From Benj Edwards at The Atlantic comes the story of the world’s first computer art.
The pin-up image itself was programmed as a series of short lines, or vectors, encoded on a stack of about 97 Hollerith type punched cards, Tipton recalls. Hollerith punched cards were 7.375 x 3.25 inch paper cards that stored binary data via holes cut through a matrix printed on its surface. Like other 1950s computers, the AN/FSQ-7 used the cards extensively for program input.
Update: Some old computer based artwork.
A US Navy training film describing the mechanical computing involved in vintage firing control mechanisms.
In the summer of 1962, the U.S. blew up a hydrogen bomb in outer space. Apparently, they were trying to see if the Van Allen radiation belt could be used to attack a hostile nation.
In any case, says the science history professor, “this is the first occasion I’ve ever discovered where someone discovered something and immediately decided to blow it up.”
It was one of those scientific theories that had “good idea” written all over it.