It's Father's Day in the UK this weekend, the past few weeks got us thinking about the 'fatherly' influences on DressCode. The people who we hold in great respect. The people we have celebrated in our work - the back stories, the bits behind the scenes that really make things tick, the human stories behind the innovations.
We often talk about people being ahead of their time, well here’s a guy who was in a totally different league, he was and is widely still recognised, as a maths genius, a term that’s used a little too often these days. But this guy was incredible, here goes the creds…
Leibniz's most prominent accomplishment was conceiving the ideas of the differential and integral calculus (the link explains what this is).
He developed his own 'law of continuity' and the 'transcendental law of homogeneity'
He also founded 'mathematical implementation' and became one of the most prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators.
His work included adding automatic multiplication and division to Pascal's calculator, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685! That’s over 330 years ago!
He used the above work in the 'arithmometer', the first mass-produced mechanical calculator – remember this the 17th century!
In and amongst of all of this, he also refined the binary number system, creating the foundation of all modern digital devices. Gottfried we salute you!
Doug Englebart and Alan Kay
Dynamic duo’s don’t come much more…well dynamic than these guys, their pioneering work has formed the products that we all use, everyday. Let’s start with Doug, he was an American engineer and inventor, an early adopter of the personal computing and an Internet pioneer. He is best known for his work with Alan Kay (who we’ll come to in a minute), together they founded the field of human–computer interaction at the Augmentation Research Center Lab at Stamford Research International.
Their work resulted in creation of the computer mouse, and the development of hypertext, networked computers, and the thousands of graphical user interfaces (GUI) that have followed. It was Xerox, better known today for photocopiers and printers that first brought this technology to market. Their original work was subtly entitled The Mother of All Demos in 1968 - it's an incredible presentation event by todays standards.
Alan Kay is an American computer scientist with numerous accolades and fellowships including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society of Arts. He is best known for his pioneering work on object-oriented programming and 'windowing' graphical user interface (GUI) design, the work he did with Doug. What a team, what an incredible achievement.
We celebrated the cursor in this shirt, our pattern is a 'homage' to 'move in any direction'.
Another American engineer, who spent most of his career developing techniques for digital image processing in support of American space programme to the moon, Mars, and to other planets.
In 1965 he produced two papers, as part of his work with NASA, where the word ‘pixel’ was used. He was the first person to ever use the term, describing the process of pixilation - the formation of pictures from small squares of data. Fast forward to today and we are all surrounded by millions of pixels almost everywhere we look. Something that inspired our shirt design of the same name.
Tim Berners Lee
Our first Englishman! And something of a technology GOD we think it’s fare to say. Tim is an engineer and computer scientist who is best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web.
On 12th March 1989, Berners-Lee proposed an information management system that we now call the ‘web’, he then implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the internet by mid-November it was working and changed the way in which we have communicated ever since.
He was named in Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th century and has received a number of other accolades for his invention, including being honoured as the “Inventor of the World Wide Web” during the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony in which he appeared working with a vintage NeXT Computer. He tweeted “This is for everyone” which appeared on LCD panels attached to the chairs of the audience.
The angled brackets of web coding play a big part in DressCode, so we felt it only fitting to have a shirt that used this lovely repeat pattern.
Bennett CerfThe glitch, we all know the term, but where did it start? It’s commonly used in all areas of electronic and computer development, where every system, no matter how complex or simple is susceptible to glitches.
Alex Pieschel, writing for Arcade Review, said: “glitch” suggests something more mysterious (than a bug) and unknowable, inflicted by surprise inputs or stuff outside the realm of code”.
There are many claims that the term comes from the German word glitschen (“to slip”) and the Yiddish word gletshn (“to slide or skid”). Much like the source of these events themselves, it’s not clear exactly where it came from. It was first defined in America by Bennett Cerf, who on the June 20th, 1965 in an episode of What’s My Line said “a kink... when anything goes wrong down there [Cape Kennedy], they say there’s been a slight glitch.”
Astronaut John Glenn explained the term in his section of Into Orbit, writing “Another term we adopted to describe some of our problems was “glitch.” Literally, a glitch is a spike or change in voltage in an electrical circuit which takes place when the circuit suddenly has a new load put on it.”
John Daily further defined the word a few weeks later on the July 4th, 1965, expressing it as a term used by the Air Force at Cape Kennedy, in the process of launching rockets, “it means something’s gone wrong and you can’t figure out what it is so you call it a ‘glitch’.” On July 23rd, 1965, Time Magazine went on to define the term in an article: “Glitches—a spaceman’s word for irritating disturbances.”
The term is believed to have entered common language during the American Space Race of the 1950’s though the examples of it appearing are all from a decade later? Whatever it is, and however you describe it, we love the beauty of a glitch.
Crick and Watson
The double helix structure of DNA was discovered in 1968 by Crick and Watson, two Cambridge researchers. DNA has become synonymous with Cambridge, which is also our (DressCode) home, so we felt sharing this code in a shirt was a must.
The double helix is a thing of infinite beauty, perfectly formed and without parallel the discovery is a story of collaboration, Crick and Watson worked with (read and learnt from papers by) a number of other researchers who were also investigating the human code, including John Masson Gulland, Denis Jordan and their colleagues at University College Nottingham. There was also input from Rosalind Franklin, A.R. Stokes, Maurice Wilkins, and H.R. Wilson at King's College London.
Algorithms are a huge part of our digital lives, they’re used to make our experiences feel more natural. They have been with us, as a part of daily life for a long time, originally developed by Greek mathematicans and most famously developed by Alan Turing.
Turing is widely recognised for his achievements at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, he was a mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist. He was influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts for algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which is generally considered to be the first multi-purpose computer.
Today Turing is considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. His work undoubtedly changed the direction of travel during the war and his legacy remains ever present in the algorithmic experiences of today.
We have captured the essence of algorithmic, connected activities on this shirt, something we think Turing would approve.
If you like your games and gaming Tomohiro will need no introduction. He is a Japanese video game developer, best known as the creator of Space Invaders. This classic shoot ‘em up was first released in 1978.
Nishikado’s story starts in 1968 when he graduated with an engineering degree from Tokyo Denki University. He then joined Pacific Industries Ltd a year later in 1969. After working on mechanical games, he developed Elepong (similar to Pong), one of Japan's earliest locally produced video arcade games, this was released in 1973. Nishikado then produced over 10 other video games before Space Invaders was released in 1978.
This marked the beginning of computer gaming and home consoles. Originally Nishikado wanted to use airplanes as the enemies for Space Invaders, but he had problems making them move smoothly due to the limited computing power at the time (the game is based on Intel's 8 bit 8080 microprocessor). Humans would have been easier to render, but management at Taito would not allow the use of human targets.
He was also the designer for many of Taito's earlier hits, including Soccer and Davis Cup in 1973, the early scrolling racing video game Speed Race in 1974, Gun Fight in 1975 and the first-person combat flight simulator Interceptor in 1975.
If you love Space Invaders, then we think you'll like this shirt that echoes the original arcade classic.