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Algorithms inspired by ants?

Did you know that ant behaviour inspired the creation of the software that runs our phone networks? What other things has it inspired? What new discovery has scientist Chris Reid made about the ability of ants to navigate? And how might this new insight influence computer networks of the future?

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Digital Careers: Technology and learning integrator

How do schools use computers? Could they be using computers in new and more innovative ways? Is it important to learn coding and computational thinking? Meet Chris Betcher. Chris is an Australian K-12 educator with over 25 years experience in helping students and teachers make the most of digital technologies for learning.

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Digital Careers: Technology and learning integrator 2

How have new technologies changed the way students learn in schools? Is it important to learn coding and computational thinking? Meet Chris Betcher. Chris is an Australian K-12 educator with over 25 years experience in helping students and teachers make the most of digital technologies for learning.

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What makes the internet run reliably?

Watch this clip to see software engineer Lynn Root and co-creator of the internet Vint Cerf explain what keeps the internet running reliably. When information is sent on the internet, it is broken down into packets that are able to take a number of routes to get from one computer to another. Why might this be important? ...

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Fawkner Press 'forme' with typesetting items, 1850-1900; assembled 2008

This is a printing forme - a box filled with 19th-century type and typesetting items. When the forme is empty the frame is known as a chase. The overall dimensions are: length 35.5 cm, width 53 cm, height 1 cm.

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Apple LaserWriter printer, 1987

This Apple LaserWriter printer was manufactured in 1987. It is pictured here with a cord and a manual titled 'LaserWriter and / LaserWriter Plus'.

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What are IP addresses?

Meet Vint Cerf, the co-creator of the internet! In this clip, Vint and software engineer Paola Mejia explore the way computer networks talk to each other. Find out what an IP address is and why it's similar to a street address. What's the domain name system? And how does your computer find out the IP address of a website ...

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Rockwell AIM65 computer, 1979

This is an R6500 Advanced Interactive Micro-computer (AIM65), a general purpose microcomputer manufactured by Rockwell International Corporation in 1979. It comprises a processing unit, a small 20-column dot-matrix thermal printer, a 20-character display and a keyboard contained within a brown plastic case.

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How is your personal information kept secret on the internet?

Lots of private data is exchanged over the internet. What are some examples? As Mia Epner explains, cryptography allows for the secure transfer of data online. How does encryption work? And what is a key? Today information is encrypted using 256 bit keys. This keeps information safe because it means there are way too many ...

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Combatting hackers

Did you know that simply by being connected to the internet, your devices like computers, phones and TVs could be hacked? What are the implications of having your connected devices hacked? And why might some industry and governments want to encourage hackers within their own organisations?

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How do computers get hacked?

What are some examples of cyber crime? Watch this clip to find out how viruses, denial of service attacks (DDoS) and phishing scams work. What is a botnet? And how are they used by hackers to bring down websites? Most of the time computers get hacked because of simple mistakes users make. What can users do to better protect ...

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CSIRAC computer console with 12-hole tape reader, 1960

This is a photograph showing Roy Muncey from the CSIRO Division of Building Research at a CSIRAC console, with 12-hole tape reader to his left and cabinets in front. The editing plate is sitting on the console to his left amd the test unit can be seen to his far right. The photograph was taken at night on 17 June 1960, ...

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Learning about computer languages

What happens when you type a web address or url into your computer and press enter? Watch this clip to find out! Computers and servers talk to each other in a language called HTTP. What are the messages they send and recieve mostly about? HTML is another language, one that tells a web browser how to make a web page look. ...

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Apple Macintosh 128K computer, 1984

This is an Apple Macintosh 128K computer - the first Apple Macintosh model. The all-in-one system includes the processor, a monitor and a floppy disk drive. The computer is pictured here with a keyboard, a mouse, four floppy disks, a cassette tape, a price list and a receipt. The receipt is dated October 1985.

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Operating console of CSIRAC, 1955-64

This is a 1964 photograph showing maintenance engineer Jurij Semkiw at the operating console of CSIRAC, Australia's first digital computer. CSIRAC, or 'Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Automatic Computer' was one of the world's first electronic digital stored program computers. It is the last of the first ...

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What are pixels?

Meet Kevin Systrom and Piper Hanson as they explain how digital images work. What are pixels, those tiny dots of light, made from? How are colours created and represented? What does Kevin say about the way mathematical functions are used to create different image filters. What is the difference between image resolution ...

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Apple II software program - VisiCalc, 5 1/4-inch floppy disk, 1981

This is the cover of a folder containing VisiCalc, the world's first electronic spreadsheet program for personal computers. Text on the cover reads: 'VISICALC / INSTANTLY CALCULATING "ELECTRONIC" WORKSHEET' at the top and 'VISICORP / PERSONAL SOFTWARE' at the bottom. There are also examples of calculations the program could ...

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Newspapers: past, present, future

Will the traditional newspaper survive the online publication and distribution of news? Newspapers were once the main source of news and information, but now they compete for an audience with many other sources. Watch this clip to find out about the traditional newspaper's past, present and potential future.

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Apple Macintosh Quadra 900 computer, 1991

This is an Apple Macintosh Quadra 900 computer tower and monitor, pictured with a second monitor, a keyboard and a mouse.

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Apple Macintosh software game - 'Tetris', 3 1/2-inch floppy disk, 1987

Tetris is a falling-blocks puzzle video game that was designed and programmed in Moscow in 1984. Its developer has said that he was inspired by pentominoes. The name is derived from the Greek 'tetra' meaning 'four'. This game 'Tetris - The Soviet Challenge - 1987 and 1988' was collected because it was one of the first games ...