10 machine language.

  • University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Engineering (37–42, 47, 48, 50, 54–56): Where some of the earliest digital computers, including the ENIAC and EDVAC, were built in the 1940s. Researchers there helped develop key concepts like stored programs and programming languages.

  • Unix (135–36, 152): A popular operating system originally developed at Bell Labs in the 1970s. Still widely used today in workstations, servers, and mobile devices. Enabled early online communities and network connectivity.

  • The WELL (132–35, 140, 149, 153, 179–80, 205–6, 209): An early online community and message board system founded in 1985. Brought together people interested in topics like technology, counterculture, and the Bay Area. Helped popularize virtual communities and online identities.

  • VNS Matrix (237–40, 242): An Australian cyberfeminist artist collective founded in 1991. Created early interactive artworks focused on gender, sexuality, and identity on digital networks. Their work explored themes of empowerment, critique of patriarchal structures, and political protest.

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