Collected historical Documents
I have been very curious for all kind of technologies and specially for information processing, so in 50 Years as a computer professional I have collected many hundreds Books in English and Italian languages. I have also collected many Reports of historic value from Universities and Research Institutions, and various other documents such as hundreths issues from 50 to 30 years ago of both professional and amateur technical magazines. I would be happy to share information with colleagues and interested people, so if you find in my pages images or references to Items interesting to you please let me know. I am ready to allow you to download documents already digitized and also to take care of digitizing old paper documents, at a base cost.
In many Years I have also collected thousands applications of all kind, both professional and amateur, originally developed for computer systems such as big Mainframes, Minicomputers, Desktop machines, Personal Computers, even Smart Phones. Most applications are still running as software hosted in newer systems by means of the so-called "simulators" or "emulators", i.e. programs able to reproduce on a machine the behaviour of an other one. So for instance an Apple II program may run on a IBM PC equipped with an Apple II simulator program.
You may find out in Internet many references to pages or sites relative to computers and software history. I have collected some simulators of old systems, but many more simulations exist of everything, Mechanics, Physics, Biology.. I have tested some of them in the course of the Years but you can easily find much more programs in the Net. Simulation programs are specially attractive for teachers and students who want to teach or learn the logic of older machines and programming techniques.
Downloadable Documents and Products
In this site there are references to many documents related to computers and software history. There are also many simulation programs of old computing machines and software. Simulation programs are specially attractive for teachers and students who want to teach or learn the logic of older machines and programming techniques.
Most resources may be freely downloaded; some others require some form of subscription to "amateur" clubs and do cost a small fee or a donation.
I also have designed and developed a smart simulator of the GrandMother of all personal computers, the famous Prgramma 101 introduced by Olivetti in 1965. At that time even the idea of a "personal" computer was considered a fool one, as computers were so big as to fullfill a flat and they did require air conditioning, strong electric supply, specialized team of technicians ready to make assistance. Even the so-called Mini-Computers had not yet appeared in the market.
The Programma 101 did appear at the time as an unbelieveble real object, beautiful, technically perfect, ready to be set on any desktop and ready to be programmed by everyone with a basic knowledge of mathematical algorithms. The machine had an immediate success everywhere, in the USA only more than 40.000 units were sold, mostly to Universities, Government Agencies, technical offices, even to NASA, where many engineers were able to do complex calculations in their own desks with no need to wait hours to access big computer resources.
You will have to wait at least a dozen Years more to see the arrival on the market of personal computers like the Apple II and the IBM PC.
(History Channel has produced a smart movie on the Programma 101 story. You can download it from
"Programma 101 story" )
I have developed a "Virtual Programma 101" smart simulator
The "Virtual Programma 101" is a sophisticated program apt to both young people who want to know how an historical small system was conceived and to older technology fans who want to flavour again the environment of hi-tech "upon the time".
The Programma 101 Machine Simulator should be seen also as a "learning machine" useful to teach the basics of programming logic. The machine has a reduced instructions set and is capable to run small numerical applications such as solving equations, tracing functions, solving systems, compute loan rates, and so on so it perfectly fits the needs of basic programming teaching.
Look at the section devoted to the "Virtual Programma 101" description and evaluate if this simulator is appealing to You or to your class pupils.
To facilitate the knowledge of the Programma 101 Simulator I have prepared a handful of .101 programs apt to demonstrate both the power of the machine and how to program small mathematical apps. Among them: N! factorial, prime factors of numbers, area of a polygon, sine and cosine computations, cubic root, and others. Programs are fully commented as the Simulator allows to add comments to .101 instructions.
If You request the simulator You will get the executable program as a compiled Visual Basic 6 program together with the sample programs, running instructions, references to sites where to download Programma 101 Manuals, and hundreds original .101 programs suitable to be easily transcripted according to the coding format required by the simulator (as the original Programma 101 coding character set is not fully covered by today PC standard keyboard ).
Source P101 programs for the Simulator can be entered with the Simulator embedded Program Editor (this is the easiest way) or with any text editor such as Notepad or WordPad, provided the correct indentation is respected.