Those Who Know History Are Doomed To Watch Others Repeat It

Guy Royse | 10:00 – 11:15


Mark Twain said that history doesn’t repeat but that it often rhymes.  This is true not only of the history of civilization but also of software development.

The history of computing, like anything, has recurring patterns, cycles, and trends.  Some of them are quite large, others are tiny.  Some are significant and others merely amusing.  In this session we will look at some of these from the early days of ENIAC all the way to modern mobile phones.  We will plot them out over the decades, observe their cycles, and come to understand them.  Then, grounded in that history, we will explore some possible outcomes for the next few years and wax poetic about what the more distant future might bring.

If you want to know history and are willing to risk predicting the future, come and join us.


Guy works for Pillar Technology in Columbus, Ohio as an instructor, a consultant, and software engineer.  He has programmed in numerous languages — many of them semi-colon delimited — but has more recently been working with Ruby and JavaScript.  He is also the chief organizer for the Columbus JavaScript User Group and is active in the local development community.

In his personal life, Guy is a hard-boiled geek interested in role-playing games, science fiction, and technology.  He also has a slightly less geeky interest in history and linguistics.  In his spare time he volunteers as Cubmaster for his kids’ Cub Scout Pack.